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ICLA Selects 2014 Award Winners

April 18, 2014

CLEVELAND – The International Collegiate Licensing Association (ICLA) has announced its 2014 award winners that will be honored at its Annual Convention, Monday-Thursday, June 9-12 at the World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, Florida. The University of Oklahoma was named the 2014 Synergy Award: Program of the Year and ’47 Brand, Original Retro Brand and Wincraft were named the ICLA Corporate Service winners.

"We had some outstanding programs from across the country nominated for the Synergy Award this year. It's great to see our members recognizing the great work being done by programs like Arizona State, Auburn, Oklahoma, Penn State and Wichita State University,” stated ICLA President Marty Ludwig, director, trademarks and licensing at Cincinnati. “I'm especially pleased to see the team at the University of Oklahoma be recognized as the recipient of the 2014 Synergy Award. Their work truly embodies the spirit of the award making them a great example to inspire our members to innovate and collaborate with colleagues on their respective campuses."

"I'm also pleased to see our colleagues from ’47 Brand, Original Retro Brand, and Wincraft recognized with the Corporate Service Award. They've each done unique things showing their commitment to support their university partners and the licensing industry as a whole, and deserve this recognition from our members," said Ludwig.

Synergy Award: Program of the Year – University of Oklahoma

During the past year, the University of Oklahoma (OU) created a curriculum for and began teaching Licensing & Intellectual Property in Sports, an undergraduate course offered through OU’s Price College of Business and an elective in the new sports management concentration and minor.   The university also continued the expansion of OU’s Sooner Jr. program, a youth-focused community outreach program that emphasizes the importance of being F.A.N.S. (fitness fun, academics, nutrition and sportsmanship) and utilizes OU coaches and student-athletes to deliver this message through in-school assemblies and community appearances.

The department also launched the fifth annual ‘There’s Only One Oklahoma’ program, which allows fans to select t-shirt designs, and released the third installment of the History of Oklahoma Football DVD merchandise program with Original Retro Brand and Top of the World.

At the head of OU’s licensing department is Renata Hays, assistant athletics director for branding and licensing, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for ICLA. Prior to accepting this position in May 2009, Hays worked for the National Football League.

There, she was a member of the league’s first rotational program and worked in Fan Strategy, International, Partnership Marketing & Sales and Innovation.

Other staff members include Shelly Terry, assistant director for branding & licensing; Paul Mills, university brand representative for the Licensing Resource Group ; Ben Habern, OU licensing graduate assistant; and Trina Kizer, who oversees OU’s crafter’s program, which offers 150+ crafters the opportunity to obtain a license with OU.

Corporate Service Award – ’47 Brand

In 2011, ’47 Brand became the official exclusive headwear provider of Operation Hat Trick (OHT), a program dedicated to the memory of Navy Seals Nate Hardy and Mike Koch, to support the recovery of wounded soldiers and veterans through the VA General Post Fund.

From their roots at the University of New Hampshire, OHT is now partnered with more than 220 NCAA schools, leagues, corporations and major retailers. The program includes three cap designs featuring both school and Operation Hat Trick logos on the hats.

’47 Brand is expanding the OHT product line to include apparel and nonapparel. featuring many different products with a portion of each sale being donated to those organizations that fit OHT’s mission.

Corporate Service Award – Original Retro Brand

Original Retro Brand has recreated the favorite old t-shirt by combining all the qualities of a great fitting vintage t-shirt with classic logos from the past and present. Original Retro Brand designs and manufactures collections with leading sports entities including The College Vault and over 300 universities and exclusive legends collections honoring UCLA coach John Wooden, OU's coach Barry Switzer and Kansas basketball star Wilt Chamberlain.

The Original Retro Brand works with several schools to support foundations and other causes connected to universities, including the John Wooden vintage t-shirt collection that donates a portion of sales to the Nell and John R. Wooden Scholarship Fund, as well as a Legends collection featuring North Carolina State marks and former N.C. State coach Jim Valvano, with a portion of those proceeds going towards the V Foundation for cancer research.

Original Retro Brand continues to manufacture its products in the U.S and recently signed licensing agreements with the NFLPA and MLAM that will allow the company to offer apparel that features current NFL players and former MLB players with or in connection with their college marks.

Corporate Service Award – WinCraft

What began almost 50 years ago as a four-person company serving high schools, WinCraft has now grown to serve high schools, colleges, corporations and retail professional sports, racing entertainment, outdoor, and home decorating industries and is one of the top non-apparel licensees—with more than 300 licenses for every selling season, hot market and major event—focusing on collectible and home décor products.

WinCraft frequently donates product to campus causes. For example, in response to the tornadoes that came through Oklahoma in May, WinCraft sent a semi-truck full of McArthur Towels to Norman to distribute and assist in recovery efforts. Based on feedback provided by local non-profits, the towels were extremely useful because they are usually in high demand after natural disasters but are not items that are frequently donated.

The company has worked on several university-specific initiatives. For example, WinCraft designed the logo for Penn State’s new ice hockey arena and then worked with licensing, athletics, the Penn State bookstore and local retailers to build and launch a merchandise program for the inaugural season.

About ICLA:
ICLA provides educational and networking opportunities, enhancement of acceptable operating standards and ethics, and establishment of the overall prestige and understanding of the profession of collegiate licensing. For more information on ICLA, please visit www.iclanet.com. ICLA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 49th year. For more information on NACDA and the 13 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com