Schools to merchandise

Encouraged by ncaa sales figures in the u.s., a licensing deal has been struck this side of the border to sell merchandise associated with 22 Canadian universities.Two-year dealDoug Kelcher, vice-president, Time Warner Sports Merchandising, says a two-year pact has been signed...

Encouraged by ncaa sales figures in the u.s., a licensing deal has been struck this side of the border to sell merchandise associated with 22 Canadian universities.

Two-year deal

Doug Kelcher, vice-president, Time Warner Sports Merchandising, says a two-year pact has been signed between his Toronto-based company and the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union in Ottawa.

Quoting figures from Licensing Times International, a u.s. publication, Kelcher says National Collegiate Athletic Association merchandise has 30% of the u.s. market.

(The National Basketball Association, for example, which has been strenuously promoting its licensed merchandise for several years, has 14% of the market, according to Licensing Times International.)

Kelcher says the new agreement covers university football teams only to begin with, but he hopes the program will expand to include all collegiate sports teams.

He says merchandise such as sweatshirts, trackpants, caps and more should be available by mid-October.

Collegiate football teams featured in the deal include New Brunswick’s Mount Allison Mounties, the University of Calgary Dinosaurs, Toronto’s York University Yeomen, and Queen’s University Golden Gaels in Kingston, Ont.

Worldwide popularity

Kelcher says he has discovered through his trade show contacts that merchandise associated with the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia, McGill University in Montreal and St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, n.s. is popular around the world.

Football teams from those schools are part of the Time Warner-ciau deal as well.

Kelcher says the size of the ciau’s cut is confidential, but adds that over two years it should run to six figures.

He says the genesis of the arrangement came from consumers’ phone calls to Sears.

They wanted to know why on the pages of the company catalogue there was plenty of u.s. merchandise but nothing Canadian.

Kelcher says Time Warner Sports Merchandising hopes to sell the ciau products through the major retail chains.