Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 34


The Ohio State University
Product Partners
Ohio State's licensing partners include Nike Inc., which is
"one of our two licensees," Van Brimmer says, noting that
the school recently extended its agreement with the famed
footwear company. "We extended the license and our sideline agreements an additional 15 years.
"What was most exciting about that deal was that we
included the rest of the university," he continues. "We got
products for our students, discounts and merchandise for
our club sports team, and scholarships and internships."
When a need for product arises at the university, its president can utilize its "product allowance" with Nike to fill that
need. "It was truly a unique way of looking at the relationship
with one of your primary sideline partners," Van Brimmer says.
Ohio State's longtime partners also include headwear
retailer Lids. "We're in the third contract year with them,"
Van Brimmer says, noting that Lids operates the university's
official team shop on its campus.
"They also own and operate fan shops in the community
that we are now connected with," he says. "They are the official retailer of Ohio State."
Ohio State also is in its third year of partnership with
sportswear company J. America LLC, Van Brimmer adds.
"Both Nike and J. America have exclusives with our apparel
for licensed products," he explains, noting that J. America
will guarantee Ohio State a minimum of $85 million in
royalties over the next decade.

Ready to Help
Ohio State maintains long-term relationships with its
licensees through strong communication, Van Brimmer
says. "That's the key," he says. "Our approach has been that
we want to hear from them, engage with them and know
them by name."
It can be difficult to do that with a list of 400 licensees and
a staff of only four, but Van Brimmer's team regularly pulls it
off. "That's why we attend the [industry] shows and why we
become involved in our professional associations," he says.
"You'd be surprised how rare we're here [in the office].
"We are out there, talking to them," Van Brimmer says,
noting that this puts his team in a position where they are
open to understanding how the licensees do business and
how the university can help.
The desire to help is so essential that it plays a part in the recruiting process, he notes. "We look for people with a customer-service bent," Van Brimmer says. "They know they're here
to help somebody else. I don't think they would last very long
here if their attitude was, 'I don't have time for you today.'"
His current staff exemplifies that, including Assistant Director of Trademark and Licensing Karen Dertinger. "They
understand that part of a licensor's role is not to find ev34

OSU.indd 34

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016

Contents
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - Cover1
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - Cover2
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 1
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 2
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - Contents
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 4
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 5
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 6
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 7
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 8
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 9
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Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 28
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Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 30
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 31
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Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 33
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 34
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 35
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 36
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 37
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - 38
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Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - Cover3
Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2016 - Cover4
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