Retail Merchandiser - November/December 2017 - 53
Associated Students UCLA
supplier to another," he adds. "We work with the athletic
department, Gear for Sports® that is the licensee for Under
Armour to produce collegiate wear and Under Armour to
get everything in line and understand each entity's vision to
pull it all together. Then after all that we launch."
In the dense Los Angeles market, the UCLA Store stays
focused on communicating the brand to drive quality versus quantity. "There is a lot of competition for entertainment value, including Hollywood and other pro and college
teams," Holmes notes. "The competition for time and attention is the southern California lifestyle because there's
so much to do out here, so we push and present the UCLA
brand and stay consistent with who we are."
Moving forward, the UCLA Store and Trademarks & Licensing departments will continue to focus on embodying
the UCLA brand by selectively partnering with licensees.
"Our sales are driven by the combination of UCLA's worldwide reputation for academic excellence together with the
mystique of southern California that imparts a unique, aspirational quality to the brand," Holmes says. "It's really about
taking the time to have conversations with licensees to share
brand information and core values with ongoing refinement
and cultivation of those partnerships." O
Under Armour is well established on the East Coast and in
the Midwest, so the UCLA Store and Trademarks & Licensing departments worked closely with the company to
ensure the differences in the West Coast customer are addressed. One example is that the UCLA Store sells mostly
t-shirts and sweatshirts because sweatshirts are outerwear in
Over the past few years, the UCLA Store has focused
more heavily on women-specific items where the fit is
important. "The difference between a unisex and a female
t-shirt is night and day," Healey explains. "We are dressing
women who want fashionable, fitted and flattering apparel
with UCLA marks on it both from an athleisure feel, as well
as a fan base feel. Our buyers look at what's out there from
core fashion products and what our customer profile looks
like. Do we trend towards smaller or larger sizes? Do they
want fit or relaxed? A lot goes into establishing that assortment on the floor."
UCLA Intercollegiate Athletics entered a 15-year agreement with Under Armour to be the team supplier. The
UCLA Store and Trademarks & Licensing provide support
for this partnership at retail. Now that the Under Armour
"store" within the UCLA Store has launched, the focus will
be on continuously growing business. "The first year is the
introduction and exciting, but how do we grow the business
from there in the second, third and fourth years?" Healey
asks. "We focus on innovative designs and special programs."
DON LIEBIG (UCLA PHOTOGRAPHY)
Cynthia Holmes and Patrick Healey oversee
UCLA's licensing and merchandising efforts.