UW-Madison: Athletics, financial aid reap rewards from record UW merchandise sales

University of Wisconsin-Madison royalties from the sale of licensed merchandise set a record in 2015-16, exceeding $4.4 million.

UW-Madison ranked 12th among the nearly 200 universities and colleges licensed through the Collegiate Licensing Company, up from 14th the previous year. Net royalties of $4,411,855 collected from July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016, exceeded the previous high mark, set in 2012-13, by $561,000.

Trademark Licensing Director Cindy Van Matre credits the jump to strong seasons for football and men’s basketball, effective program management, and an increase in the royalty rate the university charges from 10 percent to 12 percent. (Van Matre retires this week; for more, see http://news.wisc.edu/q-a-van-matre-reflects-on-expanding-and-protecting-the-uw-brand/)

Nearly $3 million of the funds has been transferred to the Student Financial Aid Office and to Athletics Department. The money supports Bucky Grants, a program that provides need-based financial aid to undergraduates. Trademark Licensing has transferred $16.4 million to the program since June 2001.

Companies must be officially licensed to produce items bearing any verbiage and logos associated with UW-Madison, including the Bucky Badger likeness, the Motion W and the Crest W logo. The university currently has about 350 licensees.

Brands and suppliers are required to adhere to a code of conduct. The code addresses such issues as workers’ wages and working conditions. If violations occur, a licensee must correct the problem or risk having its relationship with the university terminated.

The final top 25 rankings of Collegiate Licensing Company-represented schools were as follows:

1. Alabama

2. Texas

3. Michigan

4. Texas A&M

5. Florida

6. Tennessee

7. LSU

8. Michigan State

9. Florida State

10. North Carolina

11. Auburn


13. Penn State

14. Oklahoma

15. Nebraska

16. Arkansas

17. Clemson

18. South Carolina

19. Arizona State

20. West Virginia

21. Missouri

22. Louisville

23. Arizona

24. Kansas

25. Oklahoma State