UW smashes licensing record, generates additional financial aid

December 30, 2011 By John Lucas

Two consecutive Rose Bowl appearances have been very good for the Wisconsin Badgers football program. But the recent run of on-field success is also benefiting students in campus classrooms and libraries.

That’s because record-breaking sales of trademarked University of Wisconsin merchandise in the 2010–11 fiscal year means that students will receive more funds for need-based financial aid.

Gross royalties of licensed merchandise in 2010–11 were $3,326,879, the highest total in the history of the Wisconsin licensing program.

The total represents a 36 percent increase over 2009–10’s figure of $2,439,289. The previous high was $2,834,207 set in 2007–08.

“This is a huge testament to the success of our teams, our university and the strength of the Wisconsin brand,” says Cindy Van Matre, trademark licensing director. “Our products are available literally around the world.”

To sell a hat, sweatshirt, jersey or mug bearing the likeness of Bucky Badger, a Motion W or University of Wisconsin logo, manufacturers agree to a code of conduct and pay a small royalty fee based on sales generated.

Half of the funds generated go directly to financial aid as need-based Bucky Grants, which are targeted for undergraduates on campus.

“We’re thrilled by this success, and even more proud that we can use it to help students and families in need,” says Susan Fischer, director of the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Fischer said the number of students receiving those grants was 155 for the 2010–11 academic year and the average award was $4,193. (Royalty revenue becomes available on a rolling basis during a fiscal year and that dictates how many Bucky Grants are available and for how much at any given point in time for an academic year. Revenue arriving after the finalization of financial aid for a given year is carried forward to be disbursed the next year.)

Students receive a combination of loans, and work-study and grants as part of a package that combines federal, state and institutional aid.

University of Wisconsin royalties have exceeded $2.1 million in gross revenue in each of the past five years.

Overall, UW ranked 15th among the Collegiate Licensing Corporation’s 160 colleges and universities and third among Collegiate Licensing Corporation’s Big Ten clients. (Nebraska is not yet included as a Big Ten institution for the purposes of the ranking.)