UNC TOMS will be added to brand frenzy
Students can now munch on UNC Pop-Tarts while sporting their limited-edition Carolina blue TOMS shoes.
TOMS recently launched an exclusive collection of Campus Classics, which features 31 schools, including UNC.
The Campus Classics initiative started last year, selling shoes for just seven universities.
UNC was added after the initiative was a success and the line was expanded.
UNC and East Carolina University are the only two universities in North Carolina that are currently being represented.
The shoes display the UNC colors and are currently on sale on the TOMS website for $48. Unlike UNC Pop-Tarts, the TOMS shoes will not display any UNC logo.
Derek Lochbaum, UNC’s director of trademarks and licensing, wrote in an email that the University will collect a royalty rate of 10 percent on the wholesale cost of the shoes.
“All net proceeds from the University’s Trademark Licensing Program are directed to the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid to support the educational goals of our students through need-based and merit-based scholarships,” he said.
Even though the shoes will not have the logo directly on them, Lochbaum said it was still necessary to follow the licensing procedure because the UNC name will appear in marketing.
The release of UNC-branded TOMS, along with the UNC Pop-Tarts, has received a warm response from students.
“I think it’s cool that we’re getting a lot of recognition,” sophomore Meredith Tilley said.
Senior Ethan Henderson said he thinks the UNC-branded shoes will boost the school’s image because of the charitable mission of TOMS.
The company has a “one for one” policy stating that it donates a pair of shoes to a child in need with every purchase made.
But TOMS, Kellogg’s and any other companies that want to incorporate the UNC brand into their products must follow several steps first, Lochbaum said.
“The process requires the potential licensee to think deeply about their ability to be successful in such a venture and their willingness to adhere to the conditions of the license,” Lochbaum said.
The University works with the Collegiate Licensing Company to review any licensing applications.
The Office of Trademarks and Licensing has the final say, however, and decides when the UNC logo is put on a product, he added.
“As the (director), I work with our licensing agency to assess potential licensing opportunities,” Lochbaum said.
Lochbaum said he can’t speculate as to why companies request to use the UNC logo on their products, but he said UNC is a national brand that can extend beyond the traditional alumni and fan base.
And the brand craze might not stop at Pop-Tarts and TOMS.
Lochbaum added that his office is going to continue to seek opportunities that would increase revenue and uphold the UNC brand.
Junior Carly Williamson said that although she won’t necessarily buy something just because it has the UNC brand on it, she understands its appeal.
“UNC is nationally renowned,” Williamson said.
“I would expect it to be picked because it’s one of the biggest public institutions.”
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