COLLEGE STATION, Aug. 6, 2012 – Texas A&M University has yet to play its first game in the Southeastern Conference, but the Aggies are already big winners in the licensing area: the school has reached a record $3.2 million in gross licensing revenue, up 23 percent from last year and now ranks No. 19 nationally in licensing sales, according to figures compiled by the Collegiate Licensing Company.
Texas A&M has experienced a 77 percent increase in licensing growth in the last four years, says Shane Hinckley, assistant vice president for business development, and the move to the SEC has translated into more licensing dollars, he adds.
More than $60 million of merchandise has been purchased at the retail level, also a record, Hinckley says.
“We have seen a great demand for Texas A&M merchandise in the marketplace. Our local community combined with national retailers have helped to grow the program across the state of Texas. It used to be difficult to find product outside the Brazos Valley, but now you can find Texas A&M products in all the major cities across Texas and our market share is growing. Our products can be found in national chains such as Dick’s, Aeropostale, Old Navy, Justice, Target, Walmart and many more.
“Also, our new 41,000-square-foot Barnes & Noble Bookstore in the Memorial Student Center on campus has been a very popular place for our fans to find the latest in Aggie apparel and products.”
Proceeds from licensed Texas A&M products go to help the Bonfire Memorial maintenance fund, Corps of Cadets scholarships, pursuit of athletic excellence and promoting the university on a regional and national level, Hinckley says.
He adds that Texas A&M is the No. 2-selling college brand in Academy stores across the nation and Aggie merchandise can be found in 179 Walmarts, 59 Target stores and 88 HEB grocery stores across Texas.
“Just four years ago, our total retail sales were $32 million, and today it’s at $60 million, so that shows how popular Texas A&M products have grown, and the move to the SEC has been a huge boost for us,” Hinckley explains. “Generating revenues, while very important, is only one aspect of a robust licensing program. We are also charged with protecting and promoting the brand.”
Adds Jason Cook, vice president for marketing and communications, “Texas A&M is one of the hottest collegiate brands in the country right now. Our move to the SEC has generated a tremendous amount of excitement among Aggies, while also significantly expanding our national visibility in the media and retail space.
"We have a 'brand first' philosophy here at Texas A&M in which our licensing, marketing and communications groups work in an integrated environment. This has enabled us to take advantage of many new licensing and branding opportunities, particularly through our aggressive use of social media, and build on the strong affinity that Aggies have for our institution."
Texas A&M will participate in the national College Colors Day on Thursday, Aug. 30 – the day the Aggies open the football season at Louisiana Tech. College Colors Day is an annual celebration dedicated to promoting the traditions and spirit that embody the college experience by encouraging fans across America to wear their favorite college or university apparel. Fans are being encouraged to Pledge Your Allegiance for College Colors Day, an inaugural national spirit competition at www.espn.com/collegecolorsday.