Univ. of Oregon changes the $500k needed to use the 'O'

EUGENE, Ore. - The University of Oregon announced a change to their licensing agreement in early June that would require businesses to pay a minimum of $500,000 a year in royalties to use their logos.

The move was aimed at giving the trademark rights to companies that could mass distribute the University of Oregon logos, officials from the Marketing and Brand Management Department said.

The day before businesses were supposed to have submitted their proposals for the changes, the university added an extension that allows some businesses to pay less to use their logos.

Initially the proposal stated anyone who wants to use the university's trademarked logos must guarantee the UO a minimum of $500,000 in royalties every year.

Now businesses have until July 8 to send in a proposal that shows how UO is still meeting its licensing goal while letting them use some logos at a discounted rate.

UO's director of marketing and brand management Matthew Dyste said the university decided to change their licensing agreement after reviewing how they manage their trademark licensing program.

"The successful bidder will get a number of exclusive rights that will allow them to leverage the University of Oregon brand and the name and hopefully achieve tremendous sale and spread the good word of the ducks well beyond the state, nationally and internationally," said Dyste.

After the addendum, businesses have until July 8 to submit their bids for licensing.

Currently, there are over 100 businesses licensed to use the Oregon logos. Under the current system, businesses need to provide at least $2,000 minimum, which is their annual guaranteed minimum royalty requirement.

"If we get a successful bidder, we will have fewer companies involved in our licensing business but generating additional revenue for the institution," said Dyste.

The owner of Triangle Graphics in Eugene, John Henzie, says they became licensed by the University of Oregon in 1992 to use the school's official trademarked logos.

Henzie says they pay the university around $20,000 to $25,000 in royalties to print UO apparel for businesses in Oregon as well as student and faculty groups on campus.

Henzie is worried the new licensing proposal will effect small businesses like his. "They're looking to increase sales nationally, internationally. They're not looking for an Oregon company," he said.

After July 8, the University of Oregon will review all bids. If they choose a winning bidder or bidders, Henzie said they will begin contract negotiations with that company.

Henzie questions what will happen to a segment of his clientele like student groups, club sports and departments at the UO who order custom apparel. "They need turnaround in a week or two, and they need the ability to do small orders. None of these things are in the capabilities with a national company and how that works is very much up in the air," he said.

Below is a copy of the addendum to the Apparel Licensing Program