The Evolution of Licensing in the NIL Era

Last Updated on February 16, 2023

We’re joined this episode by Marty Ludwig, Director of Trademarks and Licensing at University of Cincinnati, where he is responsible for managing all internal and external relationships regarding the commercial use of the university’s brand (including its name, identifying marks, and still and moving images) to protect and promote the goodwill and reputation of the university, ensure the university receives appropriate value, and to actively enforcing the university’s rights to prevent the unauthorized use of its brand.

In this episode, we discussed:

  • How licensing is typically divided between University operations and the athletic department
  • How university and athletic administrators work with sponsors that want to use marks from both sides
  • The biggest issues facing licensing administrators today
  • How university and athletic administrators can collaborate better
  •  How Cincinnati is handling requests from athletes who want to use school marks
  • Examples of current sponsor campaigns that involve student athletes
  • Marty’s thoughts from a licensing perspective on NCAA President Emmert’s idea on compensating athletes as university ambassadors
  • How group licensing is working so far for student athletes and universities, including examples from Cincinnati
  • Marty’s career path to working in university licensing
  • Trends in licensing to watch

Marty is a member of the University’s Brand Review Committee, Communicator’s Cabinet, Marketing Advisory Committee, International Working Group, and Chair of the Institutional Sponsorship Committee. An active member of higher education trade groups, Marty was elected to serve as the first President on the Board of Directors for the University Partnerships Community of Practice (UPCoP) and is also an active member and Past President of the International Collegiate Licensing Association (ICLA).

Under Marty’s leadership the Cincinnati licensing program has been recognized as one of the top licensing programs in the nation including recognition as the 2021 Institutional Marketing Program of the year by the Collegiate Licensing Company, and the 2016 Licensing Program of the year by ICLA.  Marty is frequently asked to consult, contribute articles, and give presentations on various topics related to branding, contract and relationship management, licensing, marketing, strategic planning, and trademarks.

The Business of College Sports podcast is now also available on YouTube.

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