Despite the bonuses due to licensing of rising fan products, many fans continue to say « Take me play ball, » as the 2018 season ended with a participation of more than $69.0 million. Major League Baseball is a 30-team organization. It is the oldest of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. In 1966, Major League Baseball clubs founded Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. (MLBP) as a marketing and licensing and trademark protection agent. Any use of Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights on or in combination with products or services requires the authorization of MLBP and/or Major League Baseball units. Licensed consumer products are products such as clothing, food, collectibles, sporting goods, games and novelties. Each major sports organization has its own process for licensing companies to sell team apparel. In most cases, the licensing process requires the provision of business information, including information on credit and distribution developments.
You will find examples of how the process works in the licensing process for the National Football League (NFL) and the National Basketball Association (NBA), two of the largest sports organizations in the United States. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is represented by IMG College Licensing. Unlike the NFL and NBA, university licensing covers not only college-related brands, but also colleges representing those teams. Research That you start to find a license depends largely on the type of product, your industry experience and your knowledge of the license in general. If you need to patent your product, as Bob Diee and Glenn Luthy did with their computer mouse in the form of a baseball cap, start on the website of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. That is why, in my opinion, and after reading their requirements, it is not worth it for a small craftsman to even go to MLB for information on licensing. Unfortunately, this is unattainable. Many people have ideas for products that they think are great if they are licensed by a league/team, but do not know where to go to find out what is related to the licensing of sports products. Perhaps baseball`s surprising popularity may shed some light on the exceptional numbers that will be delivered to MLB clubs in last week`s $5 million licensing agreement with seven U.S. apparel and cape companies. Diee had to rely on himself and his product to get closer to the licensees – specifically the Account Manager for licensing in each organization.
Be prepared to show that you have done your research, that you have the financial means to bring the product to fruition and that you have a marketing plan to sell the product at retail. « A strong business plan would make a representative more comfortable with a candidate, » Diee says. « Knowledge of markets, customers and competition is also useful.