USC Upstate Partners With SMA To Regulate Marks and Logos

July 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Spartanburg, S.C. – The University of South Carolina Upstate recently partnered with Strategic Marketing Affiliates (SMA) to provide licensing representation for USC Upstate in an effort to regulate university and athletic logos.

“USC Upstate’s remarkable growth has led to an increase in our brand appeal,” said Tammy E. Whaley, director of university communications at USC Upstate. “With students, alumni and fans embracing the USC Upstate logo, we have a major responsibility to protect all of our logos and word marks, while building brand identity. Our partnership with SMA will accomplish this goal.”

Additionally, the partnership as a win-win situation for all parties involved — the university, vendors and customers. SMA’s national reach will provide new opportunities for a growing constituency to purchase USC Upstate items. In turn, the university will gain revenue and brand recognition because of increased control over its logos, and vendors will gain customers loyal to USC Upstate.

“There is a campus-wide initiative to strengthen the university’s image,” said Whaley. “USC Upstate was established in 1967, which makes us a relatively young university, so we are at a stage where increasing brand awareness and maintaining the integrity of the brand is critical. Working with SMA provides a way that brings money back to the university and its students.”

Tony Johnson, vice president for SMA’s Southeast region, said his team of marketing professionals will assist USC Upstate in establishing a comprehensive strategic licensing plan — including royalty rates, exemption policies and logo usage guidelines. The organization coordinates licensing with various local and national vendors, and enforces the use of logos authorized by the university.

“We are a full-service licensing agent with more than 144 clients nationwide, and we are here to protect and promote the university’s image,” Johnson said of the Indiana-based company.

The USC Upstate Bookstore previously dealt with licensing of the university’s marks and logos, but the task of monitoring university-themed items became increasingly complicated and time consuming.

For more information about SMA and licensing procedures, go to the company Web site