by Chris Bahn
Posted 8/12/2013 10:58 am
Updated 12 months ago
University of Arkansas athletics finished in the Top 10 of Collegiate Licensing Company’s best-selling schools for the first time ever.
Royalties from sales of Razorbacks apparel and other merchandise were strong enough that the UA finished No. 10 on CLC’s annual list. Arkansas, which ranked in the Top 10 for each quarter of the 2012-13 fiscal year, is among six Southeastern Conference schools to make the Top 10 (No. 2 Alabama, No. 5 Kentucky, No. 6 LSU, No. 7 Florida, No. 8 Georgia).
Brian Pracht, UA associate athletic director for marketing, said the ranking is proof that the Razorbacks are strengthening their reputation as a regional and national brand. Arkansas was No. 14 last year and has generally ranked among the Top 20-25 schools.
“It certainly means we’re becoming more than just a statewide brand,” Pracht said. “While we know we have the full support of all of our fans within the state, I think this shows we’re becoming more of a regional and national brand.”
Pracht pointed to the school’s apparel deal with Nike and some national branding opportunities, including being part of a recently unveiled four-team JELL-O mold deal (Michigan, Texas and Florida are the others) and last year’s college-themed Pop-Tarts as part of the Razorbacks’ marketing appeal.
“We’ve been able to position ourselves with some of our peers in the SEC and around the country on some unique programs targeted to specific schools that have a large appeal,” Pracht said. “Some of these opportunities have come for us this past year. It’s nice to be included in a very small, targeted group that is attractive to licensees and retailers. This is a positive sign for the University of Arkansas, not only as we continue to build our brand in a very strong way locally, but beyond.”