Licensing FAQs

Why does CCU have a licensing program?

  • To protect the University’s brand (name and image) as represented by marks and symbols
  • To market the University
  • To generate revenue through royalty payments

What is licensing?


Licensing is an agreement wherein the owner of a trademark gives another party, in most cases the manufacturer of the goods, the right to use that mark in exchange for payment of a royalty.

Why do I have to go through University Marketing and Communication to get my product approved?


Having a policy in place that requires products to come through University Marketing and Communication for approval helps maintain consistent marks on materials that carry Coastal Carolina University marks and ensures that our brand is reinforced and associations with CCU are appropriate and positive. To avoid the dilution or erosion of the Coastal Carolina University brand, it is essential that our marks be handled in a uniform and consistent manner. Without uniformity, impact is lost and messaging risks confusion. Coastal Carolina University seeks to foster loyalty, respect and enthusiasm among our students, alumni and University supporters by ensuring products bearing our name and other marks are of high quality and good taste. By ensuring this, CCU’s reputation for educational excellence is enhanced. Proper use of the University’s name and marks also stimulates public awareness and support.

What is the University’s royalty rate?


Coastal Carolina University’s royalty rate for general licensed goods is 12 percent.

What is the Coastal Carolina University licensing program?


The licensing program promotes and protects the commercial use of the University’s name and identifying marks. A major emphasis of Coastal Carolina University’s licensing program is to ensure that all products using the University’s name, marks and symbols are of good taste and quality. Only those companies that meet the standards of the University are licensed to manufacture Coastal Carolina University product. The University’s licensing administrators work with manufacturers who wish to make products that utilize its trademarks and symbols; with retailers who wish to sell Coastal Carolina University licensed products; and with University departments, programs and student groups who want to use the University’s trademarks on products. Through the licensing program, campus organizations are assured of locating quality products from approved manufacturers. Secondly, the sale of licensed goods helps benefit the University through generation of royalty payments. Income generated from royalties paid by licensees is used to support athletics and marketing for the University.

What qualifies as a trademark?


Any names, logos, symbols, indicia, insignia, trade names, service marks, and trademarks (collectively “Trademarks”) or combination of these that can be associated with the University qualifies as a trademark.

Who needs a license?


Any vendor wishing to use the marks, logos and symbols of the University must first obtain a license to do so.

What happens if a University mark is used without a license?


Coastal Carolina University intends to protect its name, marks, and symbols from unauthorized or inappropriate use. When an individual and/or organization is identified as producing or distributing products that infringe on our trademarks, the University or its agent will contact them to attempt to stop the infringement, to establish a license, and to notify them of potential legal action should they fail to cooperate.

Are there any exemptions from royalties?


If an item utilizing a University mark is produced solely for members of a University department, program, or officially recognized student group, the royalty may be waived.

How can I find licensed products?


The Office of University Marketing and Communication maintains a list of manufacturers licensed by the University to produce Coastal Carolina University merchandise. Organizations that need help locating licensed manufacturers of particular products should contact the Marketing/Licensing team.

Which items are subject to royalties or right fees?


Before contacting local manufacturers regarding new products, designs, or an idea for a fundraiser, be sure to check with the Office of University Communication. They will be able to identify local manufacturers to produce the items, saving everyone time and effort. A product with a trademark is generally subject to royalty or rights fees if:

  1. the product is for resale;
  2. the product promotes a specific event for which a fee is charged;
  3. the name, mark or logo of a third party is used with the trademark;
  4. the product is being resold by members of the University community, including without limitation, registered student organizations and other affiliated organizations; or
  5. the product utilizes CCU marks for commercial gain.