The top 20 colleges for branded products

Who's No. 1 in this competition, which is now a business worth a total of $4.6 billion?

By Bruce Kennedy Aug 14, 2013 7:14AM

University of Texas at Austin t-shirts (Courtesy of Fanatics Retail Group)We're entering back-to-school season, and with that flurry of activity comes the traditional donning of school colors and logos at homes and campuses across the country.


But wearing your favorite college and university garb is more than just being true to your school. It's a multibillion-dollar industry that brings in big money for the top-selling institutions and manufacturers.


Earlier this week, Collegiate Licensing Co. (CLC), an affiliate of sports marketing group IMG College, unveiled its annual list of the top 75 best-selling college and university brands. CLC estimated the retail marketplace for college-licensed merchandise at $4.62 billion last year.


Before listing the top 20 best-selling schools, here are some notable facts:

  • The top apparel categories for the 2012-2013, included T-shirts, women's apparel, fleece and headwear, according to CLC. Big sellers in the nonapparel category were housewares, sports equipment and video games.
  • Nike (NKE) USA has been the nation's premier collegiate apparel licensee for the past two years, and excluding fiscal 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, it has been the top dog in that category since 1999.
  • The No. 1 nonapparel licensee is EA Sports, the video-game and interactive entertainment wing of Electronic Arts (EA), a position it has held for nearly a decade.
  • The nation's top local licensee is apparel manufacturer Kentucky Wholesale, which produces official products for both the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville.
  • When it comes to the schools, for the eighth year in a row, the University of Texas at Austin -- home of the Longhorns -- had the country' best-selling line of licensed apparel. In its 2013 athletic year report, the university noted it made early $8.4 million from apparel licensing in 2011-2012. And the Austin Business Journal notes the school has reaped between $8 million and $10 million in annual royalties from licensed apparel in recent years.

Here are the top 20 schools for selling licensed merchandise:

1. University of Texas at Austin

2. University of Alabama

3. University of Notre Dame

4. University of Michigan

5. University of Kentucky

6. Louisiana State University

7. University of Florida

8. University of Georgia

9. University of North Carolina

10. University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

11. University of Oklahoma

12. Texas A&M University

13. University of Wisconsin

14. University of Nebraska

15. University of Tennessee

16. University of South Carolina

17. West Virginia University

18. Auburn University

19. Pennsylvania State University

20. University of Missouri

More on moneyNOW

Aug 14, 2013 10:17AM
They did not mention that its only schools represented by CLC...
They do NOT have some of the bigger schools like Ohio State and USC
So take it for what its worth...
Aug 14, 2013 9:58AM
Yeah, SEC has 10, Big 10 has 4, kind of surprised no west coast teams are on this list.  Wonder where UCLA or USC or Oregon are ranked?
Dec 17, 2013 5:04PM
JSwamper you illiterate red necks need to have some clothing to wear since you finally got rid of your white robes and hoods..
Aug 14, 2013 10:03PM
It's not enough these institutions charge  40G  in tuition you have to pay for free advertising o n merchandise 
Aug 14, 2013 8:41AM
Wow - SEC places 10 in the top 20!
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