April 9, 2010
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The University of Southern Mississippi announced Friday that they have signed an exclusive agreement with the Licensing Resource Group (LRG) to represent the university in its domestic licensing program.
LRG, a trademark management company specializing in collegiate licensing and branding, has been hired to help maximize exposure opportunities for the Southern Miss brand at retail, and will manage the account regionally from its Winston-Salem, N.C., office. Through partnerships with manufacturers and retailers, LRG will expand the university's current base into more sales throughout Mississippi area, the Conference USA region and beyond.
LRG will also work with manufacturers to help increase the presence of merchandise on-line. Known for its merchandising and brand development strategies, LRG will create compelling programs that will create excitement for the Southern Miss brand at external retail locations as well as the university's bookstore.
"We are excited about our new licensing arrangement with LRG," Southern Miss Director of Athletics Richard Giannini said of the agreement. "LRG is a dynamic, experienced licensing group and will maximize our efforts to get Southern Miss merchandise greater visibility throughout Mississippi and our region."
"Southern Miss is a university with a great academic and athletic tradition, and we are extremely excited about our partnership," said Lewis Hardy, president and CEO of LRG. "For years, Southern Miss managed one of the most successful independent licensing programs in the country, and we are honored to work with the institution, its licensees and retailers to further expand the college's brand in the retail marketplace. We are confident that our brand philosophies and strategies will help Southern Miss realize its full merchandizing potential."
LRG was founded in May of 1991, and currently represents more than 180 universities, colleges, athletic conferences and special properties nationwide. LRG provides trademark management services that include contract management, merchandising, brand development, information technology and royalty management from offices in Holland, Mich., Winston-Salem, N.C., Iowa City, Iowa and Bristol, R.I.
Southern Miss enters into this agreement after handling its own licensing for over the last decade. Licensing director Gene Fitts has moved to the Eagle Club and will assist in the solicitation of new members as well as concentrate his efforts on the gulf coast.