Gameday vendors need license to sell Tide merchandiseBy William Evans | 10/03/2010 8:00pm
Home football games would not be the same without the Crimson Tide regalia fans wear to boast their support for the team.
However, gameday vendors of Crimson Tide clothing have to follow certain guidelines before they can legally sell their merchandise.
Jennifer Martin, director of marketing and licensing at the University, said companies have to acquire a license through the Collegiate Licensing Company, or CLC, located in Atlanta, before selling clothing that bears logos of the Crimson Tide.
Martin said the application process to obtain the license varies depending on the location and size of the company.
Martin said she inspects the artwork the different companies submit so that she can determine if the clothing bears logos permitted by the University to be sold.
“I see everything that comes in for the University and the Athletics department,” Martin said.
Logos referring to alcohol or sexuality or offend against any race, ethnicity, or religion are prohibited, she said.
“We want to keep [the merchandise] classy,” Martin said.
She said the CLC visits Tuscaloosa to enforce the regulations. The Tuscaloosa Police Department and University of Alabama Police Department also cooperate in “keeping an eye out on it,” Martin said.
Martin said people can detect unlicensed clothing by the quality of the clothing and the logos it bears. She also said licensed merchandise bears a hologram label that asserts its authenticity.
Martin said vendors without CLC licenses often do not know they are violating the law.
“We’ve had people on campus selling something illegal but were truly unaware [of it],” Martin said.
Martin said the University asks those who are unaware of the licensing requirements to put their merchandise away, and for those who are conscious of being unlicensed, the University pulls their product.
“It’s all done on a case by case basis,” Martin said. “You just don’t know what you’re going to see.”
Zachary McCann, a freshman majoring in New College, said the vendors who sell unlicensed merchandise should incur a different punishment.
“They should be forced to give us all T-shirts,” he said.
Ernest Carr, a staff member at the Sports Mania tent that sells clothing with Crimson Tide insignia near the Houndstooth Sports Bar on the Strip, said the company had to obtain a license for its merchandise.
“We couldn’t be down here bootlegging,” Carr said. “And our merchandise tells the story.”
Carr said Sports Mania transports its inventory from its stores located either in Detroit, Mich., Jacksonville, Fla., or Dallas, Tex.
He said Sports Mania also sells merchandise for the opposing team during home games, and their tent this past weekend had Florida Gators regalia for fans from the University of Florida.
Carr said Sports Mania will set up a tent in Tuscaloosa during every home game this year. Business, he said, has been favorable due to the football team’s success.
“Any time you’re a champion, you get the people coming,” Carr said. “And this is a football town.”