The K12 Process
As a licensing agent, K12 helps its partners maintain control and ensure the proper use of their marks on-campus, at retail, and online. K12’s staff of brand, product, and retail experts can provide all the expertise needed to administer a successful trademark licensing program with you – the brand owner – at the center of all decisions.
Through the administration of a trademark licensing program, K12’s partners are able to achieve three primary goals: brand development, brand protection, and revenue generation.
WHAT WE DO
K12’s turn-key representation alleviates the day-to-day administrative burden of managing a licensing program, allowing your school or district to concentrate on managing the strategic direction of the program. The following core services continually position your licensing program for growth and success:
Consultation & Program Launch
K12 assists in the assessment of existing licensing policies including royalty rates, exemption policies, logo usage, etc., while ensuring all protocols meet or exceed industry norms and partner’s goals. Using this information, together we develop and implement a licensing plan to grow your program.
For schools new to licensing, K12 provides guidance on best practices for common licensing policies specific to each school’s unique goals. Just as no two schools are the same, no two licensing programs are the same.
During the program launch, K12 works with each school to identify primary contacts and unique opportunities for eCommerce, Graduation Announcements, Internal Purchasing, Uniform and Team Dealers, and Fundraising Support.
Artwork and Services
As with any licensing program, strict control over the distribution of your marks is very important, and the password-protected Trademarx system is second-to-none. Major League Baseball, NASCAR, Major League Soccer, and other major brands all trust Trademarx to help protect their marks.
Trademarx is K12 Licensing’s artwork management and logo distribution system. It provides licensees with 24/7 access to production-ready artwork. This system contains full-color EPS files which allows licensees to go from design to production in a very short period of time.
The day-to-day operations and success of any licensing program revolve around relationships and constant communications with its licensed manufacturers or licensees. If licensees are unable to sell products, there is no licensing program or revenue. K12 Licensing is highly selective and requires that its vendors meet a series of requirements as part of a thorough application process.
Each quarter, licensees are required to submit royalties along with sales by product category (apparel, non-apparel and headwear) and retailer. These sales reports are then uploaded into Trademarx for reporting and tracking purposes.
In June of each year, K12 distributes each partner school’s royalty revenue back to the designated contact for the school. Along with the check, K12 will distribute a breakout of royalties by vendor. This information allows schools to know which vendors and retailers are supporting the school. It also helps schools identify possible infringement in the local marketplace.
K12’s in-house auditors work with licensees to ensure each school receives its fair share of royalties, and that all vendors are operating by the same set of rules.
In addition to royalty compliance, the audit process allows K12 to educate licensees on appropriate royalty reporting practices, and best practices. At the end of the compliance review, K12 includes suggestions on internal controls/processes that will help simplify the process. Through this process, vendors are better able to report royalties in an accurate and timely manner.
K12 Licensing helps legally protect and support its partners in a variety of ways including retail enforcement, education regarding online infringement, and best practices for protecting your brand.
With respect to enforcement and protection, we operate with an “education first” approach when confronting most issues. Typically, infringement issues stem from a lack of understanding on the part of the manufacturer, and the K12 team is always prepared to assist vendors with the licensing process.
If the issue cannot be solved through education, K12 and your school work together to review the available options and determine a best course of action. Should the need for further legal action arise, K12 is prepared to help, but most issues are resolved before a C&D is issued.
Retail and Marketing
K12 Licensing’s in-house retail and marketing team has more than 100 years of experience working with the buyers in the local, regional, and national markets.
K12 provides the buyers for major chains like Walmart, Walgreen’s, Dollar General, and Target with key data points such as enrollment, proximity to store location, etc., that help support the expansion of licensed product. Additionally, K12 provides licensees with data and marketing support to help ensure strong sales for existing retail partners.
The added support to retailers and licensees translates to increased product placement for K12’s partner schools which in turn grows the revenue back to each partner. This level of support is more important in high school than in college or professional leagues because there are thousands of more brands to consider and evaluate.
eCommerce has become increasingly important for a well-rounded and profitable licensing program. At no cost to the school, K12’s licensed vendors can create a school-branded store with a much broader assortment of products.
In most cases, there is no minimum on these items which removes all risk from the school while allowing fans to showcase their passion through previously unavailable merchandise.
In addition to royalty revenue, each approved K12 eCommerce partner offers a revenue share on all sales back to the school.
As budgets continue to be slashed, fundraising has become increasingly important for schools of all sizes across the country. After speaking with hundreds of administrators and receiving their feedback, we can deliver fundraising solutions centered around three key ideas:
1. Significant financial return on all sales
2. Minimal effort/time required to participate
3. Unique products and LOW minimums
As part of the initial consultation, the school will determine whether or not it wants assistance with fundraising – it is not required.