Licensing is a powerful way to bring fresh, unique, and trendy designs to your garment-printing operation. Read on to learn more about this competitive and rewarding market and how it can help your business grow.
By Lori Leaman
"In the vast majority of cases, screen printers are encouraged to be creative," Bouyack says. "Colleges will provide a style guide [digitally] of the college's logo/artwork and how they want it to appear, but how the screen printer wants to use the college's artwork in a design is largely up to the screen printer. Colleges do like to see creativity and screen printers coming up with something new and different."
When NASCAR awards a license, it is for use of the NASCAR bar mark only. If screen printers are interested in printing apparel with designs that include names of NASCAR drivers or teams, and images of the cars, they must approach the drivers and/or teams and obtain a cross-license. NASCAR's licensing division helps facilitate that process by putting licensees in touch with the appropriate contacts.
What's in it for you?
With so many potentially lucrative possibilities in a range of markets, it makes sense for screen printers to invest in printing licensed properties. Bouyack says screen-printed T-shirts and fleece have been the foundation of CLC's apparel business for the 25 years that the company has been in business. "Every year we see at least single-digit, if not double-digit, growth in these categories. Our business can be cyclical, but I think those are staple categories."
While apparel accounts for 17% of all licensed-product sales, the products aren't limited to T-shirts and ball caps. One product that is rising in popularity amongst children is bedding decorated with logos and images of their favorite cartoon characters and talent from popular children's shows on TV.
Other items, such as mugs, key chains, mouse pads, magnets, and seat cushions, can just as easily be decorated with a logo or character. "It never ceases to amaze me the ideas that come through our office for different products," Bouyack says. "When you get into the hard-goods area, there seems to be a market with college fans, where the loyalty lies with strong colleges, for everything you can put a college logo on. It's virtually limitless in terms of potential opportunities."
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