USC Hitches Licensing Wagon to Cowboys' Silver Star

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As Ohio State ponders its licensing options, the University of Southern California has hitched its wagon to Silver Star Merchandising, a recently launched offshoot of Cowboys Merchandising Ltd.

Created by Dallas Cowboys' owner Jerry Jones, Silver Star is seeking partnerships with a select number of schools (including Ohio State) that consistently rank among the national leaders in logoed merchandise sales. Talks began with the University of Texas after the Longhorns hosted a men's basketball game against North Carolina at Cowboys Stadium in December 2009. According to SportsBusiness Journal, the 10-year partnership with USC consolidates all licensing deals for its apparel under one agreement with Silver Star, with the exception of uniforms and apparel worn by USC athletes and coaches on the field of play. Nike continues to hold those rights.

Silver Star will develop a private label brand for merchandise lines produced by multiple manufacturers, allowing USC to capitalize on market trends. Said Jones, "To do this the right way, we need to treat it as a brand and not just a piece of apparel, and have the university involved in the process so they have complete ownership and are not just contracting out somebody."

While the deal will pay the school a larger percentage of sales than did USC's previous licensing agreements, financial specifics were not made available.

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