Guest Letter: Impacts from UA Trademarks and Branding Policy
The University of Arizona Cycling team shares many of the concerns outlined in the recent guest letter by David Klebosky and the UA Concrete Canoe team regarding the UA’s change in trademarks and branding policy. The new policy forces ASUA clubs to order branded items through the UA Bookstores Direct to Campus program. For club sports, we are required to purchase branded items through Graphic Impact due to the specialized nature of some of our equipment. This policy severely impacts our ability to find equipment and clothing sponsors, as we can no longer place orders directly with vendors. Additionally, the policy adds cost to our gear beyond the 15 percent royalty fee assessed by the UA as Graphic Impact serves as a middleman with their markup. In many ways, the policy makes ordering items needlessly complex and costly.
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Beyond the cost, the policy makes it increasingly more difficult to use the university logos, especially if teams have sponsorship support. While we understand the reason to restrict university logos in the presence of sponsorship and have followed the policy, we do not agree with it. We especially do not agree with the word "Arizona" being restricted as well. Largely, these restrictions serve to distance the university from our team. To parents, alumni and the community, it seems as if we no longer represent the university, and we have been asked countless times if we represent the state of Arizona. The lack of university logos has a direct and measurable impact on our team’s abilities to market and sell merchandise to not only our members but family, friends and alumni.
The university should support and work with its club sports rather than throw up policy roadblocks. Our team is one of the top-ranked programs in the country, recruits students from out of state and is an excellent standard-bearer for the university. These are aspects to be celebrated and not distanced, and the policies should reflect a close relationship. Let us work directly with our vendors to keep costs down for members. Help us represent the school we all love with pride at local, regional and national competitions.
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