NC State
Trademark Licensing

Thank you for your interest in producing officially licensed NC State University merchandise.

Any commercial use of NC State’s name or trademarks requires advanced permission from the university via a contract or trademark license agreement. Once approved, the business or person requesting permission becomes a “licensee” and the individual products (or services) become “licensed products” (or “licensed services”).

Collegiate Licensed Product

Before applying for a trademark license, you should have a plan and do your homework. Being granted a trademark license does not require the University to market your products on your behalf, nor require campus retail locations to carry the product.  Some  product categories of the retail market for collegiate merchandise have become over-saturated, resulting in pressure to maintain quality and standards and creating confusion among purchasers. Therefore, licenses may not be granted to new companies in certain categories. The best strategies to be successful in obtaining a license are the same as for most other businesses: be unique, fit a niche, carve out different distribution channels or provide added value.

NC State University uses the services of a collegiate licensing agency, the Learfield Licensing Partners, LLC, to administer the application process, royalty reporting, artwork approvals, enforcement and general administration to handle its 450-plus licensees. The group’s website,, has information about collegiate licensing that can be beneficial to an applicant.

learfield licensing partners

Application Process

  • Visit and determine the license type that best suits your business. Submit with application fee and a representative generic sample of the product(s). Note: Do not include the university’s trademark on the sample. If approved, the process will move into the licensing phase. Please allow 4-6 weeks to process the application if everything is in order.
  • Licensing phase: A licensing agreement will be sent to your attention. Complete it and submit with an advance royalty payment and a certificate of adequate insurance. Licenses expire June 30 each year. However, new licensees can begin at any time of the year.
  • Artwork and administration phase: The completed licensing agreement will be returned to the new licensee along with artwork, Collegiate Licensed Product labeling information and royalty reporting forms.
  • Product approvals: Submit a finished sample for approval before selling your product. Licensees should continually submit new designs and artwork through the web-based approval systems prior to marketing or producing the product.