Texas A&M University will receive collegiate licensing’s top award for the “one brand” approach that propelled the university to among the nation’s hottest college brands during the past year.
The International Collegiate Licensing Association (ICLA) will present Texas A&M with its 2013 Synergy Award Program of the Year at its annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., in June.
“We received the most nominations in the history of the award, and Texas A&M was unanimously selected as the program of the year,” said Martin Ludwig, president-elect of ICLA. “I am very pleased Texas A&M was selected for the 2013 Synergy Award, our association’s highest honor. As the licensing industry continues to evolve and our association continues to grow, this award has become much more competitive.”
The Texas A&M brand hit the national stage in 2012 with entry into the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and with quarterback Johnny Manziel becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy.
“Aligning with the nation’s top athletic conference gave us the opportunity to tell the Texas A&M story in a unified manner to new audiences nationwide,” said Shane Hinckley, interim vice president for marketing and communications as well as assistant vice president of business development. “It’s an honor for Texas A&M to be recognized by the country’s premier collegiate licensing organization.”
Hinckley led the integration of the university’s business development efforts with the institution’s marketing and communications teams to provide a cohesive brand for the entire university, not just athletics.
Under Hinckley’s leadership, the university’s licensing revenues increased by 27 percent in 2012 (and by 144 percent since 2008), propelling Texas A&M to 15th nationally in ICLA rankings, based on more than $60 million in sales of Texas A&M-branded items. In addition, the university expanded its brand into new areas, including clothing and accessories for Xbox avatars and branded elements in the popular Facebook game Cityville and flowers from FTD.
“Shane and his team helped new audiences learn about and respect what Texas A&M stands for,” said Jason Cook, the university’s senior associate athletic director, who until recently served as Texas A&M’s vice president for marketing and communications.
Hinckley oversees new and existing business opportunities associated with Texas A&M, with responsibilities that include the on-campus bookstore, the state license plate program, its beverage relationships with Pepsi and sideline apparel with Adidas, and numerous other business and marketing opportunities across all divisions, colleges and units of Texas A&M. The university works with about 650 vendors.
Hinckley, who holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Utah State, came to Texas A&M in 2008 and has more than 20 years of retail and business experience.
Other business development staff are Rosa Rodriguez, who oversees all artwork submissions regarding use of various Texas A&M trademarks, and Kyle Pope, collegiate licensing and program manager for The Texas A&M University System, which includes 10 other universities, seven state agencies and a health science center.
“I cannot say enough good things about the work Kyle and Rosa have done,” Hinckley adds. “Rosa has reviewed more than 12,000 artwork images the past year that have been submitted to our office, and Kyle has been instrumental in enforcement efforts protecting our trademarks as well as managing projects to help promote the brand. This award would not be possible without their very hard work this past year.”
Media contact: Lane Stephenson, News & Information Services, at (979) 845-4662