Paul Vander Tuig, director of licensing and trademarks at Kansas University since 1993, is a one-man administrator of the lucrative KU logos.
Vander Tuig says he works alone, but he coordinates all licensing agreements through Collegiate Licensing, based in Atlanta.
"They are my staff," Vander Tuig said. "They pursue clients all over the country and work with large retailers who make buying decisions on a national basis."
Vander Tuig says logos are used for various items such as apparel and collectibles.
"We have 475 to 500 companies licensed to use our logo and name," he said. "We must OK the final product."
Vander Tuig says with the final say on the use of the logos, he can exert quality control from an image standpoint.
Last year KU picked a new blue for its logo, and the university is in the final decision-making process for a new logo.
"The new logo will be the primary academic mark on KU publications," Vander Tuig said.
With the standardization of the new blue color, Vander Tuig says publications and collectible items will be more consistent.
"All licensees must make the switch to the new color," he said. "I will have more control, and it will make my job easier."
Owning the rights to the logos is lucrative for KU.
"Last year, proceeds from the sale of licensing returned $965,000 to students in the form of academic scholarships and student programs," Vander Tuig said.
Vander Tuig spends his days working with student organizations, administration and coordinating with the licensing company.
"We get requests from TV shows and movies to use our logo as set dressings," he said. "I sometimes have to coordinate with the wardrobe department."
Vander Tuig thanks KU fans for purchasing licensed products.
"They are important to us," he said. "It supports academic scholarships."
- Francine Riley is a freelance writer.