Use of the University of Iowa’s word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols creates an association with the University that needs to be protected. With that in mind, the University allows usage only by Sport Clubs officially recognized by the University’s Recreational Services and only after an Internal Application and Agreement has been submitted and approved by the University of Iowa Trademark Licensing Office
All Sport Clubs have a select person or persons who are authorized to represent Sport Clubs. The Engage Student Site has a listing of the authorized officers for coordination with University departments. If Sport Clubs do not have an advisor, then the officer listed on the Engage Student Site must preapprove the desired products and design concept prior to any submission of the licensing application and artwork to the Trademark Licensing Office. It should be noted that final approval of all products and artwork bearing word marks, trademarks, logos and/or symbols associated with the University of Iowa are at the discretion of the Trademark Licensing Office consistent with the Iowa Visual Brand Standards Manual and the Trademark Licensing Office’s policies.
Word marks, trademarks, logos and/or symbols associated with the University of Iowa are the intellectual properties of the University and are registered both at the state and federal levels. To protect the intellectual properties and traditions of the University, the Trademark Licensing Office reviews all applications, and requires that all products bearing word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols associated with the University of Iowa to be manufactured by an officially licensed vendor of the University.
Please allow two weeks for processing of your request and note that the beginning of each academic semester is a peak time for application submissions. Additional processing time may be required in those periods.
Requirements and Restrictions
It is imperative that an officially licensed vendor is used for the production and manufacture of any products bearing word marks, trademarks, logos and/or symbols associated with the University of Iowa. Officially licensed vendors are required by the Trademark Licensing Program to be members of the Fair Labor Association (FLA), which ensures that their products are made by the most trusted manufacturers. Furthermore, unlicensed vendors who produce and manufacture products bearing word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols of the University may be liable to significant legal penalties under the Lanham Act of Federal Trademark Law. Please call the Trademark Licensing Office at 319-384-2000 for help on selecting an officially licensed vendor to suit your product needs.
In all cases, when recognized Sport Clubs would like to use word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols associated with the University of Iowa, the proposed artwork design must feature the official name of the Sport Club. To maintain the design integrity of the University brand, it is mandatory that all marks be applied as indicated in the Iowa Visual Brand Standards, nor are amalgamations with other trademarks permitted.
- Uniforms for Competition
- All uniforms that do not include the official club name must feature the “IOWA Sport Clubs Badge” as it is the primary identifier of Sport Clubs at the University of Iowa. Furthermore, the “IOWA Sport Clubs Badge” serves to differentiate Iowa Sport Clubs from an intercollegiate athletic team affiliated with the University of Iowa Department of Athletics.
- Contact the Sport Programs Office of Recreational Services for the “IOWA Sport Clubs Badge”.
- The official Sport Club name does not need to be on competition uniform when the “IOWA Sport Clubs Badge” is applied to the uniform.
- The Tigerhawk logo is the primary University Athletics Department brand. The Tigerhawk logo shall be made available for Sport Clubs competition uniforms use, but only after prior approval from the Sport Programs Office of Recreational Services and the Trademark Licensing Program.
- All Other Iowa Sport Clubs Items (For Example: Promotional, Apparel, Marketing, etc.)
- Sport Clubs are required to follow branding guidelines provided by the Office of Strategic Communications when designing promotional apparel and merchandise items. The ™ symbol is required to appear with the block IOWA logo on all promotional merchandise and apparel. Visit brand.uiowa.edu for additional information.
- All promotional items must feature the official name of the Sport Club.
- Example: XYZ Sport Club and the block IOWA logo
- The “IOWA Sport Clubs Badge” shall not to be used on any non-competition items.
- The Tigerhawk is the primary brand of the University of Iowa Athletic Department and shall not be used in association with non-competition items for Iowa Sport Clubs.
- Other trademarks and logos are available for Sport Club’s use only after prior approval from Recreational Services and the Trademark Licensing Office.
Prohibited Products and Artwork
The University of Iowa explicitly prohibits products from making reference to drugs or paraphernalia; alcohol, consumption or abuse; tobacco products and usage; sexual conduct, imagery or inferences; profanity or inappropriate insensitive language; gambling; firearms and weapons; political and religious endorsements; and any other subject found to be inappropriate, unacceptable, or inconsistent with the standard licensing practice of the University of Iowa.
Use of a current student-athlete’s name or likeness on products is a violation of NCAA rules and can result in the student-athlete being declared ineligible. Any use of a student-athlete’s name, nickname, likeness must be approved by both the University of Iowa Trademark Licensing Office and the University of Iowa Athletics Department Compliance Office.
Co-Branding and Trade Dress
Combinations of University marks with other intellectual properties and/or trade dress not associated with the University of Iowa are prohibited. This means that any colors, fonts, images, and/or partial indicia which call to mind the brand of another organization or company may not be used in conjunction with the University’s word marks, trademarks, logos and/or symbols. This includes references to other schools. Unauthorized use of third- party intellectual properties is a violation of federal and state law and such artwork will not be approved for use.
- Example A: XYZ Sport Club using the National Football League (NFL) logo but changing the letters to read “XYZ” instead.
- Example B: ABC Sport Club using the Coca-Cola font on a shirt that reads “ABC Sport Club at the University of Iowa.”
When Sport Clubs engage in third party businesses, organizations, and/or individuals as sponsors of their Sport Club, the following guidelines shall apply in all instances if word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols associated with the University of Iowa are intended to be used:
- Sponsorship recognition shall appear as plain text only.
- The University reserves the right to refuse sponsors. Prior to engaging sponsors, it is advised to check with your sport club administrator(s) first.
- Sponsorship recognition shall not include taglines and/or slogans associated with the sponsor name.
- Sponsorship recognition shall not appear adjacent to word marks, trademarks, logos and/or symbols associated with the University of Iowa.
- Sponsorship recognition shall include accompanying sponsorship indicia, which identifies the relationship between the student organization and the sponsor(s) and include the official Sport Club’s name.
- Examples: Proud sponsor of XYZ Sport Club at the University of Iowa
- Businesses, organizations, and/or individuals shall not apply a designation to Sport Clubs sponsorship, which implies a relationship and/or endorsement by the University of Iowa.
- Sponsorship recognition on promotional items shall be limited for the purpose of Sport Clubs sponsorship recognition only and shall not be used as sponsor’s sales incentives or marketing efforts.
- Permitted: Sponsor pays for promotional item in exchange for sponsorship recognition per aforementioned guidelines.
- Not Permitted: Regardless of who pays for the promotional item, sponsor shall not benefit directly from the sales and/or distribution of the promotional item.
Artwork Approval Process
- Step 1: Sport Clubs shall select an officially licensed vendor to assist them in producing artwork.
- Step 2: Artwork shall be submitted to their assigned Assistant Director of Sport Programs for approval.
- Step 3: Once approved by the Sport Program staff, the Assistant Director of Sport Programs will assist Sport Clubs in completing the Internal Application and Agreement and sending the form and artwork to the Trademark Licensing Office for preapproval.
- Note: not all requests will be approved by the Sport Programs staff and/or the Trademark Licensing Office.
- Step 4: The officially licensed vendor will submit Sport Club’s artwork to the Trademark Licensing Office.
- Step 5: Production shall only begin once the officially licensed vendor has received approval and the Internal Application and Agreement is signed and returned to the Sport Club.
Royalties are charges assessed by the University to the officially licensed vendor for the approved uses of the University’s word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols. The standard royalty rate is currently 15%. Royalty rates are subject to change at the discretion of the University. Non-competition items intended for purpose of resale, fundraising, philanthropy, and promotional use shall carry the official Sport Club name in accordance with this policy.
Please reference the definitions below for more information on determining your type of use.
- Internal Use: Sport Club’s Internal use items bearing word marks, trademarks, logos and/or symbols associated with the University of Iowa for its members. Internal use items shall be for the use of membership only and shall not be distributed to non-club members.
- Note: No additional Sport Club’s Internal Use items shall be ordered for the purpose of resale. Payment for Sport Club’s Internal Use items shall be for the original invoiced cost of items produced only.
- Examples: Member t-shirts, officer/exec board apparel, competition uniforms
- Philanthropy: All profits from the Sport Club’s products sold bearing word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols associated with the University of Iowa go directly to a charity, non-profit organization, or philanthropic cause. Sport Club does not receive any monetary profit from the sale of these products and/or use any of the money for internal use.
- Examples: All proceeds from the sale are donated to animal shelters, Boys & Girls Club of America, Ronald McDonald House, etc.
- Fundraising/Resale: The profits from the sale of Sport Club’s products bearing word marks, trademarks, logos, and/or symbols associated with the University of Iowa fund the Sport Club’s activities.
- Note: While sport clubs may be doing activities that are volunteerism in nature (alternative spring break, mission trips, etc.), they are not categorized as a philanthropic royalty exemption.
- Example: Setting up a team store with swag apparel featuring the official Sport Club name for family, friends, and/or the public to purchase.
- Promotional: Sport Clubs that purchase products bearing word marks, trademarks, logos and/or symbols associated with the University of Iowa with organization funds to be used to promote the Sport Club.
- Examples: Promotional item giveaway to all students who visit the sport club booth at the student organization fair, giveaway of t-shirts to the first 100 fans at a sport club event, etc.