Illegally sold merchandise takes money away from students

Illegally sold merchandise takes money away from students

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Jake Essman / The Arbiter

What do all students have in common? Yes, students all go to school, but besides the obvious, what do students really have in common?

Students love to save money. So, naturally, students look for the best deals on clothes, food, gas, etc.

This leads into the funding of an issue that’s slowly rising in the Boise State community, specifically at Boise State home football games: the sale of illegal merchandise using the Boise State label and/or name.

Most of the time, this illegal merchandise is sold at a cheaper price then other licensed venders, making it more appealing to the students. However, this scam is hurting the student body, university and Boise community as a whole.

A portion of proceeds from the sale of all licensed Boise State University merchandize funds student scholarships and the athletics program.

“A greater portion of sales through the BroncoShop contribute to the scholarship fund,” said Rachel Bickerton in an email interview. Bickerton is the Director of Trademark Licensing and Enforcement for Boise State University.

These proceeds Bickerton is talking about is what helps students go to school by being able to offer them scholarship money. It helps give people the opportunity of higher learning. Also, as mentioned above, it helps further develop the Boise State athletics program. Take for instance, our  football stadium.

The seat capacity expansion that just happened last year, the current building of the new athletic facility and the “smurf turf” itself, gets a chunk of it’s funding through the purchasing of licensed Boise State University merchandise by students and many others.

Besides affecting scholarship money and the athletics program, it also hurts local small business and vendors. These small businesses, and often times family-run venders, go through all of the correct steps in getting officially licensed through the school. When doing this, just like any business, it costs money. So, when the illegal venders sell their fake merchandise for cheap, it takes away from the small businesses that go about business the correct way.

Money isn’t the only other concern from Bickerton and the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC); it’s also the quality. There are certain standards that go along with the CLC that licensed vendors must abide by. “Licensed vendors have been vetted for product quality and have sufficient product liability insurance…In addition, all licensed vendors are required to comply with fair labor codes, for example, that the product has not been made in a sweatshop and have been made in fair working conditions,” Bickerton said.

When purchasing Boise State University Merchandise, the CLC highly encourages students to check for the “Officially Licensed Collegiate Products” label. If there is no label, check for a hologram attached to the item being purchased. A purchase from an illegal unlicensed vendor or business goes beyond just the buyer; it affects Boise State University and the Boise community.

If anyone believes that they have seen products or services that appear to not be licensed by Boise State University, please fill out a form online at http://licensing.boisestate.edu/licensing-enforcement/.