Wednesday, June 13

4:30pm - 6:00pm

Perhaps as much as any sector in the licensing business, sports depends on the licensors’ and licensee’s ability to harness and leverage the emotion engendered by loyalty and affinity to a team, a sport or a lifestyle. We’ll take a look at some trends in the business, as well as examples of how it’s being done well in a fast-moving marketplace.


The Ohio State University

Rick Van Brimmer is the director of Ohio State’s international trademark licensing program that has averaged nearly $9 million in net royalties the last five years. Van Brimmer received both his undergraduate degree in Communications (1981) and his Master’s degree in Sport Management (1983) from Ohio State, and has worked fulltime for the university since 1985. He has served as Director of Trademark & Licensing Services since 1999, and first joined the program in 1990.

Known for his marketing and product/idea development, he is responsible for the strategic brand management of Ohio State’s commercial and entrepreneurial endeavors. His innovations and accomplishments include licensing the first collegiate-themed restaurant (The Buckeye Hall of Fame Café); a $30M national football championship licensing event; and exemplary customer service feedback from the hundreds of licensees in the Ohio State portfolio.

Ohio State’s international trademark licensing program has been the top revenue-producing collegiate program over the last 10 years, amassing nearly $90M in royalty revenues over that time, providing a myriad of support for student scholarship and programming to the Ohio State campus.

At the Columbus campus, Rick serves on a variety of committees and support activities, and is a regular lecturer in the classroom for various academic programs. He was named a recipient of the Distinguished Staff Award in 1997, the highest non-teaching honor bestowed by the university.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the International Licensing Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) and is a two-time past president of the Association of Collegiate Licensing Administrators (ACLA). He was given International Collegiate Licensing Administrators’ (ICLA) Distinguished Service Award in 2005, and entered the ICLA Hall of Fame in 2011.

Van Brimmer has been active in the collegiate corporate social responsibility movement, having helped structure the charter for the Fair Labor Association (FLA) and serving on the FLA Board as a collegiate representative for 10 years.

Van Brimmer is regular presenter at various licensing seminars and workshops around the country, and has authored several articles and book chapters related to the licensing industry.

He and his wife, Sandy, reside in Columbus.


Managing Director
Fluid Sports

Fluid Sport’s founder, and Managing Director, Tom Howgate is a psychology graduate with a passion for sport and in particular, sports business. He was world football’s first dedicated club licensing professional, establishing leading the Licensing business of one of the world’s biggest football clubs, Manchester United. In his subsequent role with Nike, he headed up the licensing operations of other world-renowned clubs, including Manchester United, FC Barcelona, Paris St. Germain and Juventus.

He has experience of all aspects of sports merchandising and licensing and has extensive contacts throughout the world of sport and sport brands, as well as a breadth of experience of working with literally hundreds of licensees, agencies, suppliers and retailers within the UK and around the world.

Motivated to fill the knowledge and information gap he had identified in the sports licensing and merchandising marketplace where he has been working for the past 18 years, in 2008, Tom left Nike, to set up Fluid Sports, in order to provide his expertise to those organizations, brands, licensors, licensees and retailers who need a ready‐made solution to the challenges facing them in what is often a complex and political industry. Since that time he has been providing Licensing Consultancy services to a number of major football clubs including Arsenal FC, Manchester City FC, Everton FC, Glasgow Rangers FC, Sunderland AFC, Nottingham Forest and AC Milan, as well as brokering deals with all the world's leading clubs on behalf of a wide array of licensee clients.


SVP Licensing and Business Affairs
National Basketball Association

As Senior Vice President, Licensing & Business Affairs, Vicky Picca oversees the NBA's consumer products licensing business. She is involved in the negotiation and ongoing oversight of domestic and global business agreements, including those in the apparel, sporting goods, electronic games and trading cards categories.

Picca assumed her current responsibilities in 2007. In 2006, she was promoted to Vice President, Legal & Business Affairs from Assistant General Counsel. Picca joined the NBA as Associate Counsel in 2000. Prior to joining the NBA, Picca was associated with the law firms Proskauer Rose and Blumenthal & Lynne.