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Trademarks & Licensing

Trademarks and Licensing manages trademarks; supports vendor relations along with the Office of Business and Finance; provides apparel and merchandise evaluations and approvals; and supports increased product placement and innovation.


The purpose of the South Dakota State University Trademark Licensing Program is to protect and promote the name, symbols and other trademarks that are associated with the university on apparel and other merchandise for internal and external consumption.

The SDSU Trademark Licensing Program is charged with:

  • Protecting and controlling use of the university name and marks;
  • Developing cooperative relationships with licensees;
  • Distribution and approval of artwork;
  • Promotion of products and designs that are consistent with the university’s image, reputation and goals;
  • Supporting the university’s strategic brand development.

The SDSU Licensing Program

To ensure the correct use of marks, images and the university name, official approval is required for any/all use of university trademarks.

Any product bearing the logos, trademarks, wordmarks or having an implied association with South Dakota State University must be licensed with the South Dakota State University Trademark Licensing Program, which approves all products and designs and ensures proper labeling as appropriate. In addition, the program seeks to ensure that all products and designs submitted for licensing are safe for consumers and project the proper image of the university.

All merchandise representing South Dakota State University must be produced by a licensed vendor unless a waiver is granted as specified above. The licensee is familiar with university licensing policies; they will attach a hangtag identifying the merchandise as an officially licensed product; the quality of the merchandise purchased will be controlled; and licensees are required to disclose their factory locations, which helps to ensure items are manufactured following fair labor practices.

Under the SDSU institutional licensing program, no one, internal or external, is exempt from paying royalty fees. Any retail items bought by a department for internal consumption, any item sold through camps or conferences, and/or events held by university departments and affiliated organizations shall include the current royalty fee if the university name or other mark associated with the university is used. Royalty payments are charged by the licensed vendor and are added to the cost of producing the goods.

The SDSU licensing program is independent and is not affiliated with the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) or the Licensing Resource Group (LRG).


Approval is required for any/all use of trademarks. The licensee (manufacturer/vendor) must submit all designs/artwork, prior to production, by email to SDSU Logo Licensing. The licensing coordinator will approve or deny artwork and notify the licensee electronically.

If you have questions about the proper usage of the university name or registered marks, contact University Marketing and Communications, SCM 105, Box 2230, Brookings, SD, 57007. Phone: 605-688-6161.

Becoming Licensed

If a manufacturer is not a licensee, the company may apply through the Office of Finance and Business, 605-688-6594. The applicant will be sent all materials needed to become licensed with the university. If there is a specialty item that is not covered by any current licensee, a waiver will need to be granted to allow for a one-time use of a university mark.

Use of the SDSU Identity by Outside Vendors 

Use of the South Dakota State University name (including names of colleges, schools or other units), logo and insignia, or other artwork associated with South Dakota State University by an independent organization or person is prohibited unless specifically authorized by the university licensing program.

Questions can be directed to:

Mike Lockrem
South Dakota State University
University Marketing & Communications
SCM 105, Box 2230
Brookings, SD 57007

Phone: 605-688-6161