Samford University has a contractual agreement with Learfield Licensing Partners to manage all Samford University trademarks and copyright brands. Responsibility for oversight of the licensing agreement rests in the Division of Marketing and Communication. Use of university trademarks on materials that will be sold or distributed widely to external audiences should be approved in advance.
Use of Samford University’s name or other Samford trademarks with an organization name implies association with the university. Therefore, only official campus departments and organizations are allowed to use Samford University trademarks in conjunction with their name.
Samford’s federally registered trademarks include the words or word phrases SAMFORDTM, SAMFORD UNIVERSITY® and others. To ensure brand consistency in the use of the university’s name and logos, all products, signage or packaging bearing reference to Samford University must be approved by the Division of Marketing and Communication and comply with Samford University’s licensing policies. Such products must be produced by manufacturers licensed through the university’s licensing agent, Learfield.
The university has more than 80 licensed vendors nationwide with numerous in-state and locally licensed companies.
Licensing policies cover all Samford-related merchandise with the exception of Samford-related brochures, stationery, signage and electronic communication. Any printed materials that will be made available for sale, such as calendars and cookbooks, must comply with Samford’s licensing policies, and the printer of these pieces must be licensed through the university’s licensing agent.
Any product that includes the university’s name or trademarks must be consistent with Samford University’s Code of Values.
Examples of inappropriate art include, but are not limited to, the following: references to weapons, alcohol, tobacco-related products, illicit drugs, discriminatory language or imagery, derogatory and/or sexually suggestive language or imagery, or items in bad/poor taste.
Use of intellectual property owned by a third party must be approved by that entity in writing and submitted to the Department of Marketing and Communication along with the desired artwork. For example, if a department wishes to use photos, artwork, slogans or trademarks created by a third party, a written release allowing for such use is required before the university will grant design approval.
To protect Samford University’s trademarks and promote a consistent visual brand identity, Samford logos, symbols and marks may vary in size, but cannot otherwise be altered, tampered with, modified, incorporated into other marks, or overprinted with other words or design elements.
Campus departments and student groups purchasing Samford products for an event must incorporate the organization or department name in the design or on the product.
Use of student and employee faces or other university images on products must be approved in advance by the Division of Marketing and Communication to ensure compliance with privacy and copyright guidelines.
Use of a current student-athlete’s name on commercial merchandise is a violation of NCAA rules and may result in the student-athlete being declared ineligible. Any use of a student-athlete’s name, nickname or picture must be approved by the Samford Athletics Compliance Office.
Whenever campus departments use a sponsor name/logo along with university trademarks on products and/or promotions, the department’s name must be included in the design to communicate the relationship is a partnership with a particular department and not an endorsement by Samford University. Based on the scope of the program, a rights fee and/or royalties may be assessed to the sponsor to associate its name with Samford University. University departments must secure approval of any joint advertisement from the Division of Marketing and Communication.
The Samford University seal is used only on official university documents related to graduation, or the office of the president or the board of trustees. It is not available for use without written permission from the Office of the President.
Art Review for Undergraduate Student Organizations
All artwork for non-greek student organization products must be submitted and approved through an approval form. Artwork for greek organizations will be submitted to the Office of Greek Life through the Event Request Form on OrgSync. An authorized employee from Student Leadership and Involvement and/or Greek Life will provide written notice that artwork has been reviewed and approved by staff and the student organization adviser. The artwork and approval will also be sent to the Division of Marketing and Communication.
Art Review for Graduate/Professional Student Organizations
All artwork for graduate/professional student organization products must be submitted and approved by the faculty adviser or designated school administrator before the project is submitted to a licensed vendor. The authorized employee will provide written notice that artwork has been reviewed and approved by staff to the Division of Marketing and Communication as part of the licensing approval process. Once that approval is in place, the organization may proceed with production, ordering and distribution using a licensed vendor from the approved list.
Graduate/professional student organizations are responsible for obtaining any necessary permissions from state or national organization offices for use of non-Samford, official brand marks.
Product Approval for Campus Departments, Student Groups and Other Entities
Provide desired artwork to a licensed manufacturer. If you have asked the licensee to assist with the design, please have the proposed design reviewed by an authorized employee from Student Leadership and Involvement and/or Greek Life BEFORE proceeding to the following steps.
If a department or student group cannot find a manufacturer offering the desired product, or if there are questions concerning the design, please contact the Division of Marketing and Communication for assistance.
Licensed vendors must submit all product designs to the university for approval before production following the procedures in place through the Division of Marketing and Communication and the university's licensing agency.
Royalty Exempt Purchases
Royalties are not charged on campus purchases of Samford products that meet the criteria listed below; however, the requirement to use officially licensed manufacturers is necessary to effectively manage the university’s valuable marks and brand.
- Any Samford merchandise purchased by campus departments with university funds to be used for internal consumption and not resold. The product must bear the department name and/or reference to the campus event for which it is being purchased.
- Items purchased by Samford University Student Government Association–recognized student organizations to be used for internal consumption and not resold. Only Samford University SGA–recognized organizations are allowed to use Samford’s name and other marks. The product must bear the organization’s name.
Royalty Bearing Purchases
- Any Samford product that will be used for fundraising purposes, resold on campus or to the general public.
- Samford merchandise that promotes a specific event for which a fee is charged (i.e. camps, athletics events, etc.)
- Products where the name, mark or logo of a third party is used with the university’s trademark.
- Any generic Samford product that does not include campus department, campus event or student organization name.
Booster Clubs, Alumni Groups, Retail, Individual and Commercial Use
Use of Samford University’s name and trademarks by organizations that are not official university departments or recognized student organizations will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Any individual, business, group, organization and/or entity that wishes to use university trademarks on a product, regardless of use, must purchase the product from a university licensed vendor. By supporting the university’s licensing initiatives, organizations will help to ensure that products bearing Samford marks are of quality, and meet all insurance and contractual requirements to protect Samford. The vendor is responsible for design approval and remitting royalties.
If a booster club or alumni group wishes to utilize one of Samford University’s trademarks in its logo, written permission must be obtained from Samford athletics. The verbiage “supporting Samford University” or “supporting XXX at Samford University” must be included on all letterhead, publications, etc. All materials using the university logo must be submitted for approval before production.
Booster clubs may use sponsor names on merchandise only with written approval from Samford athletics. The organization’s name must be included in the design to communicate that the relationship is a partnership with the organization and not the university. Based on the scope of the program, a rights fee and higher royalty rate may be assessed.
Businesses may use university trademarks in nonpermanent fixtures (i.e. window painting, removable lettering on marquees, etc.) supporting specific university events.
Businesses may not establish a permanent statue or icon, paint a mural on the front or inside of a place of business that includes the university trademarks or images without written permission from Samford University.
Individuals, businesses and/or organizations may not use the trademarks or any intellectual property of the university in any type of advertisement, on websites, in domain names, or on banners or materials without written permission from Samford University.
Individuals, businesses and/or organizations may not produce merchandise for resale or giveaway that utilizes the university’s trademarks and its name and/or logo without written permission from Samford University.
Individuals, businesses and/or organizations may not use university trademarks or intellectual property to promote their products or services in print advertising, radio or television without a promotional contract in place or written permission from Samford University.
Individuals, businesses and/or organizations may not use university trademarks or intellectual property on a website without written permission from Samford University. If approved, the university will provide a disclaimer that must be used on the site.
Individuals, businesses and/or organizations may not utilize the university’s trademarks or intellectual property in conjunction with a candidate for political office or policy/legislative issue.
The university does not allow its trademarks to be used in conjunction with not-for-profit organizations unless the association is tied to a specific campus department or event, or has been approved through the Division of Marketing and Communication.
Samford University reserves the right to charge rights fees and/or royalties for the use of university trademarks in all instances unless otherwise negotiated in advance by the university.
Individuals, businesses and/or organizations may not shoot film or photography on Samford University’s campus for promotional purposes or for-profit use without a permit from the Division of Marketing and Communication.