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Derek Lochbaum
Derek Lochbaum, director of trademarks and licensing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Carolina People is a new feature in each issue of the Gazette that asks UNC-Chapel Hill employees questions about the work they do for the University. Derek Lochbaum is the director of trademarks and licensing for the University which not only licenses all products with Carolina logos, but donates all net proceeds to student scholarships. Derek was featured in the January 2018 issue of the Gazette.

What’s a typical day like in your job?

Like other institutions and businesses in the United States, Carolina has policies to control the use of its protected verbiage and logos. These marks symbolize its purpose, values and traditions. Two examples are the wordmark “Tar Heels” and the Old Well logo. Our role is to oversee the use of the University’s names and marks with both internal and external partners. So, on a typical day, we review artwork, new licensing applications and product submissions. Last fiscal year, our office reviewed close to 13,000 artwork submissions and 500 applications for licensure. We also provide guidance to our current licensing partners, retailers and internal stakeholders such as student groups and University departments. We are also researching opportunities to extend our reach or generate revenue while enhancing the University brand.

How does your job support Carolina’s mission?

All net revenue from the trademarks and licensing program is distributed to the Office of Scholarships and Student Aid for scholarships—75 percent need-based and 25 percent merit-based. In the last fiscal year, we contributed more than $3.5 million. This revenue helps the University honor the Carolina Covenant and enhance the educational experience of our students.

What do you like most about your work?

I enjoy knowing that every day will be different. The direct connection to our students and the University’s mission brings great energy and purpose to what we do. And ultimately, we generate revenue for scholarships so that the current generation of students can pursue their dreams.

How did you get interested in trademarks and licensing?

Like many of my colleagues in the industry, I sort of stumbled into licensing. My prior background was in athletics, sports marketing, event management, academic advising and tourism. Through early professional contacts, I was also armed with just enough licensing knowledge when an opportunity arose. I’m confident I have found where I was meant to be all along.

What’s the most unusual request for using the Carolina logo?

About 75 percent of what we license is apparel—T-shirts, hats, sweatshirts. But 25 percent is non-apparel, and the marketplace contains many unique products. We have licensed PopTarts with logo icing, billiard balls, Carolina blue and white flowers, Crock-Pots and guitar cases, just to name a few.

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