Mizzou Licensing receives ICLA Innovation Award

University of Missouri's unique partnership program, "Student Made," garners accolade

Sonja Derboven and an ICLA representative.

Feb. 20, 2024

The University of Missouri’s Office of Licensing and Brand Management was recently recognized by the International Collegiate Licensing Association for its Student Made program. The university's collaboration merged the Mizzou Textile and Apparel Management (TAM) program, Champion, Mizzou Licensing, and The Mizzou Store to enhance the university’s Mizzou College Vault apparel offerings and provide a unique educational experience for Mizzou students.

Mizzou TAM students embarked on an immersive, hands-on journey that deepened their understanding of the collegiate apparel design process. They delved into consumer insights, design trends and go-to-market strategies — actively participating in the creation of branded merchandise tailored to the Mizzou fan base.

“The Student Made collaboration not only resulted in a fresh array of Mizzou fan merchandise, but it also met some of the stated desires of supporters,” said Sonja Derboven, MU licensing director. “It offered students a transformative educational journey into the collegiate apparel design process, and demonstrated the intricacies of integrating brand legacies, staying current with trends and navigating the real-world design landscape.”

Throughout the six-week program, students had the invaluable opportunity to collaborate with Champion's design staff, refining their ideas and receiving real-time feedback. This Mizzou Made hands-on experience mirrored the realities of the industry, providing a true-to-life education.

“Our collaborative effort exemplifies how the collegiate licensing industry can support and provide unique educational experiences for students while further meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse fan base,” Derboven said.

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