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GSU licensing “GramFam” phrase

Public to be offered opportunity to discuss GSU’s official license of term

By Joshua Burley
On June 14, 2019

Jovan Hackley, Associate Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Marketing for Grambling State University, recently announced that the term “GramFam” is officially being licensed by GSU. 

Hackley made the announcement to a room full of staff members in early June.  

Once licensed, Grambling hold the intellectual property rights and will sell items with the “GramFam” phrase on them.

Hackley said the university will not have full rights to the name until July 18 and that GSU is going to make a public announcement on June 18 in hopes of providing the public with the opportunity to debate the decision to license the term.  

If GSU is granted full rights to the term, “GramFam”, the university will have the right to charge anyone who uses the name on apparel such as t-shirts, mugs, phone cases and other apparel that with “GramFam” printed on it. 

“One of the things that President Gallot made as his top priority when he took the job back in 2016 was getting better protection around our brand,” Hackley said. “There were lots of terms that are historically attached to Grambling State University that did not necessarily have intellectual property protection.” 

Terms such as “G-Men” and “Lady Tiger” are a few out of many that Hackley mentioned that currently do not have intellectual property protection. Hackley said getting “GramFam” licensed is a milestone accomplishment for him and his team.  

“We’ve gone through a multi-year effort to start to protect those pieces of the brand that we know belong to us,” Hackley said. 

Hackley said he was excited to reveal the news knowing that the term will be used for the upcoming 120th anniversary of Grambling State University. 

Hackley said he is looking forward to the years to come. 

“It’s a pretty exciting time,” Hackley said. “I don’t expect anything but growth and positive engagement forward. I’m actually looking forward to more alumni engagement and more giving. We are up from two percent to 16 percent in a two year period, and I know that we can make some pretty historic numbers, not just in the number of people that are giving but the amount that is given.” 

The university receive helped during this process from their partner, IMG College Licensing.  

According to their website, IMG has been helping over 200 colleges across the country in promoting university brands in sports organizations and events such as the National Collegiate Athletic Association,  the Cotton Bowl, the Bayou Classic, the Southwestern Athletic Conference Championships for in addition to other historically black colleges and universities. 

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