UA miffed over use of logo

By Keith Allen

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Filmmaker Spike Lee and his production company may have used a UA basketball jersey in the film "Clockers," but they didn't ask the university for permission.

Scott Ford, a representative for the UA with the Collegiate Licensing Company, said that the UA did not know about the usage of the jersey until after the movie had been released.

Michael Drucker, an associate counselor with the Collegiate Licensing Company, said that he has contacted the film's production company, but has not received a response back.

The UA is not seeking legal action at this time, Drucker said. They are looking for an agreement that the production company will not use the university's symbols again without contacting the university first, he said.

"We want to resolve this in an amicable manner," Drucker said. He is hoping for a timely resolution to the situation without legal action and said he does not foresee this matter being a "major problem."

"We are trying to make them aware what should have been done," Drucker said. "We've caught a problem here and it can help down the line. It is educating them to our rights."

Attempts to contact Spike Lee and representatives with Universal Pictures have been unsuccessful.

Drucker said that he hopes that by educating production companies, it will show that the university is able to work well with them.

"The rights of a university are still being evolved," Drucker said.

The Nike-Damon Stoudamire jersey is worn by actor Mekhi Phifer, who plays clocker Ronald "Strike" Dunham. A clocker is slang for the lowest level of drug dealer, according to the "Clocker" MovieWeb page on the Internet.

Even though the jersey does give publicity to the university, Ford said the university would not have approved using the jersey in the movie because it was worn by a drug dealer character.

"That (the character's drug dealing) played a role in the decision to try and speak with them," Drucker said. "It is unconsented use of the university's name, portrayed in a negative light."

For the movie "Speed," which featured the Arizona Wildcat logo and reference to the word "Wildcat," the university was contacted by the production company before its usage, Ford said.

Ford said an agreement between the production company and the UA was approved before hand, stating that the university had the right to disapprove any verbiage that referred to the university in a bad light.

The UA let the movie company use their logo free of charge, Ford said.

"We are always looking for interesting ways to develop the logos," Ford said. "The university has done a great job of getting their logo out."

Mike Low, assistant director of student business affairs, said the UA grosses about $500,000 a year in licensing fees. After expenses for personnel and their licensing agency, he said the university collects about $330,000 a year.

The Collegiate Licensing Company, based in Atlanta represents the UA nationally, said Sue Silvano of UA Licensing and Trademarks. The company also represents 145 colleges, universities, bowls and conferences nationwide.

The collegiate licensing business collects about $2.8 billion in sales annually, Ford said.

About 400 national and local companies have rights to use the UA symbol, Low said. He said of those companies, 300 are apparel-related.

"A company sends a product and licensing plans to us to approve the design," Low said. He said they have about five to 20 inquiries for new licenses per week.

In Phoenix, the UA outsells Arizona State University 3-to-1, Ford said. He said the UA is ranked 20 of the 145 clients that Collegiate Licensing Company represents in sales for the last quarter of 1995, which ended Oct. 1.

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