Exemplar Associates is a specialized trademark licensing and management firm that represents select, premium colleges and universities. These institutions value our white-glove services and hand-crafted original programming, and they share our goal and vision of purposeful, prosperous licensing programs.
Via an elevated pivot up and away from traditional industry standards, we advance and reformulate our partners’ operations and objectives by way of strategic, thoughtful, and authentic methodologies and practices that are, in an overly complex and profit-driven marketplace, otherwise unattainable.
Together, and always guided by our partners’ institutional missions and ideals, we are leaving the industrial instability and complexity behind and are charting a course towards engaged leadership, global citizenry, and comprehensive excellence. The renowned teaching, research, technology, and sustainability functions on these campuses already strive for brilliance and innovation. We collaborate and transform our clients’ trademark management operations so that they too are exemplary.
Equipped with full-service agency capabilities ranging from royalty management and trademark enforcement to brand development and strategic planning, Exemplar Associates provides stability, transparency, and integrity to our institutional partners.
The Exemplar team understands that rich data and tailored focus are among the most valued commodities in the 21st century. Our ability to harvest and interpret data is unparalleled in our industry, accruing significant advantages to our partners. Data empowers all stakeholders to make informed licensing decisions. When paired with our resolute focus on limited, select clientele, prosperity and healthy growth are achieved.
Exemplar Associates has developed entirely new models and metrics to help colleges and universities align their licensed product efforts and outcomes with their overall institutional values and goals. We know and believe that business as usual - with its growing social, environmental, and economic imbalances - has no future. Consumers and universities now expect ethical behavior throughout supply chains, and purpose-driven companies and brands are better positioned with consumers than those who are not.
As pioneers, we place our partners on a new, sophisticated trajectory. In addition, and well above and beyond the basic constructs of traditional, legacy licensing efforts, we integrate citizenry – social, environmental, economic – into strategy to bring about innovative programs and exciting, positive results. Through open engagement and ambitious targets, we are encouraging and spear-heading a race to the top.
For more than 250 years, Columbia University has been a leader in higher education in the nation and around the world. At the core of Columbia's wide range of academic inquiry is the commitment to attract and engage the best minds in pursuit of greater human understanding, pioneering new discoveries and service to society. An intellectual community of some 40,000 students, faculty and staff, Columbia is a leading international university in the heart of the the world's most international city. www.columbia.edu
Columbia University licensee list (Nov. 13, 2017): click here
Columbia University internal/promotional licensees (Nov. 13, 2017): click here
The University of Pennsylvania is a historic Ivy League school with a record of innovation in interdisciplinary education and scholarship. Penn has a proud tradition of translating knowledge into social-minded action that dates back to its founder, Benjamin Franklin. Consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the U.S., Penn enrolls 10,000 undergraduate students and an additional 10,000 in its world-renowned graduate and professional schools. www.upenn.edu
University of Pennsylvania licensee list (Nov. 13, 2017): click here
University of Pennsylvania internal/promotional licensees (Nov. 13, 2017): click here
To inquire about licensing opportunities with our clients, please contact us.
Having launched, developed, and administered the trademark licensing programs of hundreds of colleges and universities in the past, Exemplar’s team possesses the expertise and values to curate at an optimal level. At our core we are passionate, service-oriented, loyal, and determined. The fabric of our enterprise is trusting, collegial, transparent, and visionary.
Rick Merriam | Founder
Following a 20+ year career in Olympic, professional and collegiate sports brand management, Rick established Exemplar Associates in October 2015. Prior to founding Exemplar, Rick worked for two different agencies, Learfield Licensing Partners and the Licensing Resource Group, and was a licensing administrator at two different institutions, Brown University and Colorado College. Rick married his college sweetheart, Brooke, in 1998, and the couple lives in Bristol, Rhode Island with their children, Sam and Cate, and their cats, Kensington Pickle Bear and Davy Jones.
Michael Van Wieren | General Counsel
A highly-respected attorney, Michael has been fully-absorbed in all aspects of consumer products and brand licensing for over a decade. Michael has been a guest speaker at the International Licensing Expo and at numerous International Collegiate Licensing Association events, and was previously Vice President and General Counsel for the Licensing Resource Group and later the Executive Vice President of Operations at Learfield Licensing Partners. Michael and his wife Heidi are proud parents of four children, Lauren, Lucas, Noah and Bram.
WestEnd Software | Workspace
WestEnd's highly-experienced service and creative teams and their Workspace licensing solution enable Exemplar's staff, partners and licensees to better manage all aspects of their licensing programs. Workspace offers a comprehensive, end-to-end suite of licensing tools, including contract management, royalty and financial administration, product approval, and digital asset management. The Workspace solution elevates this functionality to also support manufacturing compliance, on-demand business intelligence reporting, and integrated workflows for contract renewals and amendments.
MAY 4, 2017 - Penn joins Columbia University as the second Ivy League institution to inaugurate a relationship with Exemplar in the last nine months. READ MORE
AUGUST 15, 2016 - Exemplar's founder, Rick Merriam, sat down with the Executive Editor at SportsFan Retailer to discuss the licensing landscape, agency consolidation and more. READ MORE
JULY 7, 2016 - Cuservi, a leading global provider of intellectual property protection solutions, is selected by licensing agency to launch and manage security hologram program. READ MORE
JUNE 24, 2016 - Highly-respected attorney to provide legal, compliance and trademark expertise to specialized agency. Van Wieren possesses over a decade of agency-related experience. READ MORE
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