Strategic Marketing Affiliates (SMA) with Sam Houston State University announced a new partnership to manage the domestic U. S. trademark licensing program for Bearkat athletics Monday.

With the success of the Bearkats in the arena and a strong marketing push behind the scenes, Sam Houston has seen rapid growth during the past two years including the expansion of retail outlets and merchandise sales.

"The new partnership with SMA is another big step forward for the program as Sam Houston seeks to enlarge its footprint both regionally and nationally as an NCAA Division I athletic program," SHSU director of athletics Bobby Williams said.

SMA will begin managing the program for the University beginning on September 1, 2012. 

"SMA is a proven industry leader in collegiate licensing and we are delighted to partner with them in handling all of our licensing needs.  SMA's experience, recognized history and reputation make for a perfect fit for Sam Houston State University," says David Paitson, Associate Athletic Director for External Operations and point person for the university licensing program.

SMA currently manages the licensing programs for 32 institutions in Texas. Sam Houston State becomes the third Southland Conference institution represented by SMA, joining Lamar University and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. SMA also represents the Southland Conference.  

"SMA is honored Sam Houston State University has granted us the privilege to be one of their university partners", said SMA senior vice president Tony Johnson.  "In addition, SMA also welcomes the Bearkats to our family of Institutions. We are looking forward to working with and sharing in the institution's vision, mission, and goals with the expectation of accomplishing their short and long term licensing/brandings objectives."

Strategic Marketing Affiliates is an Indianapolis-based, full service licensing organization which represents over 260 colleges and universities located throughout North America.   The 18-year-old agency is the fastest growing collegiate licensing agency in the U.S., with offices in Indiana, Colorado, New York and Ohio.

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