Ammons ends FAMU boosting

Florida A&M University is cracking down on vendors selling bootleg orange and green merchandise.

President James Ammons announced that “Knock-off” FAMU merchandise is now illegal.

Ammons, speaking at the press conference at Bragg stadium Tuesday, said it was important to ban counterfeit products and the vendors who sell them, in order to stop the loss of thousands of dollars in licensed merchandise sales from the University.

“All counterfeit merchandise is subject to seizure,” Ammons said. “The university benefits monetarily from the sales of licensed merchandise, receiving 7.5 percent of the purchase price.”

Ammons decision was welcomed and supported by Mayor of Tallahassee John Marks, FAMU Chief of Police Calvin Ross, , and Coordinator of Licensing at FAMU Sabrina Thompson, who were all present at the conference. Thompson said FAMU lost well over $100,000 through unlicensed merchandise.

University officials are working on expanding their distribution of licensed merchandise.

“FAMU currently ranks number two among HBCU’s for the sale of licensed merchandise by the CLC,” Thompson said, referring to the Collegiate Licensing Company.

Ammons felt this issue was especially important to announce this week, since FAMU’s football season kicks off Saturday.

“As Florida A&M University and Alabama State prepare to face-off in Saturday’s home opening, FAMU, in conjunction with the city of Tallahassee and its allegiant licensing company, (is) making preparations to rid the marketplace of counterfeit and unlicensed merchandise,” Ammons said.

Working with FAMU PD and The Collegiate Licensing Company, Ammons said he hopes to wipe out all vendors around the FAMU area and as many as possible around Tallahassee.

“I am pleased that the city sees the value in what we’re trying to accomplish here. CLC will have several of its officials here this weekend to monitor the sale of FAMU merchandise,” Ammons said. “For so many years people have benefited from the FAMU brand by selling counterfeit merchandise. We want to make sure that the university benefits from the sale of our merchandise.”

Ross explained the consequences of selling the counterfeit merchandise.

“Individuals that are in possession of (counterfeit product) and are selling these items are also subject to arrest.”

Florida statute makes it a third degree felony if the illegal merchandise that is being offered for sell is valued over $1,000. A first degree misdemeanor takes places if the value is under $1,000 Ross said.

To show that they mean business, Ross said FAMU PD will be giving notice to homeowners who rent or lease their space to vendors.

Thompson explained the difference between a licensed product and a counterfeit.

• All officially licensed merchandise should display the “Officially Licensed Collegiate Product” hologram somewhere on the product or hangtag.

• The merchandise should depict the FAMU logos and marks in a tasteful manner.

• The tag on the garment should be intact. A torn or missing tag is evidence of a second-hand garment, one that probably would not meet the stringent quality standards in place at the university.

• All merchandise should bear the name of the manufacturer somewhere on the product, either in the form of a hangtag, a neck label, or screen-printed directly on the garment.

• All merchandise should have the appropriate trademark designations (i.e. TM) next to a specific name or design.

To obtain a license to produce merchandise bearing the university’s name or logo contact CLC at 770-956-0520 or by email at