The city of Oxford attracts around 7 million visitors a year many of which are keen to take home a memento of their time in Oxford as well as gifts for friends and family. Retailers in Oxford who service this market have the opportunity to sell licensed products that feature the University’s trademarks - the shield or the belted arms – however for historical reasons the vast majority of souvenir product sold in the UK tourist market features the shield.
The University’s coat of arms was officially adopted in 1429. The shield shaped device incorporates the University’s name as well as three crowns and an open book which features Latin text in its pages and seven seals to its left. In recent years the University has been able to formally trademark the shield in commercial classes to ensure that it is reproduced appropriately and that the quality of the products is benchmarked and monitored.
Today the domestic licensing programme has more than 20 licensees in Oxford and the UK, and generates valuable royalty income which is returned to the University to support teaching and research.
A broad selection of souvenir gifts and clothing is produced and sold by licensees both in Oxford and in other tourist centres around the UK as well as online. Clothing generates a large proportion of the royalties, however traditional and tasteful ‘novelty’ gift are also popular.
Every product that features the shield device has been through an approvals process to ensure the trademark is reproduced and applied in accordance with a set of creative guidelines. A suite of labelling and packaging templates is also supplied for use on every product so that tourists know they are buying a genuine University of Oxford product. Ensuring that a sweatshirt or mug has been ethically made is also important, and licensees are required to confirm details of the manufacture and provide additional ethical credentials if necessary.
If you are a company or retailer interested in joining the domestic licensing programme we’d like to meet you. To get in touch, complete the form on the contact page.