Alumni Chapters

Merchandise and/or Promotional Items

In order to safeguard Michigan State University's intellectual property and satisfy the university's graphic standards, alumni chapters planning to display university trademarks for merchandising programs or promotions requires review and authorization from the University Licensing Programs office.  All merchandising activity must be sourced from a company licensed with MSU. For a complete list of university licensees, please see below or visit the Find A Licensee page.

Examples of merchandising activity include:
  • Sales of products for fundraising programs
  • Sales of products at chapter events 
  • Sales of products to group members or staff
  • Sales of products through either campus or private retailers
  • Sales of products to any third party
  • Promotional product giveaways

Getting permission to use MSU trademarks is a simple process. Use the Licensing Authorization online form linked below to request approval. If you require assistance, contact University Licensing Programs at 517-355-3434 or e-mail

licensing authorization form

  1. Complete and submit the online Licensing Authorization Form to University Licensing Programs for review and approval. 
  2. Present a fully executed licensing authorization form to your supplier with your order.
  3. Suppliers will then submit your artwork to University Licensing Programs for review and approval.
  4. Follow up with either your supplier or the University Licensing Programs office for the status of your order.
Questions? Please call or e-mail University Licensing Programs at 517-355-3434 or
  • University trademarks may not be altered and all merchandise must include the chapter's name/logo prominently on the product. 
  • All chapters should adhere to the university brand standards as instructed by MSU Communications and Brand Strategy (CABS) and the Alumni Association. 
Royalties generated from the commercial use of MSU's marks support student scholarships and programming for MSU students as well as athletic scholarships for student-athletes, less the actual administrative expenses of running the trademark licensing program.

The administrative expenses include maintaining the legal requirements of trademark registration, addressing product infringement, supporting the Fair Labor Association and Workers Rights Consortium and maintaining the Trademarks and Licensing Office.

Alumni chapter orders using MSU marks are royalty bearing. Royalties are paid by the vendor and will be reflected in the price to the alumni chapter placing the order.
Alumni chapters that may work with a third-party sponsor and/or partner that wishes to produce co-branded merchandise or promotional items must receive permission to use the university's brand prior to the sponsorship activity. The Licensing Authorization Form will be required to ensure that an officially licensed vendor is used and the standard royalty rate is applied.

Since the current mascot was introduced in 1989, the MSU Alumni Office has had the honor of overseeing the Sparty Mascot Program. It's because of this tradition, the MSU Alumni Office is dedicated to maintaining the MSU mascot brand and ensuring it is used correctly in all areas across campus and elsewhere.

This book details all appropriate usage of the current Sparty illustrations, mascot armor, signature, event visits and more. With this book as a guideline, Sparty's brand will be just as strong as his muscles.

Sparty Brand Guide (PDF)