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Auburn's Licensing Revenues Will Skyrocket With Championship

For the fifth time in as many years an SEC team won the BCS national championshiplast night. What does that mean? It means that Auburn, based in the most fan rabid conference in the country, can expect to see a huge increase in licensing royalties. While schools have typically seen at least a 25 percent royalty bump after winning the national championship, I'm guessing Auburn's take is going rise by more than 50 percent.

Tostitos BCS National Championship Game, Cam Newton
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Tostitos BCS National Championship Game, Cam Newton

Why? Because there's a lot of room to grow. Auburn was the 14th most popular school in sales from July through September, according to rankings compiled by CLC, which manages the trademarks to most of the big time schools. A host of other SEC schools ranked ahead of them, including Alabama (2), Florida (3), Georgia (5), LSU (8) and Tennessee (10).

The school usually gets a 10 percent cut off the wholesale price of an item with its logos on it, but gets a 12 percent cut from national championship items. Unlike some of the other schools that have won in the past, anyone who considers themselves a fan pretty much has to get something with national championship on it, considering the last time Auburn won was in 1957.

By my count, Auburn is selling more than 175 different national championship items this morning on its official online store, ranging from shirts to teddy bears to Cam Newton commemorative jerseys with a national championship logo on it. Newton does not get a piece of the action because the NCAA continues to argue irrationally that it could be any number 2. Newton's name is not on the back.

Through November, Auburn's licensing royalties were up 27 percent, according to Joe Hutchinson, CLC vice president, who oversees the company's SEC schools.

Auburn made $3.4 million in royalties, licensing and sponsorship combined last season. Compare that to Texas, which became the first school to pass $10 million in royalties last year ($10.15 million). Ohio State, not a CLC school, pulled in a little bit less than $8 million.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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