Sports Licensing with Matt Hiler

Last week the cohort received a visit from Matt Hiler (SMBA ’10), current Director of Licensing and Business Development at Skinit, which sells phone cases featuring licensed content.  After a brief introduction of himself and his background, Matt jumped right into a discussion on licensing in general and then specifically how it applies to sports.   Having Matt in the classroom was not only informative from a licensing standpoint, but it also introduced another potential career path that most of us had not previously considered.

It was great to hear Matt speak about opportunities in sports licensing and also go into more detail about the negotiations. We learned about just how much work is done behind the scenes to use the coveted trademarks of leagues, teams and players.  One interesting aspect he touched on was that the use of a players’ image, such as Derek Jeter, requires a contract with both Major League Baseball, and a separate licensing agreement with the MLB players association.

Matt, like all of the guest speakers this year, discussed is the importance of networking.  He emphasized how important it was to volunteer at events, make phone calls and get out and meet people.  In fact, he gave us a couple examples of times when he has worked with other SMBA alums as part of his current role with Skinit.

Overall, Matt’s time in the classroom was very informative and led to a thoughtful Q&A session and discussion.  The cohort is extremely thankful to Matt and other professionals in the sports industry who dedicate their limited time to come speak with the class.