Do you work in a marketing role within higher ed? If so, Trademarks and Licensing (T&L) matters. While the functions have historically lived within Athletic departments, many top institutions are recognizing the value and importance of an effective T&L strategy for their overarching brand. In this episode learn how these functions can:

  • Help universities deliver on their mission
  • Lift the academic brand, including its sub-components (e.g., schools and departments)
  • Become a powerful communication vehicle with far-reaching and bottom-line impact


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Marketing Live is sponsored by Funnelback

Episode Host

Kin Sejpal

Kin Sejpal

Kinnari “Kin” Sejpal serves as the Associate Vice President for Marketing Strategy and Creative Services at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). In this inaugural role, she leads a team of branding, marketing, customer relationship, creative, and marketing intelligence professionals. She also provides oversight to college- and division-level marketing and communications functions and guides brand and marketing initiatives for RIT’s four global campuses. In her (almost) two years at RIT, Kin has led a successful rebranding initiative, kicked off a first-of-its-kind reputational campaign, and helped launch a holistic and integrated web presence for the University. Kin comes from a higher education background; she previously worked at Purdue University, where she held a variety of roles within the marketing strategy area. While at Purdue, Kin earned a Master’s in Communication and a Master's in Business Administration degrees.


Erika Austin

Erika Austin joined Purdue Marketing and Media in Summer 2016 as Manager of Trademarks & Licensing. Austin manages and protects the Purdue brand while leveraging licensed vendors to enhance university development and visibility nationwide.

Austin’s intercollegiate athletics career started as an Assistant Sports Information Director at the University of South Carolina and Georgia Tech, respectively, for a combined six years. Austin served as assistant director of corporate alliances at the NCAA, a position she assumed from April 2003 to January 2010. In this role, Austin oversaw the daily management of the NCAA licensing programs, the NCAA championship equipment supplier program, and the NCAA championship event-merchandising program.

She received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Indiana University – Purdue University at Indianapolis and a Masters of Sports Administration degree at Ohio University.


Steve Busch

Steve Busch became the University of Michigan’s first brand manager in 2012. In U-M’s historically decentralized 60,000 person campus community he successfully implemented more than 3,500 cohesive brand extending ‘signatures’ adopted by academic, administrative, and auxiliary departments of U-M’s three campuses. Additionally, Steve developed and coordinated unique revenue opportunities for the university in the form of partnership and sponsorship deals which resulted in a multi-million dollar revenue stream for the university.

Prior to higher education Steve was a successful creative director working with significant international brands, including Audi, Ford, Microsoft, Reebok, Sony, and many others from the agency and corporate sides of the table. Steve left the University of Michigan at the end of 2018 to serve as a consultant in Higher Ed, Non-profits, and For-profit entities.


Kin Sejpal

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