As we reported last November, the UO Duck (then potentially in some hot water) was operating under license by The Walt Disney Company for his one-time likeness to Donald Duck (and initially enacted by Walt Disney himself). As the UO Duck’s look has changed over the years, it’s fair to say that short of being pantless (which has been enough for Disney alone, just ask Marvel’s Howard the Duck), there is little resemblance to Mickey’s #2.
Today we have learned via a report from The Register-Guard that in an agreement reached last week, The Walt Disney Company has agreed that the UO Duck Mascot does not resemble Donald Duck enough to require him to be portrayed in a manner as such and has released him wholly to the University of Oregon.
The agreement covers only the Mascot however. Disney will still maintain an interest in UO Duck-branded merchandising. You can refer to the cited article for further details.
The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC), a division of IMG Worldwide, and Disney Consumer Products (DCP) are teaming up to bring Rose Bowl and BCS fans a unique line of souvenir T-shirts.
The collection will feature the logos of the participating teams – Oregon and Ohio State in the Rose Bowl and Alabama and Texas Universities in the BCS National Championship Game – featuring some of Disney’s most beloved characters including Mickey Mouse. Available beginning December 30, the T-shirts will be sold at www.DisneyStore.com, Disney Store locations in the markets of the participating universities, and at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.
“We’re excited to offer college football fans commemorative T-shirts to celebrate their team’s success through this limited edition Disney line,” said Scott Bouyack, CLC’s Vice President of Apparel Marketing.
“The combination of the iconic brands of the participating universities and our world renowned Disney characters makes for a one-of-a kind collectible for passionate college football fans,” said Stephen Teglas, vice president and general manager of Fashion & Home for Disney Consumer Products. “With four of the best teams in college football playing right here in Southern California, we thought this was a great way to showcase support for fans and welcome visitors.”
The Rose Bowl and BCS merchandise is the latest offering by CLC and Disney Consumer Products (DCP). DCP and CLC have collaborated to develop co-branded college infant and youth/toddler merchandise, which is available at Walmart stores, as well as other merchandise lines sold through Disney theme parks and Disney retail outlets.
Proceeds from the sales of Disney college merchandise will help support the participating universities, the BCS, and the Rose Bowl. CLC is the licensing partner for the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), the Tournament of Roses, The University of Alabama, and The University of Texas. The Ohio State University and the University of Oregon manage independent licensing programs but worked with CLC on product development.
Update: 1/5/10 – We are sorry to report that Disney Consumer Products has advised us that due to unforseen circumstances, DisneyStore.com will not be selling the t-shirts.
Sales for the BCS shirts at area Disney Stores began today and are available at the following regional stores: Texas - North Star Mall, Hulen Mall, Willowbrook Mall, Mall Del Norte, Rivercenter, The Galleria, Cielo Vista Mall, Lakeline Mall, La Plaza Mall, Ingram Park Mall, Stonebriar Centre and Woodlands Mall; Alabama – Town Center at Cobb, North Point Mall, Bel Air Mall and Mall of Georgia.
Selected players and coaches from the Ohio State University Buckeyes and the University of Oregon Ducks will participate in a ceremony taking place at Disneyland on December 26. The ceremony, which will take place in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, is scheduled to happen at around 2 pm PT.
Expecting to appear on behalf of Ohio State are Head Coach Jim Tressel, defensive back Kurt Coleman, linebacker Austin Spitler, defensive lineman Doug Worthington and center Jimmy Cordle.
Expecting to appear on behalf of the University of Oregon are Head Coach Chip Kelly, quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, offensive lineman Jordan Holmes, defensive end Will Tukuafu and cornerback Walter Thurmond III.
A trio of University of Oregon students: Brian McAndrew, Jamie Slade and Michael Bishon, also known as Supwitchugirl, have come into the limelight recently with a music video they produced and released on YouTube singing (and/or rapping) their praises of the school’s football team, the Oregon Ducks.
They’ve also produced a little bit of controversy and it may not be reasons that you’d immediately think of. The problem, some are finding, including the UO Athletic Department, is the prominent appearance in the video by the school’s mascot, the Duck (and often just the head of the Duck on someone’s body).
What this has to do with controversy (and — more importantly — Disney) is that the UO Duck, although not an identical twin by any stretch of the imagination, is a licensed version of Donald Duck. Donald was licensed to the University by Walt himself in a famous anecdote in which the deal was sealed with a simple handshake. Upon Walt’s death, when the question of the legitimacy of the claim came up, a photograph featuring Walt wearing a UO Letterman’s jacket featuring Donald was accepted as grounds for continuation of the deal, this time on paper.
What some are afraid of is that the unauthorized use of the mascot in the video may be subject to legal action by The Walt Disney Company as Disney would need to explicitly provide consent for anything beyond the already agreed upon use of Donald’s likeness. While the licensing contract details haven’t been revealed, some are concerned this may be the beginning of the end of the agreement altogether and have asked the students to remove the mascot from the video, a Herculean task which the students have respectfully declined.