CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia University smells like "a heartwarming blend of cinnamon, baking spices, and a hint of freshly poured tea," at least at Yankee Candle Co.
WVU is one of 27 schools included in the company's new Fan Candle Collegiate Collection line, which hit store shelves Tuesday, just in time for the coming football season.
"Our fans are as enthusiastic about showing their school pride as their love for Yankee Candle," said Hope Margala Klein, a vice president at the company. "By offering the Fan Candle Collegiate Collection, we can now offer the best of both worlds for our biggest fans!"
Retailing at $27.99 apiece, the WVU candles are stamped with the university's "Flying WV" logo and scented with Yankee Candle's "Home Sweet Home" fragrance. Other schools feature additional fragrances.
The University of Alabama's candle is black cherry-scented; the University of Texas' candle features the spiced pumpkin fragrance and the University of Kentucky smells of "Clean Cotton."
WVU's inclusion in the candle collection came about through the school's renewed partnership with The Collegiate Licensing Co.
Last November, the university signed a 10-year extension with Collegiate Licensing allowing the company to continue managing the school's trademark licensing program.
WVU launched its trademark licensing program in the mid-1980s. Royalty revenues from the program fund marketing initiatives and support WVU athletic scholarships.
It began with four registered trademarks -- "West Virginia University," the WVU Seal, the Mountaineer Mascot and the "Flying WV" logo -- and has expanded to include "West Virginia" (when used in reference to WVU), "Mountaineers," "WVU," "Let's Go Mountaineers!" and "Gold Rush."
In 2008, WVU entered into a contract with Collegiate Licensing to expand the university's brand exposure through national distribution channels and expanded product selections.
WVU-branded products soon began appearing at Old Navy, Justice and in Victoria's Secret's PINK collection. The "Flying WV" showed up on pairs of TOMS Shoes, and Pillow Pets characters started wearing coonskin caps and Mountaineer jerseys.
More than 480 companies soon had license to use WVU trademarks on their products.
The expanded product catalogue translated into record revenues for the university. For the 2012 fiscal year, WVU trademark licensing brought in $3.5 million worth of royalty payments.