magazine was launched in February 1998, it captured the importance, seriousness, and opportunity of the licensing business with a style that reflected the fun and personality of its executives.
It was Madonna vs. Michael Jordan on the first cover, which asked: "Who Will Rule in 2002? Could Madonna's new CD presage a global licensing campaign to rival the scope of Jordan's booming empire?"
Ten years later, Madonna, Michael Jordan, and
have all experienced continued growth and success.
The question posed in the premiere issue has been answered time and again as the two celebrities have expanded their brand and licensing empires worldwide. In fact, one of the hottest lines of apparel in 2007 was the M Collection, Madonna's exclusive line with H&M. And Nike this month is set to launch a new brand campaign and tagline, "Become Legendary," which the company states "was developed to pay homage to the legacy of a brand created by Michael Jordan and to celebrate 23 successful
Since 1998, the licensing business has grown from $132 billion to $186 billion in 2007, with sales projected to hit $210 billion by 2010. Furthermore, licensing has transformed from a side business of sorts into a sophisticated global business of brand extensions and marketing.
"In the very competitive arena of magazine start-ups, where nine out of 10 new publications ultimately fail, the success of
magazine was considered by most professionals to be extraordinary in that
was successful from the first issue," recalls founder Richard Ekstract. "Research indicated that the licensing business, which had long been considered an extension of the toy business, was finally gaining recognition as a business with much broader dimensions. This new awareness was sparked by savvy brand marketers in fashion, food, home furnishings, movies, television, and more. There was general agreement that the business was ready for a better (and more sophisticated) source of professional information."
Looking back is always fun and nostalgic, but looking ahead to the challenges and opportunities is critical to success.
remains committed to the editorial excellence and principles that the magazine was founded on. In 2008 and beyond, the publication will continue to expand its coverage worldwide through print and new media reinforcing its position as the dominant licensing business publication and source for retail licensing news and trends.
And as the first issue with Madonna and Michael Jordan proclaimed,
will provide the perspective regarding who will rule in 2010 and beyond.
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