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With a storied catalog ripe for consumer products, Robert Marick of MGM shares how he implements extensive licensing programs spanning years.
October 29, 2021
Robert Marick has executed licensing deals in broad entertainment-based categories around the world. His specialty is taking complex entertainment properties and translating them into compelling consumer goods and experiences. Before Licensing Expo Virtual, the executive vice president of MGM tells License Global how he is bringing his licensing know-how to the boardroom as well as the classroom.
License Global: What are some key partnerships that highlight MGM’s strength in the consumer product/brand extension space?
Robert Marick: Classic brands are new again and we’ve been fortunate to work with amazing licensees. These licensing partnerships represent just a glimpse of the diverse licensing programs MGM attracts. I am most proud of our partnership with Off-White, an Italian luxury fashion label rooted in modern streetwear and founded by American designer Virgil Abloh and the iconic film “Blue Velvet.” The label has collaborated with Nike, Levi’s, Jimmy Choo, IKEA and Évian. Abloh has become one of the most sought-out designers of our times. Our collaboration with Off-White for “Blue Velvet” has catapulted our library efforts to future programs and out-of-the-box thinking in the licensing community. Another favorite of mine is our partnership with Funko. Funko has risen to the top of what’s “in” for toy collectibles in the pop culture zeitgeist. We are thrilled to partner with them. They have done some amazing Funko Pop!s from ever-green franchises such as “The Addams Family” in 2019 to our beloved “Killer Klowns from Outer Space.” Finally, for almost 60 years, “Pink Panther” has inspired generations of fans for his playful charm, but equally his suave and sophisticated style that has captivated fans around the world. The licensee program has attracted scores of diverse global brands, from Zara to H&M, Happy Socks, Benetton, Pantone and global Japanese/Chinese houseware retailer Miniso, which launched the “Pink Panther” program across its 1,800 branded stores and in 2019 Miniso won Best Licensee of the Year for “Pink Panther” in China.
What are some ways MGM reaches its customers at market?
The media landscape has evolved significantly over the past few years and with that advancement, so has our licensed product relationship with the end-consumer. My job at MGM is to deepen the audience connection across multiple consumer touch points. I define this as the “View it – Buy it – Live it” strategy. To illustrate this, our content creators and distribution teams introduce our new and evergreen properties on existing and new platforms so consumers can view it. I extend the audience through unique and compelling products and services such as consumer products, publishing and interactive games – I call this “Buy it.” If the consumer is further invested in the brands, they will want to “Live it” through experiential programs such as location- and live-based entertainment. Hopefully this cycle will then repeat itself with fans of our brands interested to view more of our films and shows.
License Global is the leading news source for the brand licensing industry, delivering award-winning editorial content including news, trends, analysis, and special reports about the global consumer product and retail marketplace.
Through its print edition, website, daily e-newsletter and event publications, License Global reaches more than 150,000 executives and professionals in all major markets. The magazine also serves as the official publication for the sector’s trade events, which include Licensing Expo, Brand Licensing Europe, Licensing Expo Japan, Licensing Expo Shanghai and the Licensing Leadership Summit.
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