In this exclusive interview, Alex Gomez, senior director, SEGA of America, talks about the licensing industry, his career journey and what's next for SEGA.

McKenna Morgan, Content Editor

December 13, 2023

5 Min Read
Alex Gomez.
Alex Gomez.SEGA

SEGA has been making waves in the licensing industry for decades. Part of that impact is thanks to Alex Gomez, senior director, licensing, SEGA of America. Over the years, Gomez has participated in the success of multiple licensed consumer product programs. Some of the latest collaborations Gomez worked on include Sonic x Crocs in May and Sonic x Igloo for a set of coolers in June. From properties like “Sonic the Hedgehog” to “Persona” and more, Gomez has expertise in the licensing industry that any professional can learn from.

Gomez sat down with License Global to discuss his career in the licensing industry, what’s upcoming for SEGA, what advice he has for those in the industry and more

License Global: What was your career journey, and how did it lead you to the licensed consumer product industry? 

Alex Gomez: My path into licensing is a twisty road. I started in sales, went into retail marketing at Activision and then moved into brand management, where I spent several years. At one point, the brand I was working on had plans to expand into consumer products, so I thought it was a great opportunity to learn a new skill while still working on a brand I enjoyed. From there, I went to Taco Bell to start up the licensing division and build a consumer products program around Taco Bell’s dynamic brand. I was there for a few years building the business when I got the opportunity of a lifetime to join SEGA and oversee the Americas and European licensing business for great franchises like Sonic the Hedgehog, Persona and many more. The rest is history. 

How does your current role fit into the licensing industry?

 I have the pleasure of serving as the senior director of licensing at SEGA of America, publisher of AAA video game franchises like “Sonic the Hedgehog,” “Persona” and many more, as well as home to record-breaking TV and film franchises like “Sonic Prime” and the “Sonic the Hedgehog” movies. I oversee the consumer products programs in the U.S., Canada, Latin America and Europe, so every day, I get to work with some of the most knowledgeable people worldwide to bring some of the most innovative and exciting products to life for our fans. 

What is the proudest moment of your career? 

I’ve had many great moments working in this industry, but I think one of the pinnacles must be having the opportunity to be part of the revitalization of SEGA’s strong portfolio of IP, including "Sonic the Hedgehog." Before 2015, the Sonic brand wasn’t nearly as strong as it is today, and very few kids knew who Sonic was. Today, after years of investment from SEGA and hard work by extremely talented people, Sonic is one of the top IPs worldwide with many forms of highly merchandisable content, including video games, movies, TV, animation, digital, mobile and more. I also work with an incredibly talented team of licensing professionals who are experts in what they do and are responsible for our success in licensed merchandise in recent years. Being a part of this incredible story with this company and this team is one of my proudest moments. 

What advice would you give those just starting in the licensing industry? 

I would say that anyone starting in licensing who intends to stay in the industry should focus on four things. Become an expert at what you do. Regardless of your licensing function, become the best in the business at it and always strive to provide value. Learn about other business areas so that you are knowledgeable and have a well-rounded understanding of the industry. Develop deep relationships. The industry is small, and you will guarantee to cross paths with people several times throughout your career. Lastly, have fun! Licensing is an incredible industry we work in, full of many positives, and even when the going gets tough and the chips are down, it’s usually not that bad. 

If you could go back in time and meet your younger self, what advice would you give him about your career? 

Buckle up because this will be a fun ride! You will meet many talented people who can give you valuable information and experiences that will make you a better licensing professional. I would say to learn as much as possible and always to try to provide value – being seen as someone reliable who people can count on will take you a long way. And take risks. Getting outside of your comfort zone is the best way to grow. Finally, I would also say building and nurturing relationships in the industry is extremely important. The industry is not large, so that you will encounter many people multiple times. That’s a fact.

 What is the best part about being in the licensing industry? 

There are so many great things about working in this industry, but the absolute best moments are seeing the joy of fans interacting with the products you helped create. Seeing kids’ faces light up when they see a Sonic the Hedgehog toy, plush, backpack, PJs or other merchandise is one of the most rewarding feelings and sums up why we do what we do every day.

Final question: What are you currently working on?

There are a lot of exciting programs coming from SEGA in the next few years. From new games, movies, TV and digital content to exciting and innovative new consumer product programs – there is some really fun and highly merchandisable content around the corner for fans, and I can’t wait to see it come to life.

About the Author(s)

McKenna Morgan

Content Editor, License Global

McKenna Morgan is Content Editor for License Global. Based in the Santa Monica office, McKenna specializes in coverage involving non-profits, beauty and cosmetics, health and wellness, new and social media and entertainment licensing.

When McKenna isn’t covering the latest licensing news, she spends her time attending live music shows and finding her next travel destination.

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