Fresh on the heels of SEGA’s milestone 60th anniversary, the gaming giant continues capturing the spotlight as it joins a handful of elite licensors debuting on License Global’s coveted 2020 Top 150 Global Licensors report. Reporting $73.8 million in sales of licensed merchandise and services, SEGA of America debuted on this year’s list at No. 146.
License Global caught up with Alex Gomez, director of licensing, SEGA of America, who offered his thoughts and analysis behind the company’s explosive year.
License Global: How does it feel to be included on License Global’s Top 150 Global Licensors report for the first time?
Gomez: We at SEGA of America are thrilled to be featured on this esteemed list alongside the best of the best of our peers in this industry. Earning a spot among the Top 150 Licensors has been a goal of ours since the company made the strategic decision five years ago to invest in the talent and resources necessary to take “Sonic the Hedgehog” and other SEGA properties back to the forefront of gaming and entertainment. We plan to continue creating licensed programs for SEGA properties that bring joy into peoples’ lives.
What were some of the licensing wins that contributed to your 2019 licensed retail sales success?
In 2019, SEGA Consumer Products was driven by apparel, toys and collectibles, publishing and accessories. We had robust programs at key retailers such as Target, Walmart and Kohl’s in North America and ASDA, Primark and Sainsbury’s in Europe – all featuring the newest “Sonic the Hedgehog” products year-round. Our boys’ and mens’ apparel programs were robust. “Sonic” t-shirts, underwear and socks were top performers, as was the Sonic Union Suit, which sold out immediately. Our “Sonic” kids’ watches were top performers at many key retailers, and we launched an all-new collection of toys across plush, action figures and play sets with inline placement at Target.
“Monopoly Gamer: Sonic the Hedgehog” landed in stores on Oct. 1, 2019, with sell-through beating all expectations. The “Sonic” comic book program was a top program and launched the first-ever “Sonic” spin-off mini-series in 20 years, “Tangle & Whisper,” which very quickly became a fan favorite. We also released the Sonic x PUMA tease capsule in November 2019 at Foot Locker – a precursor to the RS-X collection that launched in spring 2020.
As a leading licensor, how do you plan to extend and elevate your licensing success even further this year?
We are expecting significant growth for SEGA consumer products programs in 2020-2022 across key regions such as North America, Latin America, Europe and Japan, driven by “Sonic the Hedgehog” and other SEGA properties. AAA content, partnerships and franchise anniversaries will fuel the buzz for the brand in 2021 and create additional ways for fans to engage. Our licensed merchandise program will be expanding into a variety of white space areas that have been requested by fans and complement the overarching narrative, such as grocery, fashion, QSR and other categories.
Our European business will broaden its toy footprint with expansion of the range into key retailers and we expect continued growth in Latin America, which has experienced double-digit growth over the last two years.
Are there any new deals or partnerships you can announce?
There are many new deals being signed, as well as existing relationships being expanded. We will soon be announcing some exciting programs to commemorate Sonic’s 30th anniversary celebration happening in 2021.
To read more about SEGA of America’s triumphant year, download the complete 2020 Top 150 Global Licensors report here. Learn more about SEGA’s 60th anniversary and the licensing programs celebrating the iconic “Sonic” brand here.