The United States Postal Service is a part of the American fabric. Upon its major milestone in 2025, the USPS will celebrate through a robust licensing program in major categories.

Patricia DeLuca, Senior Managing Editor

March 19, 2024

4 Min Read
USPS’ The Great American Mail Race board game by Big Potato.
USPS’ The Great American Mail Race board game by Big Potato.USPS

One may be surprised that the United States Postal Service (USPS) is older than the U.S. itself. In 1775, Benjamin Franklin became the first Postmaster General, but it wasn’t until 1855 that registered mail was established and the Pony Express was introduced five years later.

Throughout its years, the USPS has established much that has become part of our mailing routing –postage stamps, Express Mail, ZIP codes – that one might take it for granted. But USPS influences more places than just the mailroom. 

Apparel and accessories first seen on USPS employees, such as peacoats, windbreakers and mailbags, have influenced contemporary fashion. USPS intends to make a more significant impact with its licensing campaign. So far, there have been collaborations with Forever 21, a board game and a book based on its IP, MR. ZIP. MR. ZIP will be a big presence leading up to the 250th anniversary. License Global spoke to Amity Kirby, manager, licensing and creative, USPS, to find out what this special licensor has in store for its historic milestone and how it will be recognized through brand licensing. 

Mr_Zip_Book.png

License Global: USPS will celebrate its 250th anniversary in 2025. When are you starting the anniversary rollouts? 

Amity Kirby: Rollouts in licensing will be ongoing, potentially starting in the fall. USPS is officially celebrating July 26, 2025 through July 4, 2026, to capture the U.S. turning 250. 

What are the criteria for a company to work with USPS licensing? 

We are looking for companies that can expand the brand into new categories, reach new audiences and enhance the brand. We are looking for enthusiastic, passionate and creative companies with a fresh vision to create positive brand messaging, grow brand awareness and expand the customer base. 

USPS is innovating in more ways than just physical products. What motivated USPS to look to new tech, like NFTS? 

Stamp collectors, or philatelists, have always been looking to include younger generations in their hobby. With younger people not collecting in traditional ways, we felt that this was an opportunity for a new generation to learn and engage with stamps. This was a way for us to give existing collectors a new way to collect, connect with the younger generations and provide a form of collecting to a new audience. 

USPS_NFT.png

What was the reception for The Great American Mail Race by game players? 

The game was launched at GenCon 2022 and was well received by the attendees. Most people were pleasantly surprised that we had a game and the die-hard game fans enjoyed playing. It was a fun way to reach a new audience and show that we can have fun with the USPS brand. 

We have plans to release more licensed products into the market. We are trying to create new touchpoints with Mr. ZIP and friends for younger audiences. 

Mr_Zip_and_Friends.png

Mr. ZIP introduced his friends B. Franklin and Farley. Are there any products in the works for them?

We have all three available in plush, and they are all featured in the current book, “Mr. ZIP’s Windy Day,” with the goal to create more products around all three. More children’s books are coming throughout the rest of the year. The book was so well-received that we are releasing a follow-up later this year, along with four other titles covering other age groups. 

USPS has a rich history in apparel, some of which have become fashion staples in many closets. What other apparel pieces have stemmed from USPS? 

Throughout our almost 250-year history, our uniforms have provided creative inspiration for clothing, like peacoats and accessories, or the leather messenger mailbag. We have even turned our priority envelope into a clutch. 

BAPE_USPS_Sneakers.png

Forever 21 put us on the map and showed potential licensees how our brand can be interpreted for younger, fashionable audiences while appealing to a broader audience. Since the launch, we have collaborated with ASSC, BAPE and Vans. All collabs successfully promoted the USPS brand in exciting ways. We are always looking to work with other fashion brands, and we have plans over the next few years, especially with the 250th anniversary. The USPS brand is a surprising way to create something different, give our employees another reason to be proud to serve the public and the USPS licensing team is pretty awesome to work with.

About the Author(s)

Patricia DeLuca

Senior Managing Editor, License Global

Patricia DeLuca currently serves as License Global's Senior Managing Editor.

Subscribe and receive the latest news from the industry Article
Join 62,000+ members. Yes, it's completely free.

You May Also Like