License! Global celebrates 15 years of continuous growth and success.
Tony Lisanti, Editor-in-Chief
From the first cover of License! Global, brand licensing has always been characterized not only by various highly publicized celebrities but by the innovative executives that create the consumer products and co-branding partnerships that have become a staple at retail worldwide.
Since Steven Ekstract and his father Richard Ekstract founded the magazine in 1998, there have been many headlines and highlights–fond memories for some executives and defining moments for others. From every month to now every day, License! Global delivers on its founders' promise: keep readers informed, deliver news and trends and be the voice of brand licensing.
There's no doubt that brand licensing has grown over the past 15 years in every aspect. It has matured from a fledgling business into a bona fide business strategy that is now global and encompasses a 360-degree brand marketing plan.
But there has been one constant factor that has made brand licensing what it is today–people. It has always been the people that make up this great community that keep it special; people who have a true passion, consummate commitment and genuine love of licensing; people who at times describe this business as incredibly demanding and difficult, yet wouldn't trade it for another career.
License! Global has profiled many of these special people over the years and its exclusive covers have become a who's who of licensing leaders as they have shared their business strategy, philosophy and vision.
A sample of top executives profiled in License! Global:
? Andy Mooney, former head of Disney Consumer Products, appeared on the cover in 2006 and 2010;
? Jerry Storch of Toys 'R' Us talked strategy and growth as the "Toy Authority" in December 2007 and as the "TRU Believer" in November 2009;
? Leigh Ann Brodsky, who appeared on the cover in July 2006, is featured in this issue as the new managing director of Peanuts Worldwide;
? Elie Dekel, former head of Fox Consumer Products, appeared on the cover in May 2008, and is now president of Saban Brands;
? Brian Goldner, president of Hasbro, unveiled his vision of transforming the toy company into an entertainment company in February 2009;
? Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products, appeared twice, once with Harry Potter in June 2009 and for Green Lantern in June 2010;
? Simon Philips, former president of Marvel Entertainment, now head of EMEA for DCP, was part of the "Hero Worship" cover in July 2009;
? Del Furano, the veteran of music licensing, was the "Music Merchant" in the August 2009 issue;
? Howard Roffman, veteran executive of Lucas Licensing and Star Wars, celebrated the property's 30th anniversary in May 2010;
? Kerry Phelan and the DreamWorks team were the "Dream Makers" in the July 2010 issue;
? David Ellender, head of FremantleMedia Enterprises, appeared in October 2010;
? Neil Cole was "Leader of the Brands" in November 2010;
? Liz Kalodner discussed the strategies of CBS Consumer Products in January 2011.
? Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS revealed the band's licensing philosophy in August 2011.
Last year, Kathy Ireland talked about her brand business in May, Bob Chapek discussed "Disney's New Character" in June, Henry Stupp of Cherokee discussed its "Global Clout" in August and Michael Connolly talked Turtles in September.
And of course, the consumer products team of NBCUniversal Television, headed by Kim Niemi, features in this issue discussing its primetime brands led by the series "Fashion Star."
License! Global will continue to provide news and trends of brand licensing and most importantly the interesting and innovative people that make it all happen.