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Editor's Note: Nine Letters Deliver Powerful Message

Editor's Note: Nine Letters Deliver Powerful Message

License! Global's editorial director offers insight into the CAA/Global Brands Group joint venture.

License! Global's editorial director offers insight into the CAA/Global Brands Group joint venture.

Tony Lisanti, global editorial director, License! Global

One of the least publicized headlines over the past few days here at Licensing Expo 2016 perhaps represents one of the most important and influential news stories impacting the global brand licensing sector.

As you walk past booth #G144 in the corporate brands section, you may have noticed the nin letters subtly identifying the company: TLC CAA GBG.

The letters represent a joint venture announced June 15 between Creative Arts Agency and Global Brands Group, which previously acquired The Licensing Company in 2014.

The mega deal creates the largest brand licensing agency and management company in the world with nearly $11 billion in retail sales of licensed merchandise, according to License! Global's 2015 Top Agents report.

But the real news is the inherent potential growth opportunitites for celebrity and brand licensing that this new joint venture will quickly leverage.

As CAA moves to establish an office at GBG's headquarters in New York, and GBG sets up an office at CAA headquarters in Los Angeles, Calif., the gears are in motion for this joint venture--known as CAA-GBG--to quickly expand its IP assets.

"This strategic partnership creates exciting new possibilites. Global Brands' established international brand management operation, understanding of a brand's DNA and in-depth knowledge of retail will be combined with CAA's remarkable collection of talent and brands, and media and marketing platforms in the U.S.," says Bruce Rockowitz, chief executive officer and vice chairman, Global Brands Group Holding Limited.  "This is a powerful combination, and makes CAA-GBG the undisputed leader in brand extension platforms for clients across the lifestyle, corporate, celebrity and entertainment space."

CAA-GBG, now with 24 offices in 20 countries, creates a powerhouse with expertise in all aspects of brand extension programs, including branding strategies, market targeting, product development, retail activations, licensee acquisitions and multi-territory franchising, combined with CAA's extensive licensing, media and entertainment platform.

CAA has developed and managed more than 100 licensing programs on behalf of its clients, from Bethenny Frankel's Skinnygirl and Eva Longoria Home for J.C. Penney, to Kate Hudson's Fabletics and Kelly Ripa Home for Macy's.

Perry Wolfman, head of CAA's licensing division, will serve as chief executive officer of CAA-GBG, and Jared Margolis, currently president of Global Brands' brand management group, will be president of the joint venture.

"We have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the leadership at Global Brands, having collaborated on behalf of our clients for many years," says Woflman. "With like-minded collaborative cultures and an innovative approach to global brand-building, the combination of these two companies, joing forces to provide best-in-class opportunities to our clients, is immensely exciting."

The magnitude of this joint venture will have a far-reaching impact and create huge opportunities over the next several years.

So as you stroll by the stand on the last day of Licensing Expo, you now know the story behind the nine letters with a powerful meaning.

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