10 Minutes With … Joester Loria Group on Partnerships and Collaborations

Ahead of Licensing Expo, License Global spoke with Debra Joester, president and chief executive officer, Joester Loria Group, about the agency’s recent anniversary and plans for Licensing Expo.

Jane Neal, Content Editor

May 6, 2024

4 Min Read
Joester Loria Group.
Joester Loria Group.

License Global: Joester Loria Group just celebrated its 25th anniversary. Are there any highlights from that milestone you’d like to share? 

Debra Joester: Looking back at the past 25 years, we are particularly proud of bringing a fresh, innovative approach to building licensing success and dynamic collaborations. Our agency’s hallmark has been our close partnerships with clients, licensees and retailers alongside an unwavering commitment to delivering exceptional product. A few highlights include developing Jeep as an award-winning lifestyle brand with 650 dedicated stores across three continents along with top-selling strollers, bikes, luggage and apparel collections; our relaunch of Care Bears in 2002 that drove $3 billion in sales; the award-winning global licensing program created for The World of Eric Carle and our work extending PepsiCo’s iconic brands over the past 15 years. Recent highlights include the global retail programs and collaborations for McDonald’s, extending Modelo and Corona into lifestyle categories and high-profile collaborations, establishing Miffy as a Gen Z favorite in North America, curating fashion and beauty collections for Cheetos, delivering successful programs across WK Kellogg’s and Kellanova portfolio of brands and extending Papyrus into beautiful home and gift product.   


What are some of the key collaborations that have defined JLG’s approach to licensing?  

We curate collaborations very deliberately, working with our clients to identify the storytelling that will ensure authenticity, always aiming to surprise and delight brand loyalists.  Some of the most successful collaborations include Modelo x Diamond Supply which evolved into a multi-drop program driven by consumer and retail demand;  McDonald’s x Nails, Inc, McDonald’s first beauty collaboration; Toyota Racing Development x Huf, celebrated Toyota’s heritage in Baja racing and became one of Huf’s top-selling collaborations; World of Eric Carle x Bombas, which beautifully recreated Carle’s artwork, and Miffy x LeSportsac, a multi-drop global success targeting Gen Z.   


What new trends are you seeing in the licensing industry?  

The industry continues to evolve, driven by emerging trends, fatigue and a shift away from some long-term franchises and the unexpected. The consumable sector is robust with iconic food brands expanding their reach through brand extensions and their flavor innovations – we just saw a great example of this with the Starburst x Sparking Ice program we helped bring to life with our client, Sparking Rain. Retailers, mindful of the economy, are driving change, with specialty retailers increasingly leaning into DTRs and national chains, focusing their buys on top-selling properties. Social media, particularly TikTok, has emerged as an important and influential platform that can have immediate impact on consumer demand for licensed product.  


What advice would you give to someone just starting in licensing? 

Building licensing success requires a multidimensional approach. My advice is to stay curious, keep up with business and cultural trends and think strategically. Always respect the consumer, ensuring licensed product and experiences deliver on their expectations and are authentic to the brand. Finally, take advantage of industry resources, study your competition and challenge yourself to think out of the box. 

Are there new IPs and brands that you’ll be showcasing at Licensing Expo this year?  

JLG is showcasing “Dog Man,” Dav Pilkey’s publishing franchise coming to the big screen from DreamWorks/Universal January 31, 2025, introducing new consumable brand-extension clients, Chiquita and Talking Rain. We continue to showcase new initiatives from Toyota, Modelo, PepsiCo, Cheetos and Doritos, WK Kellogg, Kellanova and the World of Eric Carle. 


What can we expect from JLG for the remainder of 2024 and into 2025?  

In 2025, Corona is celebrating its 100th anniversary, Miffy is celebrating her 70th anniversary, Papyrus is turning 75 and the “Dog Man” feature film launches in Q1. We have a very busy calendar of collaborations and product drops ahead of us. For the balance of this year, we’re looking forward to new consumables program releases with Chiquita and Sparkling Ice, the launch of new collections of beautiful home and gift products from Papyrus, fashion, home and more from Miffy at leading specialty retailers, the debut of “Dog Man” apparel, home and toys at leading retailers and much more from all our long-term clients.   

Joester Loria Group will be attending Licensing Expo 2024 in Las Vegas, NV and will be at booth #D154.

Register for Licensing Expo 2024.

About the Author(s)

Jane Neal

Content Editor, License Global

Jane Neal is a Content Editor for License Global. Working remotely in the great state of Wisconsin, Jane specializes in retail and pop-culture trends.

She has worked extensively in the communication field as a managing editor, advertising copywriter, technical writer and journalist. She detoured for several years into academia where she taught journalism, English and humanities at the college level.

A complete Marvel nerd, she enjoys food, films, fishing, friends and family … and alliteration.

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