$280M (NASDAQ: VLKAY) (VOW3.DE)
MARKUS MäHR, GENERAL LICENSING MANAGER, VOLKSWAGEN ACCESSORIES; SIMON GRESSWELL, VICE PRESIDENT, EUROPE AND INTERNATIONAL, IMG WORLDWIDE LICENSING; GIUSEPPE FARANNA, DIRECTOR LICENSING, IMG WORLDWIDE LICENSING
Top licensed properties in 2014 include Classic Beetle, The Beetle, Camper Van/T1 Bus, Golf, Golf GTI, as well as Touareg, Jetta, Amarok and Polo R WRC. Key retail partners and licensing programs in 2014 include Pull&Bear, Thomas Sabo, Target, Kaufhof/Karstadt, Next and Urban Outfitters. Volkswagen has generated an outstanding growth rate over the last three years and the company is exploring further lifestyle areas like apparel, accessories, luggage, watches, eyewear, furniture, camping and outdoor, consumer electronics and location-based themes. The company is interested in all territories, but foremost in Asia, the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia/New Zealand and LatAm.
94. NISSAN MOTOR COMPANY
$265M (TYO: JP7201)
GLEN KONKLE, CEO, EQUITY MANAGEMENT INC., +1.858.558.2500
The Nissan licensing program remained strong in 2014 founded on its rich history of producing innovative, inspiring and exciting vehicles. Under EMI’s management, the Nissan program experienced growth in key categories such as software, for which several new licenses were developed, and the continued popularity of the partswork replica program. The growth in software was supported by the release of new game titles, such as Ubisoft’s The Crew, and the latest edition of Natural Motion’s popular racing game, CSR Classic. The partswork replica program continued to thrive in 2014 fueled by the introduction of a new 1969 Fairlady Z, as well as continued expansion in markets throughout Europe and Asia. Moving forward, EMI will continue to leverage the powerful brand equity of both new and classic Nissan and Infiniti vehicles globally in categories such as automotive accessories, replicas, consumer electronics and apparel.
95. TEN: THE ENTHUSIAST NETWORK
$260M (PRIVATE) (FORMERLY SOURCE INTERLINK MEDIA)
TYLER SHULZE, SVP, ENTERPRISES, +1.310.531.9900
Todays automotive, sports and outdoor enthusiast consumer market is enormous and no other company appeals and speaks to this audience like The Enthusiast Network. TEN began in publishing and has expanded to a multi-media leader with the top brands in each enthusiast segment. TEN’s portfolio includes leading automotive brands Motor Trend, Hot Rod, Lowrider, Super Street, Four Wheeler, Automobile and Roadkill, to sports brands like Surfer, Surfing, Snowboarder, Powder, Bike, SUP, Transworld, Slam, Baseball America as well as fast growing outdoor brands Recoil and OffGrid. TEN has over 50 publications, 60 websites, 50 events, the world’s largest automotive VOD channel and the world’s largest action/outdoor sports media platform. TEN partners with select manufacturers to develop high quality licensed products, leveraging the consumer awareness and trust of our leading brands. The licensing program has hundreds of branded products in various categories including apparel, footwear, automotive accessories, tools, consumer electronics, home décor, publishing, gift and novelties, toys, video games and more. TEN licensed products are currently sold in thousands of retail stores across multiple channels with major big box retailers, specialty stores, catalog and e-commerce. As we continue to strategically grow licensing, we are looking for established manufacturers to develop quality licensed products for our family of brands. Beyond available license opportunities within TEN’s long-standing automotive and sports brands, we are excited to introduce three new titles for licensing that target strong up and coming, on-trend enthusiast markets, SUP (stand up paddleboard), Recoil (a holistic lifestyle experience for modern firearms enthusiasts) and OffGrid (a fresh look at emergency-related scenarios in the urban environment). Categories such as apparel, accessories, go bags/bug out kits, survival gear, security, nonperishable food, camping equipment, backpacks, portable power and others are available for licensing.
$254M (MU4: XETRA)
HANS ULRICH STOEF, CEO; BERND CONRAD, HEAD OF LICENSING, +49.8102.99453.0
The m4e Group is an international kid’s and family entertainment and brand management company. m4e’s library of nearly 2,300 episodes includes brands such as Mia and me, Tip the Mouse, Rainbow Fish, Miffy, Lizzie McGuire, Conni and many more. Currently m4e has 130 episodes in production and eight all-new IPs in development. Its subsidiary company Telescreen B.V., with 32 years of experience in media distribution and an established network, provides a strategic media distribution also to third parties. Apart from m4e’s own productions/co-productions, Telescreen represents a wide range of international producers and broadcasters, selling and distributing high quality programs to all major TV channels in the world. 2014 has seen continued success of the TV series Mia and me, which is produced by Hahn, m4e Productions and Rainbow, and distributed internationally by m4e and Rainbow. The property is growing constantly on TV, being successfully broadcast in more than 80 markets. The Mia and me licensing program is supported by more than 140 licensees globally, and sees a continuous growth. Mattel is the global toy partner. m4e also co-produced the preschool TV series Tip the Mouse, which was successfully launched on TV in Germany, Italy and France in fall 2014. SUPER RTL is handling all consumer products for the German-speaking markets. Deichmann, Europe’s leading footwear retailer, ran a Mia and me promotion in 2014. The launch of the licensed show range was supported by a TV campaign, flyers, special in-store placement and an exclusive Mia and me give away. In addition to ongoing relationships with key retail partners such as Rossmann, Müller and mytoys, further retail programs are currently planned for 2015 and 2016. In 2015, the adventures of Mia and me continue with the brand-new second season, while season 3 is going into production, slated for delivery in fall 2016. A feature film is in development, with an original concept and storyline. For every season of Mia and me, a new style guide is developed. Mattel launches further extensions of the toy line, with even further products in the pipeline. The Mia and me licensing program will be further extended into key markets such as the U.K. and U.S. in 2015. With Wissper, m4e has a new original TV series in the starting blocks. The property is produced by m4e and Absolutely Cuckoo and created by Dan Good. The commissioning broadcaster is U.K.’s Milkshake! and co-producer is German BASTEI Media, a subsidiary of publishing house BASTEI Lübbe, which will handle international publishing, apps and games, as well. Delivery of the series starts in fall 2015. For Tip the Mouse, m4e and its co-production partners plan to develop season two, and the slapstick comedy TV series Atchoo! is about to go into production within 2015. m4e is also about to produce a live action TV series based on the successful children’s book series Me, Mum & Mystery, published by Atlantyca.
97. CARTE BLANCHE GROUP
SARAH QUIGLEY, HEAD OF U.K. LICENSING, +44.0.1243.792600
Carte Blanche is best known for Tatty Teddy, the signature character of the Me to You brand. Me to You is now worth over $250 million RSV globally, and Tatty Teddy ranks consistently amongst the top traditional plush brands in the U.K. Following the success of Me to You and a growing multi-generational fan base, Carte Blanche has expanded its product offering to include a nursery proposition–Tiny Tatty Teddy, an adorably gentle character with universal appeal to parents and grandparents, as well as new mums of babies and nursery aged children. With evergreen potential, Carte Blanche’s Blue Nose brands find the perfect balance between being relevant and fashionable, yet instantly recognizable and classic. Not only does Carte Blanche work with best-in-class licensees, but they are also an international creator, distributor and licensor, having signed a deal with Syco Entertainment in 2014 to create a new brand, Pudsey the Dog, inspired by Britain’s Got Talent winners from 2012, Ashleigh and Pudsey. Carte Blanche delivers both international retail success and creative excitement across a variety of product categories including plush, gifts, greetings, apparel, nursery, food and print-on-demand. It’s stable of cute, classic brands continue to captivate audiences across traditional and digital media through their incredible heritage and versatility.
98. JOHN DEERE
$250M (E) (NYSE: DE)
DALE PASCHKE, GLOBAL MANAGER, BRAND LICENSING, +1.919.804.2725
99. MIND CANDY
DARRAN GARNHAM, CCO; SAM FERGUSON, HEAD OF LICENSING AND RETAIL; +44.0.7803.874.927
Mind Candy shifted from a one brand company to a multi-brand company in 2014, with a big focus on Moshi Monsters, PopJam and World of Warriors. Mind Candy launched its first digital touch point for the World of Warriors brand with a mobile game in November 2014. On launch, the game was a global Best New Game with an average 4.5 star rating, and also featured on Apple’s ‘The App Store’s Best of 2014’ list. It has also received the Apple’s Editor’s Choice feature across the globe. A full licensing program, including global master toy and console partner, will be launching in Spring 2015. In 2014, Mind Candy secured master rights for World of Warriors with Giochi Preziosi and Moose Toys, Topps Trading Cards, Penguin Books, Egmont Magazines, as well as a raft of other secondary category licensees. The Moshi Monsters toy line continued to sell well at retail, with multiple brand refreshes and spin off launches. To support the Moshi Monsters Food Factory toy line, Mind Candy has partnered with Jamie Oliver to create an exclusive Food Tube episode that features Furi cooking with the famous celebrity chef. A new Moshi Monsters Food Factory app will also be launching on mobile and tablet this spring. Spring also sees the launch of World of Warriors product at retail in the U.K., with strong retail placement and cross category promotions in place on launch. Mind Candy has also secured agency representation, across North America, Canada, Europe and Australasia with sell in taking place this year. We also hope to announce long, short form and movie partnerships for all our IP.
100. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
KRISTA NEWBERRY, SVP, LICENSING, NORTH AMERICA, +1.202.857.7374
101. ENERGIZER HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS
$249M (NYSE: ENR)
LINDA MORGENSTERN, VP, BRAND MANAGEMENT, +1.305.668.7000
By leveraging the premier positioning and marketing presence of the Energizer and Eveready properties, the licensing program was strategically expanded to include innovative consumer products that complemented the company’s core line. Under the power and lighting categories, the licensing program included LED lightbulbs, automotive batteries, generators, power inverters, mobile chargers and accessories, photo accessories, power solutions for gaming, power connectors, solar lighting, battery-operated candles and Energizer Bunny costumes. In addition, the Energizer and Eveready licensing program made impact at retail in the U.K., Europe, Latin America and Australia/New Zealand for a variety of products in the power and lighting segments. Key licensing Initiatives that will drive growth in 2014 and beyond include further global expansion of licensed product through current partners as well as new licensing partners. The launch of new branded product lines will help us grow market share in both domestic and international markets. Energizer and Eveready’s lines of licensed products include an extensive array of popular products which are sold through retailers such as Walmart, Target, Sam’s Club, Costco, Game Stop, Home Depot, Kroger and Amazon, as well as Carrefour, Tesco and a direct-to-retail program at B&M in the U.K.
$240M (NYSE: T)
CAREN CHACKO, AVP, BEANSTALK, +1.212.421.6060
Leveraging AT&T’s premier positioning and marketing presence, AT&T licensed products strategically complement the brand with more than 200 SKUs including corded and cordless telephones, business telephony products, answering machines, telephone accessories, financial service products, consumer electronic services products and more. AT&T licensed corded and cordless phones are sold in over 16,000 retail doors, and can be found in almost every major retailer. AT&T branded phones’ top five retail partners include Walmart, Best Buy, Costco, Staples, and Sam’s Club. The top five trade partners include Jenne Distributors, Teledymanics, United Stationers, Ingram Micro and S.P. Richards. Given the state of landline telephony, the AT&T branded phone strategy is to maximize the revenue of its corded and cordless revenue market share in a declining category. The licensed program maintains strong partnerships with a wide array of retailers, and the service levels, inventory planning and product development efforts for the program are focused on maximizing sales in the channels served.
103. DHX MEDIA
$240M (TSE: DHX.A, DHX.B)
TOM ROWE, COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR, DHX BRANDS, +126.96.36.19963.6400
DHX Media formed DHX Brands this year, a dedicated consumer products and brand management division which, less than nine months since its inception, has firmly put itself on the map. DHX Brands has very quickly established a reputation for being one of the most pragmatic, responsive and creative licensors in the industry.
Right out of the gate, DHX Brands has injected momentum into its core properties which include well-loved, globally-recognized brands In the Night Garden and Teletubbies, as well as evergreen international hit properties such as Yo Gabba Gabba!, Caillou and Johnny Test. In addition, with the acquisition of Vancouver’s Nerd Corps, boy’s action property Slugterra has joined the DHX Brands line up with top ratings, toy sell-outs and new licensing deals for the brand around the globe. The DHX Brands approach is exemplified by the speed in which Teletubbies has developed from a new strategy, through to a greenlit production with numerous best-in-class licensees to bring the property back to the forefront of the licensing stage. In the Night Garden has been boosted through new branding, a new website, a yearlong integrated social media and marketing plan, high profile events and brand-new style guide. This focused attention not only made it the fastest selling preschool toy license of 2014, but it ended the year as the fifth largest preschool brand in the U.K. (source: NPD, full year 2014). It is also the only stage show to run a live tour for five consecutive years and has proven success outside its domestic market with a top 10 international brand position in China. Established hit Yo Gabba Gabba! is demonstrating continued momentum with a successful fall 2014 live stage show, Music is Awesome, across 50 cities in the U.S., building on its consistent popularity and bringing a party to preschoolers, parents, teens and adults. Evergreen animated favorite Caillou kicked off a 25th anniversary year in 2014 with a dedicated campaign including Can do with Caillou, which features weekly episode clips that empower preschoolers to take on life’s big adventures, and tie-in product from master toy partner Imports Dragon and publishing partner Chouette. A brand new app has also been ranked No. 1 on the iPad for kids in over 60 countries. In further licensing activity on its enduringly popular brands, Cartoon Network U.S.’s most aired show, Johnny Test, has seen new collectible consumer products rollout across key retailer in the U.S. and Canada this year, following a deal with master toy partner Imports Dragon. Also in the U.S., new brand Ella the Elephant has seen consumer products launch into retail following the series’ strong rating on Disney Jr. Last but not least, there has been a significant and widespread resurgence on Teletubbies in active international markets following the revived content announcement and new launch plans. DHX Brands has been readying a comprehensive and heavyweight new strategy for the U.K. and global market. Rapidly becoming a preschool favorite on CBeebies, brand-new property Twirlywoos is innovative, inspiring entertainment with slapstick humor. With the licensing program building momentum, market-leader Golden Bear has come on board as master toy partner for the brand, and will launch toys from July including talking Twirlywoos plush, which won Best New Toy at London Toy Fair. The consumer products program will be supported by online and social media campaigns and strong print and TV advertising campaigns. With a slate of further licensees already on board and more joining the charge, additional product will roll out from summer and DHX Brands will be looking to extend this globally. In addition, DHX Media will be launching the much-anticipated new Teletubbies television series and consumer products in the U.K. and the U.S., as well as new deals across key international territories, with bespoke retail programs. Core licensees already are in place including Character Options as the global master toy partner and Egmont for global master publishing. Also from DHX’s slate of established brands, In the Night Garden continues to go from strength to strength, and the company will be looking to consolidate this success in the U.K. and focus on global expansion taking the property beyond core territories of the U.K., Australia and China. In new launches, Make it Pop is set to premiere on Nickelodeon U.S. in April with an international rollout in August on the same platform, followed by a consumer products program. The series is a live action, high school musical comedy that centers on three charismatic lead characters with a shared love of the K-pop aesthetic. It has high energy flair and humor that is appealing for girls ages 8- to 12-years-old.
104. THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
NICKY STANTON, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, +44.0.844.980.8200
105. SONY PICTURES CONSUMER PRODUCTS
$225M (NYSE: SNE)
GREGORY ECONOMOS, SVP, GLOBAL CONSUMER PRODUCTS, +1.310.244.4188
2014 was a great year for properties like Breaking Bad and Ghostbusters as Sony celebrated the film’s 30th year of franchise success. Sony created a Ghostbusters program that started with a traveling art show in partnership with Gallery 1988, followed by a limited engagement theatrical re-release of the original 1984 film re-mastered in 4K, a collaboration with Krispy Kreme donuts, the release of Blu-ray anniversary editions of both Ghostbuster films and vinyl LPs with the soundtrack. It also launched a merchandise line to round out the program. The franchise will make a return to the big screen in July 2016. Breaking Bad is not slowing down. Even though the series came to an end in the summer of 2013, as a brand it continues to be one of the strongest licensing titles for all of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s properties. In 2014, Sony Pictures Consumer Products continued to increase the brand’s scope and reach in both domestic and international markets with over $100 million in retail sales across all categories and distribution channels. Breaking Bad products encompass a vast range of designs and functionalities–from a Golden Moth methylamine barrel, inspired adult onesies, to hazmat-shaped desk lamps and everything in between. There are few categories from apparel to housewares to publishing, accessories and toys, where Breaking Bad is not fully represented. With over 1,000 skus and more than 50 licensees around the world, what started as specialty items for super fans and collectors has evolved and expanded to include global mass market retailers as well. Domestic and International distribution have Breaking Bad-branded merchandise in more than 20,000 doors across key retailers and each of their respective e-commerce sites including specialty (Best Buy, Hot Topic and Spencer’s Gifts), e-tailers (Amazon, Generator and CafePress) and mass market (Target and Walmart). 2014 also marked an innovative partnership with Target for Sony Picture’s theatrical release of a modern version of the film Annie. Target and Sony partnered with award-winning costume designer Renée Ehrlich Kalfus to create a 25-piece girl’s fashion and accessory collection. Inspired by the fashion in the film and a re-imagined version of the renowned red dress, it was featured across all retail outlets and Target.com. The program was also supported with a comprehensive marketing campaign, including brand integration, print ads, in-store signage, digital media and a social media outreach, all resulting in more than 300 million impressions at launch. For 2015, Sony has news for both film and TV properties. On the film side, Pixels will open the studio’s summer line up. Sony is working on select licensing program with softlines from Freeze and Bioworld, enhanced with costumers from Rasta Imposta. Following the slate is Hotel Transylvania 2. The film’s spooky plot naturally lends itself to a Halloween product extension, with seasonal items planned to round out the program and activations across retail channels that leverage the movie thematics and characters to celebrate safe scares. Rounding out the slate is Goosebumps, based on the R.L. Stine book series that sold over 400 million copies worldwide. Sony is partnering with Scholastic to release a comprehensive licensing program geared towards young adults and the original fans of the franchise. The program will be broad across all major licensed categories (apparel and accessories, home furnishings, publishing, toys and gifts, stationery and paper goods, costumes and interactive). On the TV side, for Better Call Saul, the Breaking Bad prequel, Sony launched a partnership at Hot Topic that included significant marketing and social media support in addition to an end-cap merchandising statement. The studio was also able to partner with e-tailers like Jack Threads and support a tune-in message and part of the merchandising. As the show continues and the fans are demanding product, Sony is working on an expanded licensing line and increased retail support. Black List is another strong TV title that continues to garner strong ratings. Sony is working with Titan publishing and the show’s creators to release a series of comic books. On the classic TV side, Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune will deliver product extensions, and 2015 is the 50th anniversary of I Dream of Jeannie. The celebration will start with IGT’s re-launch of a Dream of Jeannie Video slot machine, a commemorative high-end fashion doll from Tonner Dolls, die-cast cars from Greenlight Collectibles, costumes from Rubie’s for kids and adults, t-shirts from Trecvo and home entertainment DVD re-promote of the series across major retailers.
106. THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION
$225M (E) (PRIVATE)
CATHY GLOSSER, EVP, GLOBAL LICENSING, +1.212.836.3242