$5.06B (NASDAQ: HAS)
SIMON WATERS, SVP, GLOBAL BRAND LICENSING AND PUBLISHING, +1.401.431.8697
In 2014, Hasbro further established its global franchises in key markets worldwide, with the My Little Pony, Transformers and Monopoly brands leading the way. Hasbro also continued to strengthen its franchise brands by reaching consumers across multiple touch points from movies and TV to digital gaming, theme parks and promotions. Its branded storytelling across entertainment platforms yielded 8 billion impressions worldwide through its television programming and digital downloads alone. The company’s entertainment and licensing segment revenues increased 15 percent, the highest to-date. Its 2014, performance also underscored the strength of Hasbro’s licensing efforts across multiple brands, with both the My Little Pony and Transformers brands igniting growth. Key highlights from 2014 include the Transformers 30th anniversary, and the feature film Transformers: Age of Extinction (Paramount Pictures), hit theaters worldwide in 2014 with brand support from more than 300 licensing agreements and promotional relationships worldwide. The film brought in $1.1 billion in ticket sales in 2014 and was the highest grossing movie of all time in China. On the small screen in 130 countries, Transformers Rescue Bots’ third season on the Discovery Family Channel (U.S.) also had an accompanying app. The brand received another boost from of its park attraction, Transformers: The Ride–3D, at Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Singapore. For apparel, Hasbro teamed up with fashion brands to unveil Transformers-branded goods from licensees 686, Andrea Crews, Under Armour, Osiris Shoes, Shredders and New Era. On the publishing front, the Transformers v. GI Joe comic series from IDW was ranked on virtually every Best of 2014 list, and IDW also published a mini-series based on the new female fan-built bot character, Windblade. Digital gaming was another robust category for the Transformers brand, with product releases spanning all key gaming platforms from game publishers such as Activision and DeNA. The My Little Pony brand, with a global presence in 71 countries, has witnessed its best year since its re-launch in 2010. The brand has grown to more than $1 billion at retail and continued momentum with the My Little Pony Equestria Girls doll line. Last fall, the fourth season of My Little Pony Friendship is Magic, created by Hasbro Studios, kicked off in the U.S. and airs in over 180 territories. My Little Pony has more than 200 publications, and IDW published its first comic book collection based on the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic animated series. On the digital front, PlayDate Digital has created a successful series of eight My Little Pony interactive storybook apps, and Gameloft’s My Little Pony–Friendship is Magic app is available in 13 languages and 169 territories. The brand also captured attention across multiple continents with live My Little Pony shows that engaged fans attention in Canada, Singapore and Indonesia. My Little Pony key retail relationships expanded in areas of home, beauty, fashion and outdoor items, along with apparel events and window displays at retailers such as Selfridges (U.K.), Top Shop with designer Alice Vandy (U.K.), Colette Boutique with designer Andrea Crews (Paris, France), H&M, and Cotton On (Australia). Dynacraft also launched My Little Pony-branded wheeled goods. The Monopoly game garnered more than 1 billion players in 114 countries and translations in 47 languages. It continued to engage its fans around the world through social channels and global social campaigns. In 2014, Hasbro also continued to reimagine its brand through fashion. Working with Alex & Ani, Hasbro’s Monopoly tokens were reimagined into a bracelet collection. In addition, the Monopoly game returned to McDonald’s for its 20th year, with the promotion appearing in more than 12 countries. Albertsons, Tops and Marsh grocery stores also ran Monopoly-branded collect and win promotions. Digital versions of Monopoly are available for all major platforms with licensees such as Ubisoft and EA. In addition to printing Monopoly lottery instant games in both the U.S. and internationally, in October 2014, Scientific Games/MDI introduced a multi-state lottery game called Monopoly Millionaires’ Club that will be accompanied by a weekly TV game show with a live studio audience; and WMS Gaming released a new slot game, while Storm8 created a social mobile Monopoly Bingo game. In Latin America, Hasbro also teamed up with PepsiCo for a promotional program. Nerf celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2014. The company continued expanding the brand into new categories, with the introduction of Nerf Rebelle for girls in 2013, the global launch of Nerf Zombie Strike in 2014 and continual expansion of its Nerf Pet products with key licensee Gramercy Products. The Littlest Pet Shop franchise continued to build a following in 2014 with its animated TV series, created by Hasbro Studios and distributed in over 117 countries. The animated series inspired more than 140 new pets, customizable style sets and figurines. The Play-Doh brand went digital with PlayDate Digital’s Play-Doh ABCs storybook app. Hasbro also expanded its footprint into the arts and craft category. Licensees include Sambro, D’Arpeje and PPG for Europe and have merchandise in Middle East, Benelux, Italy, France, the U.K., Spain and Turkey. For 2015, Hasbro will leverage these brands already mentioned and Magic: The Gathering, as well as its premier partner brands. Hasbro Studios expanded its film strategy in 2014 with the launch Allspark Pictures. Jem and The Holograms, in theaters later this year, will be one of the first movies that will be under the new Allspark Pictures platform. It will have a licensing program to accompany, as well as the publication of IDW comics. In 2017, a My Little Pony feature film, which is currently in production, will also launch. Hasbro Studios has been steadily building their omniscreen storytelling capabilities. In 2015, Transformers: Robots in Disguise, the latest installment in the iconic franchise, features an all-new animation style and is currently airing on Cartoon Network. Currently in its third season and created specifically for the younger generation of fans, Transformers Rescue Bots is produced by Hasbro Studios and airs on the Discovery Family Channel. Its 2015 product line includes characters and vehicles based on the animated series, as well as new rescue tools and vehicle modes. Season five of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic TV series launched in April on The Discovery Family Channel in the U.S. and in over 180 territories around the world. Season 5 will also include the milestone 100th episode. The third movie, My Little Pony Equestria Girls Friendship Games, will launch in the U.S. this fall. Focused execution will center on bringing Hasbro properties to life in unique, innovative ways as well as through multiple platforms, new channels and consumer experiences. Location-based entertainment continues to bring its brands to life in imaginative ways. Themed events at the Universal Studios around the world, playing larger than life versions of Hasbro’s games on a Carnival cruise, or competing in the Monopoly World Championships in Macau, Hasbro’s brands continue to create new experiences. The music category will also continue to expand in 2015. Hasbro also generates toy and game sales based on its strategic relationships with companies such as The Walt Disney Company for Descendants; Star Wars; Marvel’s Spider-Man, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant-Man. Additionally, Star Wars in-licensing will be at full tilt in 2015 based on the animated series Star Wars Rebels and release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in December 2015. Additional partners include Sesame Workshop for Sesame Street and Universal for the Jurassic World and Minions properties.
11. COLLEGIATE LICENSING COMPANY
$4.55B (PRIVATE) (AN IMG COMPANY)
JIM CONNELLY, SVP, IMG COLLEGE/LICENSING; CORY MOSS, SVP AND MANAGING DIRECTOR, +1.770.956.0520
Top selling college brands in 2014 included Alabama, Texas, Notre Dame, Michigan, Texas A&M and Florida, as well as the NCAA, the Tournament of Roses, the College Football Playoff and the Southeastern Conference (SEC). CLC’s collegiate brand partners represent 75 percent of the $4.55 billion retail market for college merchandise. Walmart remained the largest retailer of collegiate licensed product in the U.S., with other top retailers including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Fanatics, Kohl’s, Follett and Barnes & Noble. Collegiate institutions are becoming more strategic in managing their brands. CLC universities are using fan data and retail intelligence reports to better analyze their programs to identify opportunities for growth and create consumer-focused, customized strategies that include partnerships with best-in-class licensees in each product category and retail channel. Key categories of focus for growth include women’s, infant/youth, men’s fashion and several non-apparel categories. In addition to the categories just mentioned, Panini became the exclusive trading card company for most collegiate institutions in 2015. This new program should generate increased sales and brand exposure for many institutions over the next few years. To support sales for college licensing programs, CLC provides strong national retail marketing platforms such as College Colors Day, Holiday Cheer Section and Rock Your Colors to promote college product during critical selling periods (back-to-school, holiday, college basketball). In addition to in-store promotions, CLC increasingly works with its university partners on digital strategies to connect with the consumer using a more targeted approach.
IGINIO STRAFFI, FOUNDER AND CEO; JOANNE LEE, COO, +39.071.75067500
Winx Club was one of the company’s top licensed properties throughout 2014. The show brings in over 15 million viewers each day on 115 broadcasters worldwide, now including China. The brand’s third CGI movie, Winx Club–The Mystery of the Abyss, launched in 2014. In addition, Rainbow signed a deal in 2014 that will see a spin-off series, Winx Club WOW: World of Winx, become exclusively available in all Netflix territories. The first season will be available by early 2016 with the second following in the fall. Fans across the U.S., Canada, Latin America, the U.K., the Nordics, Benelux, France, G/A/S, Australia/New Zealand and Japan will be able to watch the new spin-off show. In the U.S., U.K., Australia/New Zealand and France, the third Winx theatrical movie will also be exclusive to Netflix. Another of Rainbow’s major licensed properties in 2014 was Mia and me. This award-winning show is a co-production with Gerard Hahn–m4e. The series has been picked up by more than 70 broadcasters in over 80 territories. A full range of licensed merchandise will launch next year, including a toy line from global toy partner Mattel. Other partners include Ravensburger, Egmont, Unilever, Nestle and Panini. A second season is due for release later this year. Rainbow’s policy of releasing new Winx Club content each year means a constant flow of new style guides that inspire licensees to produce fresh new product lines. Over 500 licensees are on board globally across a multitude of categories with more than 6,000 products developed–numbers that grew throughout 2014. Rainbow is expanding the property into more unusual and innovative sectors, such as Winx Club-themed holidays and experiences. In each territory, Rainbow has a major trade marketing program in place to support licensed products and increase the brand visibility on a retail level, through initiatives such as dedicated in-store areas and free entertainment.
13. IBML (INTERNATIONAL BRAND MANAGEMENT & LICENSING)
PETER WOOD, MANAGING DIRECTOR, U.K., EMEA AND ASIA PACIFIC, +44.0.845.1299.288; NEIL MORTON, MANAGING DIRECTOR, AMERICAS, +1.212.239.0990
Key properties include Dunlop, Everlast, Sondico, Slazenger, Lonsdale, Kangol, USA Pro, Campri, Karrimor, Golddigga, No Fear, Donnay, Voodoo Dolls, Carlton, Title, Antigua and LA Gear.
$3.995B (NASDAQ: WEST)
ALLAN FELDMAN, CEO, LMCA, +1.212.265.7474
Managed by LMCA since 2001, the program is focused on key consumer, commercial and B2B categories, which include LCD TVs; laptop computers; light bulbs; consumer security and B2B lighting; electrical and wiring devices; electric power generation including nuclear, solar and wind renewable energy; landscape lighting; kitchen and personal care appliances; air purification; water conditioning and purification; central heating and air-conditioning; intercoms; and electrical, computer and audio accessories. Program growth comes largely from geographic and new category expansions, market share gains and brand development initiatives.
15. GENERAL MOTORS
$3.5B (NYSE: GM)
STEPHEN MCGUIRE, MANAGER, BRAND LICENSING, +1.313.300.0991; GENE REAMER, MANAGER, INFRINGEMENT AND LICENSING OPERATIONS, +1.313.667.8545
From electric and mini-cars to heavy-duty full-size trucks, monocabs and convertibles, General Motors’ brands offer a comprehensive range of vehicles in more than 120 countries around the world. GM’s roster of brands include both current and heritage properties with assets spanning over 100 years such as Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Pontiac, Saturn, Oldsmobile and Hummer. Key news for the GM licensing program in 2014 included continued success surrounding the seventh generation Corvette Stingray and Z06 coupe and convertible, the 2015 Camaro, the all-new Chevrolet Silverado and Colorado, the Chevrolet Trax and the new GMC Sierra and Canyon.
16. NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
$3.5B (E) (PRIVATE)
LEO KANE, VP, CONSUMER PRODUCTS, +1.212.450.2758
17. DREAMWORKS ANIMATION
$3.3B (NASDAQ: DWA)
MICHAEL CONNOLLY, GLOBAL HEAD OF LICENSING; JONATHAN BAKER, HEAD OF INTERNATIONAL CONSUMER PRODUCTS, +1.818.695.3393
In 2014, How to Train Your Dragon and Penguins of Madagascar led the charge, along with DreamWorks Classics brands including Lassie, Noddy, Felix, Where’s Waldo and Postman Pat. DreamWorks Animation’s highlight at retail in 2014 was How To Train Your Dragon 2, which could be found at all major retailers in conjunction with the summer release of the film worldwide. DreamWorks Animation arrives into 2015 with a deep portfolio of new and classic properties for film, television and online across multiple categories. Highlighted properties include the upcoming Trolls and DinoTrux, as well as DreamWorks Dragons, Kung Fu Panda and Voltron. DreamWorks Classics will continue to engage fans with initiatives around Felix, Noddy, Lassie and Waldo. Franchises Shrek and Madagascar, along with the recent Home, round out the studio’s portfolio. AwesomenessTV is also poised for a landmark 2015 as the multi-platform media company continues to captivate audiences with short- and long-form content, led by an ever-expanding roster of talent.
18. AUTHENTIC BRANDS GROUP
JAMES SALTER, CHAIRMAN AND CEO; NICK WOODHOUSE, PRESIDENT AND CMO; KEVIN CLARKE, CFO; TERRI DIPAOLO, COO AND GENERAL COUNSEL, +1.212.760.2410
Top licensed properties in 2014 include celebrity brands Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson (2015); women’s fashion and accessories brands Juicy Couture, Judith Leiber, Adrienne Vittadini, Taryn Rose and Misook; men’s fashion brands Hickey Freeman, Hart Schaffner Marx, Palm Beach and Bobby Jones; and sports brands Airwalk, Prince, Spyder, Vision Street Wear, TapouT, Hind, Above The Rim and Sportcraft. Top retail partners and licensing programs in 2014 were at retailers Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Dillard’s, Nordstrom, Harrod’s, Lane Crawford, Selfridges, Liverpool, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Kohl’s, TJ Maxx, Sears, Winners, Walmart, Kmart, Payless, Sports Authority, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Under Armour, Decathalon Sports, Sports Direct, Big W and El Palacio. ABG will continue to focus on global licensing and marketing initiatives to drive domestic and international awareness of its portfolio and expand its customer base. Additionally, ABG will pursue mergers and acquisitions and acquire premium global properties.
19. NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION
$3.2B (E) (PRIVATE)
VICKY PICCA, SVP, LICENSING AND BUSINESS AFFAIRS; ROBERT W. MILLMAN, SVP, INTERNATIONAL LICENSING AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, +1.212.407.8000
The NBA is a global sports and media business built around three professional sports leagues–the National Basketball Association, the Women’s National Basketball Association and the NBA Development League. The league has established a major international presence with games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 47 languages and NBA merchandise for sale in more than 125,000 stores in 100 countries on six continents.
20. PENTLAND BRANDS
EAN BROWN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, +44.020.8346.2600
Properties include Speedo, Lacoste, Berghaus, Brasher, KangaROOS, ellesse, Boxfresh, Kickers, Ted Baker, Mitre, ProStar, Red or Dead and Gio Goi.