MGM Gets in the Ring with Rocky for Anniversary

Robert Marick, executive vice president, global consumer products and experiences, MGM tells License Global what’s ahead for the 45th anniversary year of the Rocky franchise.
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License Global

September 20, 2019

MGM Gets in the Ring with Rocky for Anniversary

Sylvester Stallone’


franchise has endured much like the films’ titular character himself. The tale of a Philadelphia boxer overcoming the odds through sheer determination has taken hold of the pop culture zeitgeist and endured for over four decades. Since the first film’s debut in 1976, the franchise has spawned seven sequels including two spinoff films,



Creed II


Coming into the franchise’s 45th anniversary in 2021, property owner MGM has begun developing a slate of licensing opportunities for the franchise.

Robert Marick,

executive vice president, global consumer products and experiences, MGM, tells

License Global

that the upcoming push will focus on the underlining themes that have made the


films so beloved.

“We are going to take up on


s key themes of ambition, passion and underdog, and create programs around some of those themes,” says Marick.

Those key themes are a big reason the


franchise has continued success over the last four decades. Through each

of the series' films, the basic themes of the original movie have served as a through-line that has led the franchise to resonate with new generations.



series recently morphed into a spinoff series based on


nemesis Apollo Creed. The


franchise follows the story of Adonis Creed, son of


in the original film, as he trains under the guidance of Stallone’s character to set out on his boxing career.

“What I love about the


franchise is it is a bit of old generation and new generation,” says Marick. “Many of us grew up with


and the films. Then the transition with


and [actor] Michael B. Jordan has crossed into multi-generations. We can tap into that in merchandising as well as audience and develop that across the board.”

Moving forward, MGM aims to tap into that generational appeal to identify licensing deals in a broad selection of categories including publishing, gifts and novelty, apparel and accessories, and location-based entertainment–an area the series has already found success with via its annual

Rocky Run

in Philadelphia.

Now in its fourth year, the Rocky Run brings fans together for a marathon race that ends in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Marick and MGM see an opportunity to bring the run internationally to countries such as Mexico and China where


has found a growing audience.

“In a recent trip to Mexico City where we were looking at our portfolio with potential retailers and licensees in the region,” says Marick. “Next to

Pink Panther, Rocky

most resonated. It is one of those films that is enduring.”

As new opportunities and regions open up for the


franchise, it will be exciting to see how the licensing program continues to evolve into its 45th anniversary and beyond.

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