Full-service, global branding, marketing and rights management company Epic Rights is heading into Brand Licensing Europe singing the praises of its red hot, perennial properties.
Lisa Streff, executive vice president, licensing sales, Epic Rights
Epic Rights manages the brand extension programs for some of the most celebrated musical acts of all time, from AC/DC and KISS to John Lennon, Billy Joel, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Journey, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts and on and on. Epic Rights also oversees the licensing ventures for globally renowned events such as Woodstock, a cultural touchstone event that, in 2019, will celebrate its 50th anniversary.
"Many of the areas that Epic Rights oversees for artists are incremental revenue, and it is our job to show them how to maximize and understand the value of licensing to leverage that opportunity–and it's a great opportunity for us," says Lisa Streff, executive vice president, licensing sales, Epic Rights.
A major push this year and at this month's BLE event (which is taking place Oct. 13-15
For AC/DC, Epic Rights has built a strong presence in apparel with fashions in all channels of retail, from mass to high-end. It is also focused on new and emerging categories that suit the band's brand including areas such as digital and social gaming, spirits, food and beverage, automotive, collectibles and Halloween costumes.
According to Streff, Europe is a strong market for AC/DC currently, and they have plans to push even further into Latin America, particularly Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, and Asian countries such as India, China and Japan.
Another major brand focus for Epic Rights is the arena rock band KISS.
"Two of our biggest artists–AC/DC and KISS–are touring at the biggest stadiums and they are hitting it hard," says Streff. "This gives Epic Rights the opportunity to expand the licensing programs for these bands in areas that they have not been in. The apparel programs in particular are very strong–there's a huge trend right now in junior's for rock n' roll right now. Girls may not always know who the band is, but they are wearing the fashions because of the design and the fabrication."
For KISS, Epic Rights will leverage the band's 13 million-strong "KISS Army" devotees and has signed several innovative and fashion-forward deals such as with high-end shoe designer Charlotte Olympia for a KISS Kitty shoe, which will debut next spring.
Other recent deals include with Four Seasons Designs for t-shirts, electronics and collectibles in the U.S.; Bradford Exchange for accessories, footwear, home décor and collectibles in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Europe, Australia and New Zealand; Iconic Concepts for mini replica guitars, scarves, collectibles and barware worldwide; and Legends Socks for men's, women's and children's socks in the U.S. Additional new licensees include Silver Buffalo, Yusef, Distribuidora de Ropa Viva and Winning Moves International; and with Acco, Kurt S. Adler, Funko, FIPO, CID and Angotti Designs all renewing their partnerships for the KISS brand.
Finally, as the Woodstock event gears up to celebrate its milestone half-century anniversary, Epic Rights is partnering with New York-based licensing and management company Perryscope Productions to further extend the brand into mass, mid-tier, specialty and high-end retailers. (Perryscope also partners with Epic Rights for the AC/DC brand.)
"For Woodstock, the brand continues to do well and thrive in apparel," says Streff. "It has had great success in the category at retailers like Gap, Target, Kohl's, J.C. Penney, Sears–it's everywhere and performs well from junior's to men's."
Woodstock has more than 50 licensees on board globally across all key categories, from apparel and accessories to home décor, gifting and more. They include Re-Marks for puzzles and bookmarks in the U.S. and Canada; FIPO for apparel, headwear and bedding for the Nordics; and Libesa for notebooks and stationery in Chile.
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