Consumer product licensing in the sports space is wholly unique from other facets of the industry. From the passion of fans to the ins-and-outs of league play, licensing in sports comes down to the unique brand of each given team.
To learn more about these intricacies in the field, License Global recently interviewed Victoria Hawksley, vice president, international retail, Legends. In her role, Hawksley helps develop merchandising strategies for Legends clients such as Real Madrid. She comes to Legends after spending 14 years with the Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, where she most recently served as the head of retail and visitor attractions.
During our retail-focused interview, Hawksley highlighted the unique opportunities for licensing with sports teams, the one-to-one approach needed to work with each different client and how retail has evolved as more people stay close to home due to COVID-19.
License Global: How does Legends' approach differ, and how do you provide these major global brands with retail solutions?
Hawksley: Legends focuses on the whole customer journey for the brands we work with, fully integrating with the teams, and providing a valuable resource to deliver the best experience and engagement for fans. We provide this through fully integrated systems and operations delivered by the best talent.
As retail service providers, you have a huge array of clients. How do the needs of Liverpool F.C. or Man City differ from, say, the NFL or Dallas Cowboys?
Every client’s needs are unique to their brand, vision, KPI’s, and journey, but one thing remains constant – making sure that the experience of the fan is the best-in-class and they continue to feel valued and part of the journey.
Do retail solutions for consumers have an international differentiation, or are there global trends that help you create storefronts for these brands?
Yes – there are differences across the global markets in fan and purchasing behavior. We have to be mindful and aware of these habits to create an engaging experience. It may be about sizing ranges, payment, or delivery options that enable us to connect with the customers in the right way and with confidence in the services we offer.
In terms of merchandise and licensed goods, how have you seen that business shift, and how are you integrating that change into your latest projects?
An omnichannel retail experience allows brands to connect with fans around the world, especially during a time when fans have to stay at home and are spending more time online. This also allows for a seamless customer journey and experience from selection to payment.
What are some of the more successful project launches you've worked on and why?
The opening of the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and the largest retail space of any football club in Europe.
What's next, and what trends are you expecting to see in the retail market in 2021?
The customer journey and the connection between the channels to have a seamless experience is crucial for the future success in retail.