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Articles from 2020 In March


How COVID-19 Will Impact the Licensing Industry

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This is truly an unprecedented time. I live on the leading edge. It has been my passion to innovate and not follow. In this COVID-19 environment, I feel it’s important to give you information from the ground floor as a licensee and my predictions on how this pandemic will affect licensors and licensing agencies.

What is Trevco Seeing? 

Because we have a heavy presence in the direct-to-consumer space, we can see the demand for apparel and accessories in real time – and it is decreasing… rapidly. Sales online are down 50 percent (as of the time of writing) over the same time period the week prior. Turns out this decrease is being felt across nearly every apparel brand, with loungewear performing slightly better (source: McKinsey). Trevco saw this impact coming on Thursday, March 12, and we are actioning phase one and two of a COVID-19 response plan to keep business lean and agile during this lull.

What is Our Opinion on Consumer Demand for Licensed Products? 

Trevco predicts a decrease in consumer shopping of licensed merchandise online for 90 days (until July), after which it will slowly rebound. 

Why?

Consumers will turn to online out of fear of exposure to COVID-19, which will create a possible 32 percent e-commerce lift over the pre-COVID-19 era (Source: Kantar Feb 2020).

Right now, people are “panic-spending” on essentials such as cleaning supplies, food and toilet paper, and refraining to purchase nice-to-haves like licensed merch.

Combine this shift in spending on essentials with massive layoffs and furloughs nationwide, and the potential of one-third of Americans becoming unemployed, and we’ve only seen the beginning of a decrease in licensed consumer products sales.

Outlook: It will take a bit of time for consumers to feel comfortable enough to spend on licensed goods again. 

How Will this Affect the Licensing Industry?

Licensors are not feeling the pain in the same way the licensees are right this second… but they will. 

The cycle works like this:

  • Direct-to-consumer licensees make money in real time. They feel the pain first.
     
  • Wholesale to retail licensees make money weeks or months ahead. They will feel the pain next.
     
  • Licensors make money quarterly. They will feel the pain last. 

Most of the licensee community is predominately brick-and-mortar. It’s only in these past few days that retailers fully began to close their doors. Canceled POs have come in at scale for inventory that was already printed or produced. 

Looking forward, Trevco predicts that the rebound at brick-and-mortar will be slower and take longer than for e-commerce. 

Other predictions include the following.

  • Doors will eventually reopen, but traffic will be lower, which means POs will be lower.
     
  • Consumers will be concerned with safety, and it will take 12-to-18 months for consumers to feel fully comfortable shopping in-store again. Federal guidance is starting to come out for Americans to wear masks, contrary to prior guidelines. Will wearing a mask inside a retailer be the new norm? How will consumers feel?
     
  • How people feel products, touch shopping carts, interact with POS displays and touch credit card kiosks will change.

In the coming weeks, licensees will begin to reach out to licensors at scale, asking for relief from their partners, in an effort to preserve cash through this period. Licensors will have to be prepared to receive lower royalties as a result of fewer sales. In addition, if there isn’t relief for these licensees, the licensor could risk losing the licensee in entirety. 

Gemius Design Campaigns for Woop Trampoline Park

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India’s largest trampoline park Woop and Gemius Design have released a new campaign to urge audiences to remain healthy and fit during the quarantine period.

#GetHighAtHome asks the audience to share a video of themselves jumping, skipping or any such activity 10 times in a row while adding their twist to execute the jumps. Audiences are asked to nominate two of their friends to take up the challenge. Along with challenging, the brand has asked the audience to share their best memories by using #ILoveWoop at Woop, and the best entries will receive a voucher from the brand.

HyperX Named New Overwatch League Memory Partner

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The Overwatch League has added HyperX as a new partner, the league has announced. HyperX will be the official memory partner of the competition.

The Overwatch League has transitioned to online-only competitions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

WHO, Video Game Industry Announce #PlayApartTogether

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The World Health Organization and the video game industry have announced #PlayApartTogether, a campaign that encourages healthy physical distancing by bringing special events, exclusives, activities, rewards and inspiration to some of the most popular games in the world.

“During this challenging time, I applaud the ingenuity of partners from all sectors who are stepping up to assist in efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Ray Chambers, United States Ambassador, WHO. “Today, the World Health Organization (WHO) will enlist the global gaming industry to reach millions with important messages to help prevent the spread of Covid-19. The games sector will launch #PlayApartTogether, an initiative to inform and encourage their vast network of users to follow the WHO's important health guidelines – including physical distancing, hand hygiene and other powerful preventive actions to slow the spread of COVID-19. Through this unifying hashtag, companies will encourage conversation within their games and on social media. I thank the games industry for stepping up to help bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope this campaign to #PlayApartTogether encourages even more people to stay safe and healthy while they help flatten the curve and save lives.”

Free Webinar: Legal and Business Solutions to Licensing Issues Caused by COVID-19

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Retail store closures and other business setbacks caused by COVID-19 will create a myriad of business and legal challenges for both licensors and licensees. Novel issues call for unique solutions. In this unprecedented environment, what can licensors and licensees do to come up with win-win outcomes?
With more than 25 years of licensing experience as both an attorney and founder of 
The Brand Liaison, Steven Heller will share creative legal and business solutions to resolve many anticipated licensing agreement issues, and prevent them from becoming legal disputes.
This seminar is free for all 
Licensing International members and friends and clients of The Brand Liaison. 

To register, visit:

Creative Solutions to Licensing Issues Caused by Coronavirus

Anna Sui Revives Vintage Designs for Nordstrom

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Nordstrom has worked with various designers and brands for its Pop-In@Nordstrom including Everlane, Alexander Wang, the MoMA Design Store, Vans, Nike, Goop and Alexander Wang. Now, it’s Anna Sui’s turn, according to a report from Nylon.

The new collaboration, called “The World of Anna Sui,” includes bags, sunglasses, shoes, jewelry, beauty products, clothing and Sui’s book of the same title, which was released in 2017.

Highlights of the collection include some throwbacks to her ‘90s designs including a straw hat embellished with ruffles and feathers, a ringer tee that introduced Sui’s logo in 1994 and a ‘40s-inspired printed dress from her spring 1995 collection.

Previous Pop-In@Nordstrom collections usually have had accompanying curated physical shops in store but this time the collection will be exclusively sold online due to store closures from COVID-19. Prices range from $12-$800, and the collection is available now.

‘ALVINNN!!! & The Chipmunks’ to Air in China

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Bagdasarian Productions’ series “ALVINNN!!! & the Chipmunks,” produced in collaboration with Technicolor Animation Productions, is heading to China with Senyu, marking the first time the show will appear in the territory. PGS Entertainment, the international distributor (excluding France), secured the deal.  

“‘ALVINNN!!!’ has proven to be a beloved hit for boys and girls of all ages across the world, and we’re gratified that China is now on-board, bringing this incredible series to so many new viewers there,” says Sandrine Nguyen, managing director, Technicolor Animation Productions. “We’re proud to be a part of this extraordinary series, with its unrivaled ratings success story, and couldn’t be more excited about this partnership in China.”

Currently, the new “ALVINNN!!!” series, created by Janice Karman, is being aired on more than 70 Nickelodeon channels internationally, as well as on more than 110 leading free-to-air platforms. Season five has recently gone into production with all first-run partners on-board, including Nickelodeon (for international channels including the U.S., excluding Brazil), Super RTL in Germany, Gloob in Brazil and Telequebec (French) and Family Channel (English) in Canada.  

“Securing broadcast in China for ‘ALVINNN!!!’ was a priority for us,” says Phillippe Soutter, co-founder, PGS Entertainment. “It’s one of the biggest territories, which will boost viewership and awareness significantly when it launches. We’re committed to continuing our role of placing ‘ALVINNN!!!’ on premium networks across the world, and this new partnership with Senyu will help us build an even brighter future for ‘ALVINNN!!!’ for many years to come.”

Vida Brands Shares Changes They’ve Made for Their New Normal

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Many companies right now are creating their new normal. Where this pandemic is headed may be uncertain, but companies all over the planet are trying to provide certainty and stability to as many of their employees as possible.

Vida designs, sources, markets and distributes fashion-forward and outdoor adventure footwear for women, men and children. In addition to marketing products under its own brands including Jambu, JBU, J Sport, M.A.P. and Andre Assous, Vida is a licensee of various brands, including BCBGeneration, BCBGMAXAZRIA, BCBG GIRLS, Stride Rite, Carter’s, OshKosh B’Gosh, Kensie, XOXO, UNIONBAY and Esprit. Vida also designs and sources products under private labels brands for various retailers. Vida’s wholesale distribution includes department stores, independent retailers, specialty stores, national chains and mass merchants. Learn more at vidagroup.com.

Camila Aguirreurreta, marketing coordinator, Vida Brands, is one of many people aiding her workplace and community in creating a new normal.

“As far as our efforts from a brand perspective, we’re currently in partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand on the Atlas shoe – 10 percent of proceeds being donated for that program,” Aguirreurreta says. “We’re ramping up with them amidst the Covid-19 pandemic with another program that will [see Stride Rite] donate directly to the ALSF COVID-19 Emergency Fund to support their expanded family resources program.

For Vida brands, their employees are their main priority during this time. To stop the spread, employees are working from home and are taking the necessary precautions at fulfillment centers for orders going out to customers. Management and human resources teams are also sharing regular updates and best-practices to help the company get through this time. As for their customers, Vida Brands is taking additional steps to help.

“We also provided our retailer partners and customers with a downloadable coloring book for their kids and continue to deliver lighthearted and relatable messages on social to keep spirits up,” says Aguirreurreta.

Email us at news@licenseglobal.com with your best advice. We’ll be sharing our favorite messages in an article in the coming days. 

eOne Revs Up ‘Ricky Zoom’ for New Broadcasts, Music

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eOne is gearing up for “Ricky Zoom’s” debut on Channel 5’s multiplatform preschool brand Milkshake! in the U.K. The episodes are set to air Monday-Friday beginning with season one on April 20.

“Adding to our existing strong roster of international broadcasters, we’re thrilled to be bringing ‘Ricky Zoom’ to the No. 1 weekday preschool destination in the U.K.” says Monica Candiani, external vice president, content sales, family and brands, eOne. “The show is full of enjoyable all-bike adventures that will ignite young imaginations, and we look forward to introducing the colorful world of Wheelford to future fans in the U.K. ahead of the consumer products rollout later this year.”

Milkshake! is cranking up the excitement around the show’s terrestrial launch in the U.K. with pre-promotional on-air exposure and social media support. eOne is backing its latest pre-school property with an investment in PR and digital marketing activity to drive tune-in.

eOne is readying the digital release of three “Ricky Zoom” songs that will include an extended version of the theme tune and two all-new original songs – which will be available on streaming platforms from mid-April. A nationwide influencer outreach campaign spanning parenting influencers, with a combined platform of 1.2 million across the U.K., will promote the brand values of fun and family to encourage co-viewing and kids to create their own outdoor bike-style adventures together.

More Companies Pitch-In to Fight COVID-19

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Over the past few weeks, many businesses have made efforts to help with the COVID-19 fight. As reported previously, many companies have donated money, and many have switched their production lines from creating fashion, toys and more to creating face masks, hospital gowns, and whatever else the front lines need to thrive.

As the pandemic continues, more companies are joining in on the fight. Licensing International reported on the following new developments:

  • Fanatics and the MLB have joined forces to create masks and gowns out of material originally designated for Major League Baseball jerseys;
  • Crazy Aaron’s has stopped producing thinking putty, and will use its resources to create hand sanitizer;
  • MGA Entertainment is helping source masks and medical supplies, in addition to using its Little Tikes factory to produce ventilator valves and goggles for hospitals, according to Forbes;
  • Burberry will be fast-tracking the delivery of more than 100,000 surgical masks to the U.K. National Health Service; and
  • Careismatic Brands donated $1 million worth of Dickies and Cherokee-branded scrubs to hospitals across the U.S.