A View from Licensing U: Licensing International Highlights Tips for Experts and Beginners

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On the fourth day of Licensing Week Virtual, Licensing International launched Licensing University to share tips and tricks for both industry experts and those just starting out.
 

This year, Licensing University went digital to coincide with Licensing Week Virtual. The online-only event included sessions ranging from how to plan for a post-pandemic world to learning the basics of licensing.

“We were able to really think about some of the issues related to the pandemic and how it's affecting how you plan a marketing plan for the rest of this year and into next year when you're really uncertain as to what the consumer landscape is going to be like,” says Marty Brochstein, senior vice president, Licensing International.

With speakers including Hamutal Schieber, founder and chief executive officer, Schieber Research, and Scott Harmon, director of laundry innovation, Church & Dwight, the series brought some of thought leaders at the forefront of the licensing industry together to chat about where the industry is as well as where its headed.

The Day After COVID-19: Consumer and Marketing Trends

Hamutal Schieber, founder and chief executive officer, Schieber Research, shared some of the trends and consumer preferences emerging from the market now as we begin to see what life might look like after COVID-19. Her session highlighted how categories such as at-home fitness and ecommerce looks to continue to play a key role in the future even as the world starts to get back to work.

We do think that there will be, at least on the medium-term, a huge change [with personal fitness], people will likely go less to gyms and we'll look for more curated experiences such as ClassPlass and smaller surrounding smaller events,” says Schieber, during the session.
Marketing in the New Normal

Melissa Menta, senior vice president and communications, Peanuts Worldwide and Alaina Caldwell, partner and creative director, Styleworks hosted a session on the new marketing demands caused by COVID-19. During the presentation, moderated by Brochstein, Menta and Caldwell highlighted how factors such as working from home and new consumer needs are affecting how brands approach marketing.

“Everybody is in this together, we’re trying to juggle our personal lives and our professional lives as they're intertwining as one, which can be really difficult for a lot of people especially right now in a time of need,” says Caldwell. “Bringing this virtual licensing event together is a major accomplishment. And I'm really proud to be a part of it.”
What the Market Realities of COVID Mean for Negotiating License Agreements

Licensing agreements are expected to go through a slate of new challenges due to the novel coronavirus. From taking a look at current contract terms to implementing new practices moving forward, contracts are now being looked at under a new lens. Kim Boyle, Senior Counsel, Richard Law Group, spoke about these new challenges and opportunities during her presentation as part of Licensing University.

“There's so much going on with COVID-19 that we need to kind of stop and pause to take a look at how all these things might go into the way we work together going forward,” says Boyle.
Why Consumer Research Matters – Especially Now

Consumer research has always been a key part of product development, but now more than ever its role seems even more heightened. As COVID-19 has rocked the world at large, the ability to leverage research to more effectively utilize resources seems vital today. During a panel on the topic, experts shared how consumer research can be used to help businesses navigate the ‘new normal.’

Speakers for the event included Tammy Talerico, director of licensing, Church & Dwight; Scott Harmon, director of laundry innovation, Church & Dwight; Kyle Whitacre, vice president, sales, CR Brands, Inc.; Neelam S. Modi, upstream brand management, CR Brands, Inc.; Adina Avery Grossman, founding partner, Brandgenuity.

To learn more about the session, check out License Global’s coverage of the “Why Consumer Research Matters – Especially Now.”
Should You Consider Using Talent as Part of Your Social Commerce?

Charlotte Clisby, Managing Director and Partner, Attachment London

Social media has opened up a whole new playing field for brands looking to work with influencers and talent. During her Licensing University session, Charlotte Clisby, managing director and partner, Attachment London, highlighted how leveraging talent and social media is an effective way to level up a brand.

92% of consumers trust talent more than brands, and that’s not to say that we're doing anything wrong,” says Clisby. But, if you're a consumer, and you’re a fan of a particular celebrity, you build up a trusted relationship with them over months, or sometimes years.
Esports and Licensing: The State of Play

Esports has become just as ubiquitous as any major sport in the world. The mixture of beloved video game titles and competitive gameplay has turned the industry into a category ripe for licensing opportunities. During the session, Daniel Amos, head of esports, Difuzed, highlighted why the industry is so valuable to licensing and shared how the space is expected to grow in years to come.

You can pick up a mobile phone and be connected to a tournament that is happening in another country,” says Amos. “You don't necessarily need the big rigs [anymore]. It's becoming more and more accessible each time.
What You Need to Know About Royalty Rates

Royalty rates are a crucial piece of licensing agreements and the a part of what makes the industry tick. Learning how they work and why they are so important is vital to anyone looking to get into licensing. Teri Niadna, managing director, Brandgenuity Europe; Carolann Dunn, vice president, Discovery Inc.; Steve Scebelo, intermin president, licensing and business development, NFL Players Inc., highlight how to approach the issue of licensing if your new to the space.

There really is no standard rate or cookie cutter approach to royalty rates, but you should always do your homework,” says Dunn.
Basics of Licensing

Stu Seltzer, president, Seltzer Licensing Group and a professor at NYU; 

Joni Camacho, vice president, NBC Universal TV Licensing and Franchise Strategy; Julie McCleave, director of global licensing, Unilever and Rob Striar, president, M Style Marketing, highlighted the basics to get anyone up-to-speed on the licensing space. For those new to the industry or looking for a refresher, this session provides a great session to get moving in licensing.

Learn More

To watch all of licensing sessions on-demand be sure to register for Licensing Week Virtual and visit the virtual theater.

Why Consumer Research Matters... Especially Now

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On day four of Licensing Week Virtual, Adina Avery Grossman, founding partner, Brandgenuity, moderated a deep-dive panel discussion on the importance and power of consumer research.

Panelists included Tammy Talerico, director, licensing, Church & Dwight; Scott Harmon, director, laundry innovation, Church & Dwight; Kyle Whitacre, vice president, sales, CR Brands; and Neelam S. Modi, Upstream Brand Management, CR Brands.

The group dissected an array of topics that highlighted the importance of quality consumer research. Using Arm & Hammer cleaning wipes as a case study, panelists illustrated techniques, strategies and best-practices for gathering insight that will deliver success. Grossman asked panelists about the importance of packaging, shelf research, research costs and how best to gather research in a post-COVID-19 climate.

Giving Consumers a Voice

A significant aspect of the discussion was how consumer research affords the consumer a voice. The panelist highlighted how by starting research early, brands can better understand what consumers want and what they expect before a product hits the shelf.

“It’s really important that we listen to the voice of the consumer... without the consumer’s vote, we can’t be successful,” says Talerico.

Packaging: An Introduction to A Brand

When a consumer sees a packaged good at the store it can be the first introduction to a brand. With that first impression in mind, Talerico imparted key insights on weighing the old and new in regard to packaging. She reported that it is important to look at how any changes might change how consumers look at a brand.

“‘If it’s not broke, don’t fix it’ sometimes is the way to go, but when you change your packaging, it’s highly critical to do a packaging study against the existing package versus what’s new to really understand if any of those elements change the consumer perception of the packaging.”

The Emotional Side of Shopping

Harmon explained the psychology of consumers’ brains and being able to study the emotional side of consumers’ buying decisions. He also stressed the importance of competitive analysis and shelf research, pointing to Package Insights as a valuable tool.

“You can think of the role of research as a little bit like an NFL rookie contract or buying a paint swatch before you paint the whole room,” Harmon said. “It’s a way of paying a little bit early on in the process to avoid making large mistakes later in the process.” 

Understanding Your Competition
Whitacre shared insights into the importance of knowing how big the category is, what the subcategories are and identifying any underserved niches, while Modi thoroughly explained the pivotal role in building out an informed consumer profile and identifying a consumer’s wants using various research tools.

Learn More

To learn more and watch the entire panel discussion, register for Licensing Week Virtual.

Jeff Lotman Explains How to Connect with Consumers and Supercharge Your Brand

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Drawing from his newly published book  Invisible Marketing: A Hidden Tool for Connecting with Consumers through Licensing, Jeff Lotman, founder, chief executive officer, Global Icons and owner of Fred Segal, spoke to the brand community today about the power of consumer relationships in licensing. 

During the presentation, Lotman highlighted the inherent brand marketing potential that licensed goods provide. He showcased how licensing compares to other more traditional marketing initiatives, as well as explained the role licensing can play in breaking down ‘the third wall.’

“Everyone is out there trying to sell,” says Lotman, “Sell to you through PR or TV, or radio, social or different events, and they're spending millions and millions of dollars on advertising every year. The reality is, it's hard to break through that third wall to get people to see you or get your product into their mind. The wonderful thing about what we do is, we're the only way to break through that third wall, because we create products.”

The licensing industry has been listed as generating $292.8 billion in global retail revenue in 2019, according to Licensing International, a 4.5 percent rise on 2018. The core of that industry revenue is licensing's subtle ability to seamlessly connect brands and consumers with innovative products. Behind those innovative products, are brands that actively drive to answer the needs of their consumers by working in tandem with the right partners. 

“For example, all Caterpillar consumers want to succeed at their job,” adds Lotman. “They specifically look for products that then do that, that really help people succeed, which is really smart. [Caterpillar] know who their customers are and who they're not. So, of course they've done work boots, which has been an enormous success. [But also] phones, denim and toolboxes, which is smart. If you think to yourself, ‘why would Caterpillar make a phone?’ What do you think about people that work on those job sites? It really matters to them, they want to make sure these products are a champion of success.” 

Consumer insights power successful licensing solutions, and create products that drive brand engagement, loyalty and exposure. Offering another example to the crowds of Licensing Week Virtual,  Lotman shined a light on the success story behind Mustang’s expanding women’s products market.  

 “Mustang sells a lot of cars, and close to 40 percent are sold to women,” says Lotman. “They've did some research to look at how to enhance and how to extend in the market, and research showed that women who buy Mustangs also really like to get mani pedis. We thought about seeing if we could do a nail polish, which of course would align very much with that. [Mustang] just did a great line and launched nail care that actually tied in with the 50th birthday of Mustang, and then also tied in with the colors of the cars. So, it was actually really cool. It turned into a huge media success.”

For more information on Lotman’s book and insight into the creation of his licensing business, Global Icons, register for Licensing Week Virtual to gain full access to on-demand content, network with the industry and gain more insights into the power of licensing. 

Artists to Athletes: The Rise of Social Media in the Licensing

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Day three of Licensing Week Virtual brought the art, design and emerging categories front and center. Guest speakers across the categories spoke about the role social media has played in not only connected people with brands but also turning people into influencers. 

On the sports front, the NFLPA sponsored a discussion on the growing concept of Group Player Rights. This licensing paradigm sees sports' league player associations such as the NFLPA license out player rights as a collective. Group Player Rights allows licensees to work directly with players represented associations to license athletes' rights without having to license their team's brand. 

The concept also allows groups to sign deals for all player rights instead of just individuals one-by-one. Under the terms of the agreement, the sports teams still own team branding and players still own their individual brand, but licensees looking to work with many players at once now have a new option in their tool kit. 

Group Player Rights come at an ideal time for many licensees and licensors in the space. The rise of social media platforms has offered players the chance to raise their own profiles outside of a traditional team or sport. Players now more than ever are expanding their individual brands and sharing their views and personality directly with fans online. Due to the increase in influencer athletes, today's individual sports stars are more well-known than ever.   

"We've always had things to say, it's just now people are accepting athletes and their platforms which is good for us, and brands as well because it opens up the type of branding and different types of sponsorships we can get," says Renee Montgomery, athlete, Atlanta Dream, during her Licensing Week Virtual panel discussion, "Strength in Numbers: Maximize Your Next Licensing Initiative with Group Player Rights." 

For artists, social media has also played a vital role in bringing their work to the masses. Not only are artists building their brand through social media, but limited-edition product launches are now easier to promote than ever before. During the "Art of the Drop" panel, David Stark, Founder and President, Artestar, shared how limited-edition product drops paired with social media have become one of the most substantial ways for brands to generate earned media in an ever-crowding marketplace.  

"Remember the long lines outside stores when a new iPhone is being released, now transplant them in front of a high-end fashion boutique and you've got drop culture," says Stark. 

From athletes to artists, the importance of social media in the brand building can't be understated. It's not just a brand imperative to build social media influence, but it's also a vital tool for individuals looking to expand their reach to new fans. 

Designing the Deal: Bioworld’s Jason Mayes Shares Expert Tips on Apparel Licensing

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Day three of Licensing Week Virtual was both informative and fun. Attendees spanning all facets of the licensing industry joined a retro-inspired virtual chat session moderated by License Global’s Bibi Wardak on the dynamic topic of licensing within the apparel category – the largest product category, accounting for 15.1 percent of the licensed merchandise market share, according to Licensing International’s latest global survey.

Bioworld Merchandising’s Jason Mayes answered questions and shared his insightful tips, including the top three best-practices for licensing in the exciting apparel product category.

Mayes shared the following top three best-practices.

  • Engagement: Consumer Insight. Bioworld has been aggressive in investing in direct-to-consumer brands over the last several years. This gives us unique access and insight into the fans driving the trends. This is valuable to our brand partners. Our shared goal is to translate the brand story onto products the consumers love.”
  • Category diversity. Bioworld develops into over 20 product categories. That delivers complete brand translation across all categories. We have expertise in men’s, women’s, juniors, youth and kids. Our categories range from apparel and accessories to home, office and giftables. Our cross-category knowledge allows us to leverage data insight from each division and get synergies in other divisions. To the brand partners and retailers – this creates seamless agility to respond to trends. Getting the right product, into the right hands at the right time. That is the Bioworld difference.”
  • Omni-Channel execution. Anywhere and everywhere. Meeting the fans where they are. Being able to engage consumers across platforms is a key component to brand partner relationships. Bioworld has full capabilities at brick-and-mortar, retail e-comm (like Walmart.com, Target.com, etc.), Amazon, social commerce and more. This multiple-level, cross-channel approach harmonizes the brand message to create cohesion no matter where the fans shop.”

Mayes also shared the pitfalls licensing professionals should avoid when working in this segment.

“In the new landscape, brand owners need to be cognizant of their partners,” says Mayes. “Too wide of segmentation between partners can lead to fragmentation in design and messaging. This also can stifle speed-to-market. A ‘fully-vertical’ manufacturing and licensee partner can add agility and synergy needed in this demanding retail climate.”

Mayes stressed the importance of information-gathering via social media and knowing your fan base, especially in the pop culture segment.

“Our consumer-engagement model creates holistic fan insight covering all pop-culture fan segments,” Mayes told chatroom participants. “That means one-on-one conversations with the consumers driving the trends. The data goes directly to our 150-plus product experts to create seamless cohesion from brand owner to product development to retail to consumer.”

To connect with Mayes and learn more about apparel licensing, please register for Licensing Week Virtual and use our Matchmaking Service. Visit Bioworld’s website for even more!

Group Player Rights Highlights New Licensing Opportunities for Athletes

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During an NFLPA-sponsored panel at Licensing Week Virtual, athletes and licensing thought leaders came together to highlight the growing role Group Player Rights plays in sports licensing. 

Social media and online platforms have amplified pro athlete's voices more than ever before. From utility players to superstars, today's athletes now transcend their sports to become influencers in their own right.  

"An athlete with less than 10,000 followers has a ten times more engaged audience than one with over 100,000 followers on social media," says Blake Lawrence, chief executive officer and co-founder, opendorse. "So, social media has really made it so that every player on the roster becomes a potential ambassador."  

As living influencers, athletes can also take part in activities and bring a unique voice to causes that align with their beliefs. Players today have the platforms and opportunities to highlight everything from their hobbies to support in social justice causes.  

"We've always had things to say, it's just now people are accepting athletes and their platforms which is good for us, and brands as well because it opens up the type of branding and different types of sponsorships we can get," says Renee Montgomery, athlete, Atlanta Dream. 

As nearly every athlete now has their brand and licensing opportunities, sports licensing has shifted recently to more holistic agreement options. One such option is Group Player Rights, which enable licensees to work with athletes across the spectrum of a given sport. While athletes still own their own individual rights, and teams own things like logos, these partnerships allow merchandisers the chance to utilize player rights in masse via different leagues players associations such as the NFLPA.  

According to Terése Whitehead, senior manager of sponsorships and operations, NFLPA, Group Player Rights provide more accessible licensing terms for many licensees as well as highlights the fact the separation between players and teams in terms of licensing. 

"A common misconception I think among brands, is [they think] in order to utilize players, they also have to get a league or a team license," says Whitehead. 

The new system has allowed for licensees like trading card companies to have more access to players' rights than previously available. Group Player Rights Deals have also enabled for less fragmentation in the market. 

"It used to be very fragmented," says D.J. Kazmierczak, vice president of sales and product development, Panini. "A decade ago, you had multiple manufacturers with a fragmentation of the representation. So, for instance, you might have three or four people that we've signed to exclusive deals [but] another company signed some others, and it was creating a little bit of confusion in the marketplace for the consumer." 

As players look to licensing to help their brands grow, Group Player Rights deals also highlight the unique opportunities brands can leverage when working with athletes. From in-person activations to unique partnerships, players from all sports can now play an outsized roll in licensing that extends past just sports. 

"I think the greatest thing about our guys is that they're not figurines," Eric Winston, chief partnerships officer, OneTeam Partners. "They have living breathing IP right so you have the ability to go activate [them]." 

Learn More 

To learn more about Group Player Rights watch the full Strength in Numbers: Maximize Your Next Licensing Initiative with Group Player Rights panel on-demand by registering for Licensing Week Virtual

The Art of the Drop: Collabs and the Democratization of Art

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During the "Art of Drop" presentation at this year's Licensing Week Virtual event, leading thought leaders from Artestar, Peanuts, and the art world came together to highlight the marketing power of product drops and collaborations. 

Hosted by event sponsor, Easyrider, the panel discussion showcased how platforms like social media and a consistently competitive marketplace have made product drops and brand collabs a vital aspect of modern brand building. The speakers shared how to establish successful initiatives in the space and effectively work with other brands to amplify your message. 

Taking Cues from Apple  

Limited-edition product drops have become a trending option for brands looking to reach modern consumers who have a wealth of options in the marketplace. Drops take the basic concepts of supply-and-demand and level them up to reach a massive fanbase. As David Stark, founder and president, Artestar explains it, drops take the product culture of high-end electronics and shifts it to the world fashion. 

"Remember the long lines outside stores when a new iPhone is being released, now transplant them in front of a high-end fashion boutique and you've got dropped culture," says Stark. 

Bringing Art to Masses 

Stark has built a career working with beloved artists such as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. His work in the art world has led to the widespread sharing of art that may have never reached the masses. Stark says working with artists such as Haring showcased how artists can use licensing and merchandising to bring their craft to more people.  

"Haring made inexpensive commercial products, which was a radical move for a fine artist," reports Stark. "He had a retail store the pop shop because he wanted to distribute his art and message on products to reach a wide audience and engage directly with popular culture," says Stark. 

Collaborating with Artists the Right Way 

Brands need to understand their partners to work with artists effectively. Like any collaboration, both parties must understand each other and have common goals for the project. During the panel at Licensing Week Virtual, Artist Andre Saraiva shared how he has worked with brands to bring his work to the masses. He said that it is vital for brands and artists to be on the same page to ensure a successful partnership can exist. 

"Often, the idea of collaborating, isn't always very accepted by the art world," says Saraiva. "So, as a studio, we like to collaborate with companies and brands we understand but also who understand us. That's very important as an artist to have a really the same value." 

For brands, the partnerships take careful consideration as well. Companies like Peanuts Worldwide have built strong relationships with the art and fashion world. The brand has teamed up with companies such as Levi and artists such as Saraiva. Roz Nowicki, executive vice president, Peanuts Worldwide, shared during the panel that if you're able to get a partnership right the first time, it can be sustainable for future projects. 

"Collaboration partners that we've worked with for first time have come back for a second time and frequently for a third, because we've been so successful together," says Nowicki. 

Learn More 

To learn more about “The Art of the Drop” listen into the full presentation on-demand by registering for Licensing Week Virtual

Art, Culture and The Next Emerging Market: Licensing Week Virtual Day 3

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Day three of Licensing Week Virtual commenced on Wednesday, June 17, highlighting a breadth of new online opportunities for the licensing industry. Some of the most well-known executives in the licensing space shared tips and strategies via online panels on the art, design and emerging categories sector.

From listening to speakers to networking and “walking” the virtual show floor, there was something for everyone in the industry. Here is the Licensing Global recap of the third day of this inaugural event.

How to Create a Culture of Equality

Michelle King, director, inclusion, Netflix highlighted how to make equality a competitive advantage during Wednesday’s Licensing Week Virtual keynote.

King explained how to create a culture of equality in business that comes through at a brand-level. King discussed how creating a culture of equality isn’t just a brand necessity but a proven way to overperform as a brand.

For more information from Michelle King’s in-depth keynote Creating a Culture of Equality with Jewel Branding, register for Licensing Week Virtual to watch the full video, on-demand.

What Do Licensees Want?

One educational opportunity at day three of Licensing Week Virtual was another instalment of an ongoing series for the week, “What Do Licensees Want?” which focuses on a new topic each day.

Three experts in art, design & emerging categories came together to answer this overarching question: Noah Gelbart, chief revenue officer, CAA-GBG, moderated the panel that featured two other industry experts in Trevor George, chief executive officer, Trevco and Jack Gindi, chief executive officer, Ground Up. The three panelists focused their conversations on what licensees are looking for in a post-COVID world.

To learn all of the secrets Gelbart, George and Gindi had to share, check out the full panel on-demand.

Cultural Institutions: The Next Emerging Market for Licensing

Cultural institutions held the smallest market share of brand licensing’s $292.8 billion global revenue in 2019, precisely 0.5 percent, according to the Licensing International Annual Report 2020. While the percentage of actual market share may be comparatively small, the category is defined by positive growth in consumer demand, widespread market penetration, endless archives of heritage assets and dedication to quality. 

Licensed experts in the art and heritage space discussed the emergence of cultural institutions in licensing in the space during their panel at Licensing Week Virtual. Sharing how the category has evolved and were it expects to go, the panelists highlighted the unique value of the space in 2020 and beyond.

You can view the full panel Cultural Institutions: The Next Emerging Market for Licensing hosted by Carlin West of The Carlin West Agency by registering for Licensing Week Virtual

The Art of the Drop

During the “Art of Drop” presentation at this year’s Licensing Week Virtual event, leading thought leaders from Artestar, Peanuts and the art world came together to highlight the marketing power of product drops and collaborations. 

Hosted by event sponsor, Easyrider, the panel discussion showcased how platforms like social media and a consistently competitive marketplace have made product drops and brand collabs a vital aspect of modern brand building.

To learn more about “The Art of the Drop” listen into the full presentation on-demand by registering for Licensing Week Virtual

Strength in Numbers: Maximize Your Next Licensing Initiative with Group Play Rights

During an NFLPA-sponsored panel at Licensing Week Virtual, athletes and licensing thought leaders came together to highlight the growing role Group Player Rights plays in sports licensing. 

Executives from the NFLPA, Panini, OneTeam Partners and opendorse came together with Renee Montgomery of the Atlanta Dream to discuss Group Player Rights and the uniqueness of living, breathing IP.

To learn more about Group Player Rights watch the full Strength in Numbers: Maximize Your Next Licensing Initiative with Group Player Rights panel on-demand by registering for Licensing Week Virtual

Designing the Deal: Bioworld’s Jasn Mayes Talks Apparel and Lifestyle Licensing

Attendees spanning all facets of the licensing industry joined a retro-inspired virtual chat session moderated by License Global’s Bibi Wardak. The session focused on the dynamic topic of licensing within the apparel category.

Bioworld Merchandising’s Jason Mayes answered questions via chat and shared insightful tips, including the top 3 best-practices for licensing in the apparel product category.

To connect with Mayes and learn more about apparel licensing, please register for the first-ever Licensing Week Virtual by clicking here and use the event’s Matchmaking Service.

Learn More

If you couldn’t attend any of these sessions, don’t worry! Those who are registered for the event can re-watch all of the panels and presentations for up to one week. To register for the event and view the sessions on-demand, visit the Licensing Week Virtual page.

Art, Design & Emerging Categories: What Licensees Want in a Post-COVID World

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At day 3 of the first-ever Licensing Week Virtual, experts from all over the licensing industry came together to share strategies, insights, experiences and more. One such session came as part of the ongoing series for the week, “What Do Licensees Want?” which focuses on a new topic each day. 

Noah Gelbart, chief revenue officer, CAA-GBG, moderated the panel that featured two other industry experts: Trevor George, chief executive officer, Trevco and Jack Gindi, chief executive officer, Ground Up. The three panelists focused their conversations on what licensees are looking for in a post-COVID world. 

The Business Challenges of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic ended up reshaping the licensing industry and we’re seeing new effects constantly. From the rise of ecommerce to the risks worth taking during an unprecedented time, the executives went over their own personal experiences during the pandemic. 

“Most of what we do is brick-and-mortar,” says Gindi. “So, our distribution lanes were very heavily affected when this went down for us, about the middle of March. Some of our majors [partners] like Kohl’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom – those guys completely shut down. The malls we rely on heavily shut down. We had to rapidly change the way we do business. We had to pivot and put a focus on direct-to-consumer.”

In addition, the executives shared their secrets on continuing to secure deals when things are changing so rapidly, namely through looking to the future. 

“I think the progression toward ecommerce and the investment that brands and licensees take in their content will translate to licensing deals,” adds George. “If you go to very aggressive or forward-thinking retailers sometimes products have 3D models that consumers can spin around. I think we’ll see licensees do that for their own direct-to-consumer channels and use those same assets to go out to licensors and say ‘hey, here’s my product, here’s my widget,’ sort of a digital showroom in itself.” 

If you missed the presentation, you can still tune in. To learn all of the secrets Gelbart, George and Gindi had to share, check out the panel on-demand. If you still have not signed up for the event, register for the first-ever Licensing Week Virtual by clicking here. 

Beanstalk Brokers Deal Between U.S. Army and Invicta Watch Company of America

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The U.S. Army has partnered with Invicta Watch Company of America to launch a line of premium U.S. Army-branded wrist watches.

Invicta’s new line aims to take the U.S. Army brand to new heights by expanding its presence within the accessory space. Beanstalk, the U.S. Army’s brand extension licensing agency, brokered the agreement.

“The U.S. Army - Invicta collection merges Invicta’s innovative designs and engineering with the highly recognizable U.S. Army logo to create a performance, function-driven time-piece that consumers of both brands can enjoy,” says Eyal Lalo, chief executive officer, Invicta. “This collection offers U.S. Army collectors and enthusiasts a chance to wear their U.S. Army pride right on their wrists, capturing the timelessness of their patriotism.” 

The U.S. Army Invicta watch collection is available online with products ranging in price from $100-$400.

For Beanstalk, the deal marks another collaboration for its client portfolio. The agency recently discussed its approach to licensing in a sponsored a panel at Licensing Week Virtual. Beanstalk’s panel, “Consumers, Brands and Retailers: Adapting in the New Reality,” explored the future state of retail, branding and consumer behavior. Register for the first-ever Licensing Week Virtual to watch the full session on-demand.