Ways Licensing Can Help Families Affected by Hurricane Harvey

Please Help the Families Affected by Hurricane Harvey


Hurricane Harvey made its initial landfall almost a week ago, and the impact continues to be felt across Southeast Texas. The loss of homes, possessions and, most importantly, of lives is indescribable. Our hearts are with everyone affected, and we know our generous community joins us in looking for ways to help.

The Toy Bank – Toy Industry Foundation

“There are currently tens of thousands of families – crowding Houston’s convention center – with no personal space and little if any of their personal belongings. We need to provide relief, comfort, and a distraction for these families while they wait for the chaos to subside.”  You can help by gathering newly packaged books, crafts, dolls, electronics, games, plush and more for all ages. Email The Toy Bank with your product donation form by September 15.


Delivering Good

Delivering Good has been developing a Hurricane Harvey relief effort with trusted community partners on the ground. They are collecting new apparel, home and children’s merchandise for the immediate needs, as well as those longer-term that will come over the next several months. The most pressing needs continue to be new apparel for men, women and children, underwear, socks, towels, sheets, blankets, comforters and pillows. Delivering Good is also accepting financial donations to help support their response.


Global Icons

Global Icons CEO Jeff Lotman has started a GoFundMe campaign for the Houston Food Bank. Global Icons will match donations up to $10,000. “We chose this charity for two reasons. First, they are on the ground helping people locally; second, 96% of the money we raise goes directly to food and supplies needed for disaster relief.”


The LIMA Asian Licensing Awards Now Open for Submissions

Deadline September 25, 2017

The LIMA Licensing Awards are widely recognized as the highest level of achievement in the industry. LIMA China continues to organize the Awards program dedicated to identifying the outstanding achievements in the Asian licensing markets. The LIMA Asian Licensing Awards will debut during the Hong Kong International Licensing Show 2018 at the Opening Night Cocktail Reception on January 8, 2018 (Monday).

All companies who achieved outstanding results with their licensing programs in any Asian market in 2016/2017 are invited to enter into the following award categories:

  • Asian Property of the Year
  • Corporate Brand /Fashion/Lifestyle Program of the Year
  • Digital Property of the Year
  • Entertainment Property of the Year
  • Licensed Promotion of the Year
  • Licensee of the Year
  • Location-Based or Experiential Initiative of the Year
  • Retailer of the Year

To be considered for nomination in the various categories, please fill out the online entry form by September 25, 2017 (Monday).

Click Here for Details on Criteria & Categories

For any enquiries, please contact the Awards committee, at awards@limachina.org.

How Baahubali has evolved as a ‘Brand’ from a ‘Movie’

Bhavik Vora, CEO – Black White Orange Brands Pvt Ltd shared his experience of ‘Baahubali evolving from a ‘Movie’ to a ‘Brand’  with the India Licensing Post’s editorial team.

1. Do you believe that licensing for movies is challenging basis the short life cycles?

The shelf life of a film is so short, it’s literally about the opening weekend. Retailers feel there’s just not enough time to create consumer demand. But we are taking a realistic look at current market conditions and ‘fashioning’ licensing programs that we believe will succeed. We are trying to extend the window of opportunity as much as possible, from four to eight weeks prior to the theatrical premiere all the way through the DVD release and many a times even more. In fact movie merchandise has the potential to last until the fans  love the brand.
2. What prompted you to take on Baahubali as a project?

Indian cinema has the biggest fan following in the country and probably the most untapped potential on the consumer product platform, that takes fans beyond the realm of the big screen. Hardly any Bollywood movie has looked at merchandise seriously. Mostly, L&M has been looked upon as a promotional tool. When we established Black White Orange a year and half back, we had a vision of creating a world-class merchandise programme of cult Indian brands. After the successful launch of Yuvraj Singh’s brand YWC, we were extremely excited to bring to life, the biggest blockbuster of all time, ‘Baahubali’, through a well conceptualized, high-quality merchandise program for Indian & global fans. Arka Mediaworks’s Baahubali has raised the bar and created benchmarks in every aspect of movie making.

3. What did you invest  basis assets and what support did you get from the property owner? 

Time, effort & a lot of passion!

Our creative team at Black White Orange saw the film (first part) over 8-10 times. We were actually breathing the movie while the assets and designs were being created. Shobu Sir of Arka Media Works and Rajmouli Sir worked very closely with us, with inputs & suggestions at every step.

4. What was the strategy and development that went into building the program

The premise of any successful consumer product program is a fan and the community, Baahubali had created a huge fandom and community with the hype it had generated through its first part and it’s was just going to go up from there. Our strategy was to give these fans a piece of their favorite brand by launching categories and products that they would love to flaunt and consume. Our design team worked on a strategy to make the products aspirational enough for them to pay the value that we were planning to ask for it. By no means we wanted it to look like a promotional merchandise used for promoting the movie.

 5. Can this strategy work for all big blockbusters or is there a special ingredient required in the product for it to work for licensing?

I strongly believe it’s the fan of the particular film or brand that can make or break your product plan. Apart from that – quality & design. When a consumer pays for a product, he should be getting his moneys’ worth. That said, every strategy cannot be the same and it’s important to have a road-map that best suits each film.

6. You also work with Universal Studios. Is there something that the West does differently from Bollywood when it comes to licensing for movie properties?

Yes, we handle licensing and merchandising for NBC Universal, in India and South Asia. In Hollywood, merchandising is huge for filmmakers, worth billions of dollars with popular films. Hollywood works on building a huge consumer product program for their franchise properties. These franchise properties due to its global appeal have consumer product programs across the world and that means that many more opportunities to just directly import the product rather than developing from scratch. Plus, they invest very heavily on creating world class creative assets which makes the final product look great.  In India, the shelf life of film-inspired merchandise is about to 10 weeks, between the pre-release, release and post release period. L&M is seen more as a promotional tool rather than long term revenue earner. Although there are huge investments in making the movie, hardly any importance is given to developing creative assets to make a great looking style guide. However, in the future, you will see film studios partnering with more and more marketers to launch many more merchandise in India. Baahubali franchise is the biggest example of success of licensed merchandise in India. The franchise will generate close to 25 cores in sales.

7. Baahubali is the biggest grossing Indian movie- what has been the outcome of this on the merchandise program?

The second part was called Baahubali – The conclusion, for us, this is just the beginning. We already have 6 categories active and are expecting close to 25cr worth of merchandise sales this year and the way the brand has resonated with the audience its going to just grow from here. There are also other extensions that are happening around the brand like Animation & VR content which will help the longevity of the brand.

8. Have you been able to tap the large Indian diaspora on the back of Baahubali being released globally?

Yes, we have been successful in making Baahubali L&M a big hit globally… The idea was to make licensed merchandise as independent revenue vertical and not necessarily to promote the film much on the lines of the tent pole franchise model that is popular in Hollywood. We are sure, Baahubali has inspired Bollywood filmmakers and studios to take L&M seriously and it will be interesting to see the future of the maiden Indian film franchise as it gets ready to create a world of its own.

9. Do you reckon- BWO to pursue more movie licensing projects?

Yes, we are very excited to work with studios on movie licensing projects. Recently we also launched Despicable ME 3 merchandise  in India. The products, led by the Minions are based on characters from the movie, which include Gru, Balthazar Bratt, Margo, Lucy Wilde, Agnes and the incomparable Minions themselves, in exciting styles & categories. Next up – Watch out for the Jurassic World in 2018! It’s going to be huge!

Your 2017 BLE Checklist

Headed to Brand Licensing Europe?

Make Sure You’re Ready!


Have You Purchased Your Party Tickets?
The Official LIMA BLE Garden Party is a sell-out event every year – make sure you get your tickets before they’re gone!  Join us Wednesday, 11 October at the Roof Gardens Kensington for plenty of networking and fun after day two of Brand Licensing Europe. Purchase Your Tickets Now.

Are You Registered for LIMA’s Executive Seminar?
Join us on the 9th October for Maximizing Opportunity in a Multi-Platform Age – a unique discussion about the challenges and opportunities in the rapidly changing media environment, featuring speakers from BBC Worldwide, BuzzFeed, Cartoon Network, Fashion UK and Finsbury Food Group. Tickets are limited! Visit the event page for full details and registration.

Is Your Hotel Booked?
LIMA members receive special discounts at the Dorsett, a stylish and comfortable four-star hotel conveniently located a 15 minute walk from the show floor at Olympia, and near shopping at the Westfield London and the Shepherd’s Bush tube stop. Special room rates for members start at GBP 160, inclusive of VAT, a full English breakfast, and WiFi. Click here for full rate information!

Still thinking about exhibiting?
One of LIMA’s most significant benefits is the exclusive pricing we offer our members on stand space at Brand Licensing Europe.  The deadline to utilize LIMA membership for 2017 show savings is Friday, 1 September.  Not a member yet? Join LIMA now!

Most important of all… have you registered for BLE yet?  Remember to get your badge if you haven’t already for access to everything from Licensing Academy to the new Matchmaking Service!  Click here to register now.

LIMA Annual Global Survey of Licensing Industry Now Available

LIMA has released the full findings of its Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey. Commissioned by LIMA, the leading trade organization for the worldwide licensing business, and conducted by Brandar Consulting, LLC, the third annual survey provides in-depth analysis and detailed breakdowns of the US$262.9 billion global licensing industry – a 4.4% growth from the previous year. The report quantifies worldwide royalty revenue and corresponding retail sales by product category, property type and geographic region. It also covers the latest trends and offers forward-looking analysis and other features that capture the scale of licensing around the world. Topline results from the survey were released during the 2017 Licensing Expo.


“We are pleased to provide the latest edition of LIMA’s global report, with in-depth analysis on the state of the industry that will help guide licensing professionals in making their best strategic decisions,” said LIMA President Charles Riotto. “We’re also delighted to note that, since the survey went global in 2015, we have seen consistent worldwide growth of sales of licensed products in virtually all geographic regions.”

Character & Entertainment continues to be the top property type, accounting for $118.3 billion in retail sales, a 45% share of market. Corporate Trademarks follow in second place with $54.6 billion in retail sales for a 21.0% share of the total.

In addition, the survey shows that the U.S. and Canada remain the largest global markets for licensed merchandise, with retail sales of $152.3 billion last year, up 5% for a 58% share of the market. Retail sales of licensed goods outside the U.S. and Canada totaled $110.6 billion, up 4.8% from the previous year. The next largest global region was Western Europe – with the U.K., Germany and France as the three largest markets – where revenues totaled $52.4 billion, a 20% share. Northern Asia, which includes China, followed with revenues of $24.5 billion, a 9% share.

Apparel led all product categories with $39.3 billion in revenue, which is 15% of total global licensed retail sales, followed by Toys at $35.1 billion (13% share), and Fashion Accessories at $29.6 billion (11% share).

The full LIMA Annual Global Licensing Industry Survey is available free to LIMA members and priced at $975 for non-members.

How brand Doraemon has stayed relevant for over a decade in India


The editorial team at Indialicensingpost.com caught up with Mr. Nitin Kalra, Director, AI Licensing India Pvt. Ltd to get his views on a range of topics related to the outstanding success of Doraemon in India and other territories. Read on and enjoy!

1.     Is having Doraemon on TV the single biggest ingredient that helped build the licensing program?
Doraemon’s core audience is 2 to 8 years and that’s largely driven by television. Content has played a major role in the success of the licensing program for Doraemon across the world. Having managed Doraemon Licensing for over 2 decades across Asia, Middle East & CIS region, we at Animation International strongly support and believe in our television partners. In India we started with Hungama in 2005 (when it was owned by UTV) and later after it’s merger with Disney, we expanded the program across the Disney Network. Doraemon has been the strongest property for Disney ever since and our
alliance with them is rock solid. Despite the program starting to air in 2005, it was only in 2010 that we actually saw the licensing program starting to fructify the way we would have liked. Today Doraemon is the strongest property on Disney Network and for us it is certainly one of the key drivers for the licensing

2.     Is there a strategy that you have worked on to pace the growth of the licensing and merchandising so as to not lead to over saturation? “Saturation” is a very subjective term – for a lot of people the more the exposure the better the program.
For some it’s the complete opposite. It really depends on how you see the use of the character in your portfolio. Again out of our two decades experience of managing Doraemon in multiple territories, we see a gradual increase in its exposure, we see years of absolute peak and then a decline. However unlike most brands that fail to recover once they fall from their peaks, Doraemon has the tendency to bounce back – it has sustained in a strong manner in markets like Thailand, Taiwan, China, Indonesia and many others, thanks to the continuous content support our Licensors provide from time to time.

3.    How many categories is Doremon currently available in and whats been the pace of growth?
We are currently spread across all major softlines and hardlines categories across 30+ licensees.
Promotions are one of the biggest revenue streams for us but we don’t over expose the brand with multiple brands. We always restrict our promotions to 4-5 major ones each year. Thankfully most of our partners have stuck on to us and have done multiple year deals with us for promotions and product. Our next big push is on the digital front, where we are a bit weak – but since our core TG of 2-8 years, as a brand philosophy Doraemon doesn’t encourage the use of high tech digital gadgets for kids and hence this isn’t our core area of licensing. However considering the way the market consumes content, we are now seriously focusing on making sure we are present across all digital platforms too.

4.    Since Animation International manages this business across Middle East, Southeast Asia- how does
the property fare in India vs. the other markets?
Revenue wise, Thailand and China continue to be our growth leaders whereas India, Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam and South Korea are our fastest growing markets. We see the acceptance a bit slow in Turkey and UAE but it’s still early days in those markets. India continues to grow at a rapid pace and we are investing further in our business.

5.     Is there any very India centric case study that you could share as something that AI is proud of?
There are quite a few things, which we have put together, which have been well appreciated by our licensees.

We are probably the only agency where 70% of our licensees use our designing services. We have a full-fledged design studio with experts from the field of merchandise designing and licensees now find it very easy to get ready-to- produce files. It has also helped us reduce approval time, which in turn reduces the overall product development time leading to faster product to market making everyone in the chain happy.
We are also amongst the first companies in India to start charging malls for character appearances. Our first event was in 2010 and since then we have never given our character costumes to malls or schools or even exhibitions for free. There is always a fee that’s attached to it and our event partners have seen value in the association and hence have always come back for more. As a principal in Animation International, our characters are our stars, we don’t use them for free promotions but always ensure they get their due and add value to our partners.
Again we have been instrumental in opening up new markets across the country – one instance is that of Guwahati. We were the first agency to step foot in that market when nobody had even looked at going there. Our first deal with a snack food company there opened up a plethora of opportunities for the region and within a year all major brands flooded that market. We still feel special as being the first there, the companies and our partners there still value the first lessons in licensing we gave them. What makes us happy is that we were able to create a business opportunity for the entire industry.

6.    Since you deal with a brand with mass appeal- how have you been servicing the captive consumer
need via the unorganized market?
Yes we do have a strategy to focus on the unorganized segment of the market. Since this segment fuels piracy, our in-house legal team works with a network of anti-piracy agencies that help us reach out to this
segment. However our approach is not to approach them with the objective of putting them behind bars.
Our first priority is to convince them to convert into official retail partners. We have created a “Doraemon Retail Partner Program” whereby we enroll retailers who wish to buy official merchandise from us directly.
We have seen many unorganized players who have enrolled into the program voluntarily. We started this as a pilot this year in Mumbai and already have 100 mom-and- pop stores with us. We will scale this to 500 stores in Mumbai by end of this year and then aim to roll out nationally.

7.     What would be the single limitation that stifles growth of licensing in India?
The entire retail ecosystem itself is our biggest limitation. Consumers need product but due tothe high- handed ways of retailers, the consumers are not able to get the right kind of product at
the right price. Retailers have put licensees out of business by refusing to give them space or due to their business practices. Policies of returns after years of buying the stock, without any
explanation, erratic delays in payments, adjustments of payments, unusual fees and charges – all add up to the chaos that licensees experience. This in turn doesn’t lead to the growth of the business and the captive demand is serviced by piracy and counterfeit. Unless there is a partnership approach on the retail front the licensing business will continue to be small.

8.     What would you like to see as change in the Indian licensing ecosystem?
Indian Licensing is still at a very nascent stage but the explosion of growth in this industry will happen at a pace, which will be beyond anyone’s imagination. That’s also the opportunity in India. If we as brand owners and licensing companies want to be a part of this growth phase, it is extremely critical we start collaborating together. We need to find synergies, ways to help each other, which will in turn help the overall ecosystem grow. There is a need for a collaborative effort to handle piracy, issues related to talent acquisition and talent management, issues of retail, payments, audits, etc.

An Important Reminder from LIMA

August 2017

It has come to our attention there are companies and individuals falsely representing they hold rights for various IP owners and agents. We encourage everyone to please perform due diligence in considering new business. Always ask for references and supporting documentation on the IP represented and the corporate head office for any individuals or companies representing to be sub-agents.

LIMA’s global offices and of course our website are an excellent resource as well.

Your business is our business and we are here to help.

LIMA Announces 2017 UK Rising Stars Nominees

LIMA UK has announced the nominees for its 2017 UK Rising Stars.  The winner will be announced at this year’s UK Licensing Awards, taking place on 12th September at Grosvenor House.

  • Grace Pantony – Licensing Director, Marshall Amplifiers
  • Hannah Stevens – Retail & Brand Manager, CPLF
  • Katie Ball – Retail Partnerships Manager, BBC Worldwide
  • Charlotte Boyce – European Campaign Manager, Nickelodeon
  • Omar Khan – Licensing & Special Projects Manager, Forbidden Planet
  • Sophie Yates – Licensing Coordinator, Bulldog Licensing

LIMA UK Managing Director Kelvyn Gardener: “In this second year of our expanded LIMA UK Rising Star Award, we’ve been delighted to see a solid increase in submissions. It’s clear we have a great deal of rising licensing talent in the UK.  Choosing our six nominees was a tough and exacting process, and we congratulate all of them for reaching this final cohort of young licensing excellence, from whom our overall LIMA UK Rising Star will be selected.”