10 minutes with….Metro Star’s Claire Potter

 

 

The licensing industry is continually evolving as agencies and brands learn to traverse the unique challenges that are always on the horizon. From the growth of online retail to the changing consumer perceptions of brands, today’s licensing leaders are learning to adapt on the fly.

To better understand how the industry is facing these challenges, we spoke with Claire Potter, managing director, Metrostar, about how she conducts her business and what she sees on the horizon in licensing. Our far-reaching interview includes insight into how things are different when you own your agency and delves into the personal side of talent management.

Read our full interview with Potter below.

 

What do you look for in a licensing partner?

Potter: We look for cultural as well as commercial compatibility. Our clients like to work with companies who share their values as well as those who share their ambitions, so we spend a good deal of time talking with potential partners about the way they work and where they want to take their business. It’s important to us that our clients’ brands are a key part of that–rather than just an interesting add on.

What are effective methods you use to identify potential partners?

Potter: We tend to approach retailers first. The final decision-maker is always the buyer, so understanding what they are looking for and making sure, in turn, that they know what our clients’ properties can offer them is important. They will often recommend a supplier company they would like us to work with. We’ve done business this way at Metrostar for years, and as a result, we have managed many retail exclusives and direct-to-retailers (DTRs) for our properties, big and small.

What role have tradeshows played in your outreach strategy for licensees?

Potter: They’re crucial. They’re a unique window on what is coming into retail. It’s always interesting to see what companies and other brands are doing and whether the level of licensed product is increasing or decreasing in a category. It’s also a rare opportunity to meet with partners and potential partners face-to-face, and in this highly digital era, there can never be enough of those.

How do you see the licensing industry changing in the next five years?

Potter: I think the dramatic decline of traditional retail in favor of online is both the biggest threat to licensing and the biggest opportunity. It levels the playing field somewhat, giving smaller and niche properties the ability to access partners and consumers. However, it’s far more fragmented than traditional retail, making it harder to manage, and the domination of Amazon poses challenges. But it is the future, and properties that manage it well will be the winners.

Metrostar manages the brands of individual talent. Can you share some of the challenges and opportunities involved with managing a person’s brand as opposed to a company or fictional character?

Potter: It’s utterly personal managing someone’s career. Successes and challenges are felt more keenly. Licensed product is a tiny part of our talent management business, which is mainly focused upon TV, books, personal appearances and endorsements. Relationships are important in any business, but they’re crucial to our talent. We need to make sure we’re well connected at every level from broadcasters to producers to publishers and brands.

What do you look for when you first start working with a brand and developing a licensing program?

Potter: Something which I absolutely love! Owning your own agency is an utter privilege because you don’t have to ask permission. You can just decide. Before Metrostar, I worked in huge corporations like Unilever and the BBC. Getting things done–even at a senior level–was a challenge. I absolutely loved brand management, but by the end I was doing relatively little of it, so my business strategy for Metrostar is to–within reason–pick properties which I think are intriguing from a brand management perspective and which will take us on interesting adventures.

Interested in learning more about Metrostar and other leading companies in licensing? Visit Brand Licensing Europe from Oct. 1-3 at ExCeL London.

Source: https://www.dropbox.com/s/bwv6twihtcjxtz7/Screenshot%202019-05-23%2012.05.30.png?dl=0

‘Fortnite’ jumps into AIR JORDAN collab

“Fortnite” developer Epic Games has announced a new collaboration with Nike’s Jordan brand, offering gamers across the world new branded content via the Hang Time bundle.

While the full scope of the brand extension between “Fortnite” and Jordan has yet to emerge, the two newly designed characters Grind and Clutch (also teased by Michael Jordan himself on Twitter) both sport classic Jordan sneakers.

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Also included in the dedicated bundle is the “Downtown Drop LTM” game-mode, inviting players to “launch off massive jumps, grind down city streets and collect coins to win.”

The “Fortnite” x Jumpman collaboration offers consumers and gaming audiences new skins, sprays and style variants.

“Jordan Brand continually tests and iterates rewarding new experiences for our consumers,” says Jordan brand representatives. “We are excited to work with Epic Games to create an experience for our community that is both innovative and authentic. This collaboration allows us to connect across virtual and physical worlds and unlock access to purchase some of our most-coveted shoes, the Air Jordan 1.”

“Fortnite” is represented by IMG for licensing.

Source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/video-games/%E2%80%98fortnite%E2%80%99-jumps-air-jordan-collab

KISS makes rock comfy with Crocs

Rock band KISS has partnered with Crocs to develop a line of shoes inspired by the ‘70s musical group.

According to Famous Footwear, the upcoming line will feature three different styled Crocs inspired by the band. One pair of the comfortable shoes will also come as a large platform sole inspired by the rockers’ traditional live performance outfits.

 

 

 

Band pic courtesy http://yesofcorsa.com/kiss-band/

Source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/apparel-accessories/kiss-makes-rock-comfy-crocs

 

Wrangler, Lil Nas X head to the Old Town Road

Western apparel brand Wrangler and rapper Lil Nas X have collaborated on a new line of clothing.

The new collection is inspired by Lil Nas X’s crossover hit “Old Town Road,” which has remained Billboard’s No. 1 song in the U.S. for seven consecutive weeks. Items in the line include t-shirts, jeans, jean shorts, denim jackets and denim shirts.

“When thinking about partners for Lil Nas X, Wrangler immediately came to mind because of the organic use of the lyric in ‘Old Town Road,’” says Jennifer Frommer, senior vice president, brand partnerships, Columbia Records. “The phenomenon surrounding the track has broken boundaries and allows for a brand like Wrangler to hone in on its Western DNA while tapping into current culture.”

Wrangler’s deal with the rapper is not its first foray into the music world. Last year, the denim maker partnered with Lyric Culture on a collection of apparel inspired by the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.

source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/apparel-accessories/wrangler-lil-nas-x-head-old-town-road

Rebellion gets behind England Lionesses

Publisher readies new story ahead of FIFA Women’s World Cup featuring Rocky Race.

Rebellion has teamed up with The FA and the National Literacy Trust for the launch of a free live story following the journey of England’s Lionesses at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France this summer.

The story will be written and published, chapter-by-chapter, as the Lionesses progress through the tournament. It will use the power of football and the excitement around events as they unfold on and off the pitch at the Women’s World Cup to get children aged 8 to 14 excited about reading.

Written by bestselling children’s author Tom Palmer, Rocky of the Rovers: France 2019 will feature a popular trio of characters from the recently rebooted Roy of the Rovers series, which is published by Rebellion.

Readers will follow the adventures of Rocky Race, her brother Roy and her football coach Ffion as they travel around France to cheer on the Lionesses.

This is the first Roy of the Rovers story to feature not only a female lead, in the form of Roy’s feisty younger sister Rocky, but also women’s football in general, and represents the latest step in bringing the football comic into the 21st century.

2019 marks the 65th anniversary of Roy of the Rovers’ first appearance on the pitch and this World Cup story is a landmark event in the history of the comic.

“We’re delighted to be sending Roy, Rocky and Ffion to the Women’s World Cup,” said Rob Power, deputy publishing manager at Rebellion. “This is the first time Rocky – or indeed any female character – has taken the lead on a Roy of the Rovers story, and it’s fitting that this should come about in the 65th anniversary of Roy’s first appearance in comics.

“Rocky and Ffion are as integral to the Roy of the Rovers world as Roy himself, and we’re proud to support women’s football and the Lionesses as they make their bid for World Cup glory.”

The story is designed to be read aloud in the classroom or at home and will be published in three chapters a week on the National Literacy Trust’s website throughout the tournament. The first chapter is out today and can be found here.

Schools in England can also access free resources and lesson planning tools with a women’s football focus from children’s charity the Youth Sport Trust, working in partnership with The FA.

The FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off on June 7 and runs through until July 7.

Source: https://www.licensingsource.net/rebellion-gets-behind-england-lionesses/

Viral sensation Grumpy Cat passes away

Internet celebrity Grumpy Cat has passed away at the age of 7.

The famous pet died following complications from a urinary tract infection. She passed away peacefully in the arms of her owner, Tabatha.

“Besides being our baby and a cherished member of the family, Grumpy Cat has helped millions of people smile all around the world, even when times were tough,” says Grumpy Cat’s family via a Twitter post. “Her spirit will live on through her fans everywhere.”

Grumpy Cat was a mainstay of the licensing industry. After becoming a viral sensation due to her permanently “grumpy” facial expression, she emerged across media in movies and comic books. She was also known for her appearances at a variety of industry events including previous Licensing Expos.

Source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/industry-news/viral-sensation-grumpy-cat-passes-away

LIMA Relaunches as Licensing International

World’s leading brand licensing organization unveils brand refresh, reflect a new era in the industry and a renewed commitment to the future

The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) – the world’s leading brand licensing trade organization – announced today that it will be known as Licensing International moving forward, marking a new era for the professional licensing community. This new, purposeful name, identity and visual language are designed to better reflect the current state of the licensing industry and where it’s headed in the future.

 

As Licensing International, the organization will place renewed importance on its key goals, including fostering the growth and expansion of licensing globally; raising the level of professionalism of licensing practitioners; and generating greater awareness of the benefits of licensing in the business community at large.

At its core, the Licensing International name prioritizes simplicity and impact – and immediately conveys the organization’s purpose to the broader business community. The name also emphasizes the trade body’s identity as a global organization, with a presence on the ground in 12 countries around the world, and acknowledges the increasingly global scale of the industry itself. When the organization was first formed in 1985, around 70 percent of the world’s licensing revenue was produced in North America, but today, international markets claim over 40% of the roughly $270 billion that licensing generates each year.

The Licensing International name also signifies the broader scope of the modern brand licensing industry, which now reaches well beyond the realm of merchandising. In an increasingly competitive and complex retail landscape, licensing is now being utilized in creative and innovative ways that touch new and growing categories – from media companies launching into experiential services, to concept shops within large retail chains, to the revival of iconic brands in new formats.

 

After taking the helm in July 2018, President Maura Regan recommitted the organization to its mission as the champion of licensing around the world and led the transition to the new Licensing International brand identity, a nearly year-long process of research and reflection. Under this new banner the organization will continue and enhance its efforts on behalf of the industry it serves, including developing key research and reports; sharing industry news and job opportunities; and offering seminars and educational programming for market leaders around the world.

“As the leading facilitator in the licensing industry, we serve a growing, global community by connecting members and diverse brands across the world to invaluable insight and resources,” said Licensing International President Maura Regan. “Our debut as Licensing International symbolizes a new chapter for the community, and demonstrates our dedication to the licensing industry of tomorrow.”

In its transition to Licensing International, the organization has also launched a new website and member portal – LicensingInternational.com – designed to provide a more sophisticated user experience, improve communication and increase engagement with the current and next generation of licensing professionals. The organization can also be found on all major social platforms under its new name.

 

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About Licensing International:

Licensing International – formerly known as LIMA – is the leading trade organization for the global licensing industry. Licensing International’s mission is to foster the growth and expansion of licensing around the world, raise the level of professionalism for licensing practitioners, and create greater awareness of the benefits of licensing to the business community at large. Founded in 1985, Licensing International members in over 40 countries enjoy access to an array of benefits, including extensive educational programming and worldwide networking events. Visit licensing.org for more information and to utilize licensing’s definitive online resource.

 

Media Contact:

Licensing International

Nicole Silberstein

nsilberstein@licensing.org

646-744-3748

 

Double Forte

Natalie Nicolson

nnicolson@double-forte.com

510-730-9370

FYE, Topps cook up garbage pail kids food deal

FYE and Topps are partnering on a line of Garbage Pail Kids’ cereal, chocolate bars, candy and energy drinks.

The new food items will come adorned with Garbage Pail Kids’ characters and artwork. Along with the consumables line, FYE will launch a collection of apparel and accessories based on the brand.

Cereal in the collection will feature artwork by Joe Simko and contain two unique Topps trading cards. The candy and energy drink line is inspired by the Adam Bomb Garbage Pail Kids’ character. Card character Leady Lindsay also receives the candy treatment with a chocolate bar themed after the oddity.

“[Garbage Pail Kids’] irreverent brand essence combined with our ability to blend food with art has created products that truly brings fun and entertainment back to retail,” says Tim Lopes, DMM of consumables, FYE.

Garbage Pail Kids have been on a licensing tear in recent months. The brand recently collaborated with WWE to create apparel with wrestling superstars animated to look like Garbage Pail Kids.

Source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/food-beverage/fye-topps-cook-garbage-pail-kids-food-deal

WARNERMEDIA consolidate HBO and WARNER BROS. divisions

WarnerMedia has announced the transfer of HBO Enterprises and Home Entertainment divisions to Warner Bros.The realignment will also see distribution of Turner Originals in the U.S. move to the Warner Bros. team.

Jeffrey Schlesinger, president, Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution, will take leadership responsibility for HBO Enterprises and the distribution of Turner content produced in the U.S.

HBO Home Entertainment will transfer to Warner Bros. Worldwide Home Entertainment and Games under the leadership of the division’s president Jim Wuthrich.

“For the first time at our company, the diverse and unparalleled portfolio of genre-defining new and library programming created by HBO, Warner Bros. and Turner will be distributed globally by one group,” says Schlesinger. “This structure will enable us to speak with one voice, as we create new and innovative ways to license our top-quality programming to networks, channels and services globally, helping them grow their audiences and subscriber bases.”

The reorganization at WarnerMedia comes following a larger executive shift that occurred earlier this year. Changes were made with the aim to reform teams around entertainment networks, live programming, content production and sales.

Source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/industry-news/warnermedia-consolidate-hbo-and-warner-bros-divisions

“Me time with Doraemon” coming soon to a mall near you!

Doraemon the character is loved and adored by millions of kids in the country. Along with Nobita, they share a special bond of friendship and are synonymous with being friendly, helpful, funny & trustworthy!

Doraemon is turning 50, and AI Licensing India is celebrating it by doing a 50 city Mega Tour across 3 years with an interesting concept called “Me Time With Doraemon”. It will be a special weekend with Doraemon & Friends with a fun-filled entertainment zone & activities for kids & families. A special performance by Doraemon & Friends and an opportunity to Meet & Greet the characters is up for grabs.

With Audio Video Play, activity Zone for Kids, a special performance by Doraemon and much more these events are sure to create memories for a lifetime!

Here’s how you can be a part of the event:

  1. Shop worth ₹ 500/- at the Doraemon pop-up store and get a “Me Time with Doraemon” pass free
  2. Shop worth ₹ 2500/- at the mall and and get a “Me Time with Doraemon” pass free

Shared below is the detail of first leg of cities & venues. we will continue to keep you updated as the tour rolls around India.

  1. Mumbai
  • Venue: Phoenix MarketCity – Mumbai, Dublin Square
  • Date: 17th / 18th / 19th May
  • Time: 11am to 9 pm
  1. Pune
  • Venue: Amanora Mall, Ground Floor, West Block
  • Date: 24th / 25th / 26th May
  • Time: 11 am to 9 pm
  1. Bangalore
  • Venue: VR Bangaluru
  • Date: 31st / 1st / 2nd May – June
  • Time: 11am to 9 pm
  1. Hyderabad
  • Venue: Sarath City Capital
  • Date: 7th / 8th / 9th June
  • Time: 11 am to 9 pm