Mumbai City hand Asif Khan long-term deal; Bipin Singh extends stay

Some great news for Mumbai City FC fans of the ISL. The team is planning contract extensions for midfielders Asif Khan and Bipin Singh Thounaojam. Young Asif Khan has extended his stay with the Islanders until May 2024 while Bipin Singh has put pen to paper on a deal that keeps him at the Club until May 2022.

Bipin Singh joined the Islanders in the summer of 2018 and registered 7 appearances in his debut season at Mumbai City. He fortified his place in the side in his second campaign, doubling his appearances tally featuring a total of 15 times, scoring two goals and providing an assist.

Asif Khan, who rose through the ranks at the Club, was brought in to replace Anwar Ali in the 2019/20 Hero ISL squad. The 19-year old was named on the bench on one occasion in the League and continues to be a key figure for the Islanders’ Reserves in the Hero 2nd Division League.

Asif Khan said: “Having grown up in Mumbai, it’s a dream come true to be a part of Mumbai City. It is a wonderful moment for me and my family and I am thankful to the Club for the trust they’ve placed in me. I want to keep working hard, improve my game here and give nothing but my best every time I get to pull on the shirt and represent Mumbai City FC.”

Bipin Singh said: “The past two years I’ve spent in Mumbai have been fantastic for me. The environment here at Mumbai City is perfect for young footballers to come and flourish and I am delighted that I will be here for two more years. I hope to contribute much more in my time here and repay the faith the club and the fans have shown in me in these past two years.”

Indranil das Blah, CEO of Mumbai City FC said: “We are delighted to have secured the services of two fantastic young talents for the years to come. Asif is a hard-working young boy. He has great potential and has shown remarkable progress in the past year. Bipin has come to the fore as a fantastic attacking talent in his two seasons here and we’re confident he has a bright future at Mumbai City FC.”


Happy Makarsankrati wishes to all!

We wish ALL our members, readers and patrons a very happy Makarsankranti.


Remembering the good old days when we used to fly our kites high in the sky without a care in the world. Here’s hoping we can re-kindle that magic.

Best wishes!

India’s very own David Beckham competes in Khelo India Youth Games

Guwahati, 14 January 2020: Most of us know David Beckham, the star football player, but India too has a sportsperson in David Beckham. A 17-year-old from Andaman, who is named after the great football player, has traveled to Guwahati to compete in cycling at the Khelo India Youth Games.

“My family is a huge fan of David Beckham, so they named me after him. I also became a David Beckham fan. I used to play football. I have played in the Subroto Cup tournament. Then my grandfather asked me to take up cycling,” said Beckham.

The cyclist, who has won a silver in a nationals competition, expressed that he started cycling in Delhi in 2017.

“I started cycling in Delhi in 2017. In the beginning, my feet didn’t touch the ground when I sat on the cycle seat. Eventually, I started doing well in the sport. It’s difficult to find facilities for cycling in Andaman, so I have to go to bigger cities for training,” said the 17-year-old.

Beckham is taking his first few steps in the world of cycling, but he has already faced big challenges in life. The cyclist lost his father due to the tsunami in 2004 and his mother passed away due to an infection in 2014.

“I live with my maternal grandfather now. My mother passed away due to an infection in 2014 and my father passed away due to the Tsunami in 2004. I was quite young when my father passed away,” said Beckham.

The cyclist said that he hasn’t set any specific goals yet. He is just looking to give his best during training.

“I have not set any specific goals for myself yet. I am just focusing on giving my best during training and hope that I taste success in the near future,” said Beckham.

What Happened in Vegas: Taking a Look Back at What Happened and Was Talked About At Licensing Expo 2019

Licensing Expo 2019 is now in everyone’s rearview mirrors, and it’s time to take stock of what happened in Vegas, the effects of which will reverberate well into the future of this ever-changing licensing business.

Here are a few of the developments we noted:

Hemp and Cannabis Step Out — The growing interest in cannabis- and hemp-related products – mostly taking a health and wellness approach — was apparent, not just in the small “marketplace” assembled by PROHBTD, but also in a couple of other booths. Authentic Brands, which has several CBD-related agreements for its celebrity brands, as well as pacts with CBD products developer Green Growth Properties and CBD oil supplier Tilray, distributed CBD-based lip balm to showgoers. Kathy Ireland also showed some health and wellness products.

CBD Inside LicensingEntertainment companies also are in the mix. For example, Lionsgate is known to have been discussing ventures involving the brand of its Weeds series, among others.

Two other related notes: PROHBTD assembled a well-attended Licensing U session on cannabis and licensing (which included Allison Ames, CEO of Beanstalk, which now represents two of the company’s own brands), and more than one showgoer talked of their intention to research the subject by visiting retailer Planet 13. It’s legal there….

The eSports Conundrum – The licensing community is still trying to get its arms around the best way to leverage the exploding eSports community via licensed product. For the time being, it appears from our conversations at Licensing Expo, the category is best left to eCommerce, rather than brick-and-mortar retail, particularly given the target youthful audience and the fact the entire “sport” lives online.

The most visible effort to date (showcased at Licensing Expo) has been Activision Blizzard’s program for overwatch League, which closely mirrors the centralized structure of a traditional U.S. sports league, and signed a big deal late last year with Fanatics.

Potential licensees who are viewing the space are trying to figure out whether it makes more sense to attach themselves to teams or to well-known players. Agency Brand Central showcased its representation of gaming management firm Loaded and its roster of “gaming influencers,” who include Fortnite star Ninja, who has a handful of licensing deals already.

Licensing International Awards - Inside LicensingSpeaking of Fortnite… — Fortnite and Harry Potter were the big winners at Licensing International’s Annual Licensing Awards, with five honors taken home by publisher Epic Games and its licensees, and Warner Bros. Consumer Products and its licensees. For a full list of the winners, go to

Big congratulations at the Awards celebration also to the eight up-and-comers spotlighted as Rising Stars in the licensing business, as well as to newly inducted Hall of Famers Pam Clifford of Warner Bros. Consumer Products & Experiences and Michael Stone of Beanstalk.

Licensing U Comes to Licensing Expo – For the first time, the entire lineup of 25 Licensing U seminars and presentations was staged on the Expo floor in a specially constructed 300-seat Licensing U

Licensing U - Inside Licensing Licensing International

Theater. More than 50 executives from around the world touched on the ABCs (Amazon, Basics, Brexit, Cannabis, Collaborations) and so much more. The Licensing U Theater also hosted….

A Fascinating STORY – In a packed keynote presentation, Macy’s Brand Experience Officer Rachel Shechtman offered an intriguing look at how she brought the philosophy of her single-store STORY retail location in Manhattan (which was reformulated and remerchandised several times a year) into Macy’s. The challenge for all physical retailers, she said, is to think in terms of “experiences per square foot,” rather than sales per square foot, giving consumers a reason to visit the store rather than rely on their keyboards to shop.

She also touted STORY’s ability to act as a test tube for Macy’s, suppliers and brand owners. “Testing and learning is important, because when you have 600 plus stores it takes a while, and it’s expensive, and if it doesn’t work it can be really expensive,” Shechtman said.  “This gives Macy’s an opportunity to try small businesses and new concepts, and see how they work as a sister to the [Macy’s larger] system and taking those learning and make some decisions in four months, not eighteen months.”

Tariffs in the Air — With the Trump administration threatening or actually imposing tariffs on goods from China, Mexico and elsewhere, the added costs and their impact on brand owners, manufacturers and retailers were a hot topic of conversation.

This has left licensees weighing a range of options from switching to suppliers in non-tariffed countries to seeking concessions from licensors on minimum guarantees and royalty rates in a bid to offset rising costs.

For the time being, licensees we spoke to say they’ll likely absorb the added costs, but if the tariffs extend into the fall retail price increases are close to inevitable. For their part, licensors appeared willing to work with licensees on reducing costs tied to tariffs, but what form that would take was unclear given the constantly moving deadline for imposing the tariffs.

Don’t Just Buy the Brand, Live the Brand – Location-based licensing – activity centers, hotels, theme parks, cafes, etc. — was at the top of many licensors’ priorities as they sought expand their business beyond merchandise sales and attract consumers increasingly accustomed to not only buying brands, but experiencing them as well. Entertainment brands have been the biggest players, but corporate brands are increasing their activity, too.

Hello Kitty - Inside Licensing Licensing International

Meredith Corp., which gained the Southern Living magazine brand in buying Time Inc., plans to expand on the current roster of 21 boutique hotels, while also increasing the number of developments affiliated with the Coastal Living label. The Coca-Cola Co., which has four stores in the U.S., is planning to add more locations in international markets, while Sanrio, is opening a Hello Kitty Café at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas and nearing agreements for locations in Orlando, New Jersey and New York.

Meanwhile, Hasbro reached an agreement with Kingsmen which will open a Nerf-themed family entertainment center in Singapore later this year with a U.S. location due in 2020, and Mattel licensee IP2Entertainment plans to open a 25,000-sq.-ft. family entertainment in Toronto next year featuring Barbie, Hot Wheels and Mega Construx.

Old Becomes New Again — Licensors mined their IP vaults for nostalgia brands, some of which are being licensed for the first time.

Hasbro licensed Wicked Cool Toys to make Micro Machines, which peaked in popularity in the 1980s under Galoob Toys and is entering licensing for the first time. Hasbro plans to roll out new programs for Tinker Toys, Lincoln Logs and Pound Puppies as it delves into its 1,500 brands. Mattel likewise is readying plans for six films based on its IP starting in 2021 with Masters of the Universe, which is making a return to the big screen after a 32-year absence with plan for extensive licensing.

Crayola is refreshing Silly Putty, which it acquired in 1977, with licensed products to follow in 2020 across a range of categories including apparel as the brand marks its 70th anniversary.

This fits in with…

Safety in Evergreens – Several licensees were scouting the show specifically for well-established evergreen properties with proven track records and fan bases, rather than taking a chance on the potential new hot thing.

Of course, the definition of “evergreen” may be in the eye of the beholder. How many generations of fans need a property have to be considered multigenerational? Two? Three? For example, we were struck by the number of Licensing Award winners that involved Harry Potter. Does the number of millennials (now parents) who grew up with the books (first one was published in 1997) and films (2001) make the property an evergreen for the ages?