What went down by the Docklands?

Licensing International’s Sharon Weisman gives her run down from the show floor of BLE 2019.

What looks like Javits from the outside, seems like Licensing Expo from the inside and has massive growth potential?

Brand Licensing Europe 2019, of course!

At this point, there is no value in comparing the ExCel Brand Licensing Europe to the shows which took place at Olympia.

I was part of the team that shifted Licensing Expo from New York to Las Vegas. It took a while to accept, but now no one is looking back.

With the move to ExCeL there is absolutely no complaint that has been made that can’t be addressed by Informa and Licensing international, and solved by next year.

The only thing we still need to figure out is where is the London EyeCandy (otherwise known as the new Hand & Flower).

Three key take backs from the show:

The BLE show floor make-up resembled Vegas in a way. However, it was actually great not to see ridiculously huge stands. After all, the booth-pissing-match (British translation: Stand-Willy-Waving) doesn’t correlate with how healthy a company’s licensing business really is. The important thing is that everyone was hustling Dolly Parton style… from 9-5.

Speaking of 9 to 5, the most valid points made:

  • Lots of people scheduled 5pm meetings but were asked to leave as the show floor closed at that time (what a great problem to have, and easy to solved).
  • The absence of stand numbers/signage on the floor (and the fancy open booths didn’t have them on their structure either) #easyfix
  • The show floor should be merchandised better (neighborhoods/sections) #easyfix
  • My Jew-Crew – it did not bruise my ego to find out (once again) that attendance wasn’t dramatically affected by the overlap with the Jewish holiday (+3%). The expo’s new management cares deeply and is very sensitive to this issue. I expect attendance to sky rocket next year.

 

The Venue:

Amenities were superior – accessible, more options, shorter line and significantly less expensive. I’ve heard people crying about the venue running out of food or accepting cash only on the first day. However, these issues were resolved the following day.

Heck, I’m so happy there’s a Starbucks (I have heard Americans refering to it as the ‘Sanctuary’) offering Oat Milk Lattes for high maintenance pains such as yours truly.

Commute:

I experienced lots of ‘learning moments’ on the first day of the show. Things to consider: not landing at Heathrow, taking an Uber from the Jubilee station instead of the DLR on rush hours, and staying closer to the venue (I loved the Moxy… but I’m also the size of the Mr. Men characters and live out of my suitcase…).

Commute options will be addressed for next year – from a direct line to shuttles.

Difuzed was among a number of licensees taking stands this year.
Difuzed was among a number of licensees taking stands this year.

10 Trends:

Licensees exhibiting – and why not? It shows the full spectrum of our industry: from IP to CP. Tangible merchandise completes the circle along futuristic IP pitch decks. Licensees can showcase their lines, coordinate meetings with retailers and brand owners and support their licensors.

In contrast to the stimulating manufacturer’s stands, however, there are agents… I am going to get serious heat from my agent friends on this, but I’m going to call out most big agents for not doing their clients justice, aggregating a bunch of logos on what ends up looking like the saddest stands on the floor. This clashes with all the hard work they put into creating licensing programmes for amazing brands. ABG (brand management), I’m looking at you, too… I felt like I should take a number and wait to get my root canel at the stand.

With that said, shout out to IMG Europe for spinning off three additional separate stands: Fabacus (a new service which looks to streamline communications between its clients and licensees), Jeep and UEFA Euro 2020.

Ever(er)green? My definition for an evergreen was always a brand that was able to engage at least two generations. An IP parents can’t wait to introduce to their kids (and then grandkids). These brands possess qualities that stand the test of time and keep on evolving in order to resonate with the new generations.

BLE 2019 made a point for brands having a longer shelf-life in Europe (Thomas, Moomin, BarbaraPapa, Smurfs, Peanuts, Care Bears, Pink Panther and more).

Food fashion was a sub-trend including Mentos collaboration with Sanrio.
Food fashion was a sub-trend including Mentos collaboration with Sanrio.

Fashion – collabs by Coca-Cola, Peanuts, Hello Kitty, Chupa Chups, National History Museum and FatFace and more were highlighted at the show.

But let’s be honest now, these aren’t the mainstream fashion brands licensing beyond their core business. These are mostly timely/limited deals by lifestyle/character brands with designers or luxury brands orchestrated with two goals in mind: capturing quickest ROI and appealing to new generations.

The mass fashion brands, that significantly grew their business via licensing, are under-indexed at the show, because they are in a Pilates class right now, figuring out how to strengthen their core. Therefore, it was no surprise when Informa announced the theme for BLE 2020… yep, you guessed it… fashion.

Another sub-trend that is on fire is the FF or FSquare = Food Fashion!

Mentos x Sanrio, the White Claw Craze in the US, McDonalds RFP (may the best agent win), Brand Central plans for Heinz, licensees wanting fast food and snack brands for apparel lines…

The Arcade acted as a central focus point on the show floor.
The Arcade acted as a central focus point on the show floor.

Gaming – PowerStation Studios did a stellar job creating centralised excitement in the middle of the ‘show universe’. This activation centre, coined The Arcade, functioned as the heart of the show, pumping people in and out from all corners of the show floor – enabling exhibitors and attendees to engage, play and experience. #StandonSteroids

There is no wonder the Licensing International Global Survey found that gaming is the licensing category with the most dramatic revenue increase in the past couple of years.

Participants included Bioworld, SEGA, Bandai, Activision, Disguise, Sybo, etc.

Sustainability – it’s on everyone’s agenda. Hopefully, you all caught the session discussing this topic at the Licensing Academy. While most of the conversations tackle how our industry increases awareness and steps into the sustainability game in the future, companies like Hasbro are championing the strategy by phasing out all plastics used to package its toys and games by the end of 2022.

Diversity and inclusion – is on every brand’s mind. Cause-based marketing is key in order to win over new generations. The non-binary Mattel doll, more neutral colours by licensees, retailers requesting merch that would appeal to women in gaming, as well as merchandise by TikTok GIRL gamer influencers.

Licensing International formed the first Diversity and Inclusion committee spearheaded by Jamie Stevens @ Sony Pictures, committed to actionable objectives that will lead to change.

Buyers buying more than product – buyers being more dependent on the licensing execs to get the right products, talent and activations into the stores.

The Social Store, Attachment London, ABG, WMG and others have been reporting helping their retailer partners attaching talent promotions to the merchandise and creating experiential opportunities.

Fabacus is among the companies which has recognised the need for collecting data in the industry.
Fabacus is among the companies which has recognised the need for collecting data in the industry.

Data – licensors are cracking down on licensees as well as agents for reports and analysis of the right data. Collecting data regarding products will help better forecasting and fulfilment, creating superior product and more targeted lines.

No wonder companies like Flowhaven, Fabacus, Octane5, Brainbase and more have recognised a need and are multiplying like rabbits. Moreover, I met with many more companies at the show this year that are offering brands a partnership beyond licensing, and one of the main selling points of an app-based partnership is the data collection.

Stretching the definition of relationships – like in real life, where once being monogamous meant ‘one partner for life’, and now it just means not having more than one partner at the same time, long-term relationships with massive tails and huge MGs aren’t as popular as they used to be when it comes to fashion entertainment brands.

Collabs, share-revs, investing time and money in high profile partners for a limited edition or special line… everything flies in order to break through the clutter.

‘OoO Su Cuuuuuute’ – similar to what we’ve gathered from the Vegas show, the increase in Asian influence was evident at BLE 2019: Kakko, Korean Pavilion (Pink Fong, Baby Shark), Rio Visual, Tuba for Lavra, LINE (+BT21), Pusheen, Anime/Crunchy Roll (which shacked up with its new squeeze, Viz).

Sharon Weisman is vp global business development at Licensing International. She can be contacted on sweisman@licensing.org. She’s also very entertaining on social media, @sharon.weisman.

This post originally appeared on https://www.licensingsource.net/indepth/what-went-down-by-the-docklands/

The industry remembers David Cardwell

Rainbow Production’s David Scott leads the tributes to the co-founder of CPL who sadly passed away last week.

David Cardwell was an inspirational man. Many of us know all about the successes of CPL (or CPLG as it is now called) over the past 45 years, but few people know that he worked his way up from an under-privileged background, leaving school at 14 and coming to London full of ideas, energy and ambition. He worked as an errand boy for the Daily Express, helped create the Elvis Monthly (and relished the chance to interview Elvis himself).

He then worked as a music journalist, including for NME, became a publicist and manager for new pop music acts, most notably The Paper Dolls and Pikketywitch, and then in 1974 mortgaged his family house to help fund the first big contract for the just-founded CPL, working with Cosgrove Hall to make a TV series of Noddy.

And that was before most of us in licensing had even met him…

In those early days, together with his business partner Richard Culley, and along with a very small number of other pioneers and competitors, they established the UK licensing industry. David was someone who has not only helped shape a sector of British business, but also our very way of life and how we consume and interact with entertainment and the media. There are generations of people who have treasured memories of their childhood characters who will never know that their pleasure was enhanced by toys, clothing and a myriad of other items that only exist as they do today because of the drive, vision and creativity displayed by David, Richard and their competitors/colleagues some decades earlier.

CPL grew to become a major player in, firstly, UK licensing followed by an expansion into mainland Europe via a joint-venture called ELG (combining latterly with CPL to become CPLG). Indeed, it became a global success with a worldwide reach and a key port of call for overseas and home-grown rights owners wishing to exploit their brands in the markets where CPL was established. Always at the forefront of the industry, CPL was a veritable academy of licensing and many of its old boys and girls have themselves gone on to become leading lights in the licensing business.

It was a sad coincidence that we should hear the news about David’s death during BLE as the very first licensing exhibitions, and the forerunners of BLE, were supported by CPL which was such a strong player in the licensing world by that time. However, it gave those of us who knew him a chance to meet and chat together and reminisce about David and relate our favourite stories. I have included some of these stories, and thoughts, all recounted with affection by people whose lives, like mine, were changed by their good fortune in knowing him.

I am indebted to Dr Sarah Cardwell Davies, David’s daughter, who kindly provided the details of David’s early years and below are comments from a small number of those who knew him.

David - pictured with his business partner, Richard Culley - helped shape a sector of the British licensing business.
David – pictured with his business partner, Richard Culley – helped shape a sector of the British licensing business.

David Cardwell – Reminiscences from Friends & Colleagues

“It was a bold decision when David and I set up CPL in 1974; back then character licensing really was in its infancy.  Most of the outside world had no idea what we were talking about and had doubts we could make a living (Noddy on t-shirts? What next!). We proved them wrong, of course.

Our enduring partnership I believe lasted as long as it did, mainly because we complemented each other perfectly, were passionate about what we were doing and had the ability to make each other laugh. At the beginning David was the money man and I was acquiring rights and selling licences. It worked; we built from there. David became so knowledgeable I started to believe he’d crept off and done an accountancy degree such was his overnight ability to challenge more than one accountant, and mostly he was right.

Building the company together from scratch was challenging and exciting in equal measure. We had enormous fun over the years, took risks and many paid off. It became a little more serious when we sold to Mosaic and then went public, but at the start we really were living by the seat of our pants. One day David told me simply, we were running out of money. As luck would have it, I received a cheque that day for an advance on one of the first licences we’d secured. We celebrated in the very first branch of Pizza Express in Soho!   The next week David issued a set of rules: no taxis, no couriers (all mail in London to be delivered by foot or bus), no business lunches and a freeze on hiring. He was right, of course!

I feel blessed to have met David, follow our dream and grow CPL with him into the global success it has become.”
Richard Culley

“It’s difficult to dissociate David from the industry and my career – he gave me my first break in the business, as he did to so many. He had a strategic business mind and was a visionary – he was perhaps the first to see the opportunity for toy driven licensing/brand extensions. Knickerbocker Toy – which quickly became Hasbro Europe – was a client, with My Little Pony being one of the first of those properties to launch in the UK when I joined CPL in 1984. David quickly saw the opportunity as MLP became a craze and Hasbro could not keep up demand for toy products so licensed merchandise from CPL met that demand. Toy buyers were taken by surprise… one I remember calling it ‘My Little Warthog’ and refusing to stock it… oops!”
Charles Day

“He was a visionary and a mentor to me, as he was to so many others.”
Caroline Mickler

“David was one of a kind and I was privileged to have worked for him. He gave me an opportunity that I will be forever grateful for as it changed my life. There are so many memories to pull from such as weekly dinners at Chez Gerard or late nights at the Essex House bar in New York during Licensing Show, but my most memorable were the many meetings in the 12th floor board room on Percy Street where I would desperately try to breathe through a cloud of smoke as I hung my head out the window gasping for some fresh air which needless to say was always a challenge in Central London. They broke the mould with David and he will be missed.”
Kirk Bloomgarden

“David Cardwell, a true entrepreneur and visionary, a great friend and mentor. I knew him as an industry leader and his unique business style was very apparent when in the space of one week, he agreed to let me open up the first CPLG office in Germany in 1996, after having bought the remaining shares of the ELG operation. In the early Nineties (1992-1995), he started a pan-European agency network, a testament to his vision of future market developments.

As a smoker I fondly remember his office in Percy Street being a bit ‘smoky’, unlike his business instinct and decisions. When he last bought back CPLG from a Swiss based sports licensing company, he offered several members of his team the possibility to invest in the company and I remember him pushing us to stop reading the 150 plus pages purchase agreement, as everything should be fine [and] we should just get on with it.

David never really was a patient man. The board meetings were always short and to the point and if anyone started to ramble on, he was quite quick to put a stop to it. However, when he was asked about the future of the licensing business or for his advice, he always took the time to explain. I am extremely thankful to have worked closely with David, he formed my insight into our business. He was great fun to be with and I have so many fond memories of our travel together, the business diners, the drinks and many cigarettes! David had a great sense of humour, a sharp intellect and loved to live a good life and I will miss him dearly, as many others will do. Cheers David.”
Katarina Dietrich

“During my time at Copyright Promotions I held various roles, one of which was a new business one that encompassed developing new opportunities for licensing sales outwith and within the group, combined with seeking out new representations. Often I had to report directly to David. While he could be very direct in his feedback I welcomed his advice and encouragement.

He would always make pro-active suggestions, often fired up by products he had seen in the US and he, of course, had a great reservoir of knowledge of the licensing industry. He always knew someone, or else someone who knew someone. I really enjoyed chatting to him and listening to his anecdotes including ones from his time in the music industry. He was also very kind to me when my father was terminally ill and in hospital. He allowed me to leave work during office hours and actively encouraged me to leave the office to go and see my Dad. It was a thoughtful thing for David to do and to suggest. I remember David with fondness, respect and admiration. He helped shape our industry and helped a lot of us build our careers.”
Ian Downes

“Deeply saddened to hear of David’s passing. A real master of the understated but an unwavering enthusiasm for his clients, people and business. RIP.”
Simon Gresswell

“I have many fond memories of David. Aside from him accidentally meeting the Queen, one that always makes me smile is our morning cigarette in the Percy Street office while we waited for the kettle to boil and David describing how he made a jam roly-poly over the weekend. Only he forgot to remove the tea towel and rolled towel with the sponge! I will hold these little stories and moments in my heart forever, along with his random texts to check in over the years. No more texts my dear friend, thank you for everything you did for me – I will miss you very much.”
Angeles Blanco

“My first job in licensing was head of PR at CPL and I very quickly recognised that I had joined an industry full of fantastic characters who really knew how to work hard and play just as hard. David was most certainly one of these! Something we all looked forward to was the annual Christmas party which, certainly at that time seemed extravagant affairs at which there was very little in the way of holding back. There is now a select group of licensing people who will always remember seeing David careering down the stairs at Shepperton Studios on a tea tray!”
Jane Garner

“David offered me a job in 1992 with a struggling company called Rainbow Productions, which was a subsidiary of CPL in those days. He interviewed me on a Monday and I had the job of managing director by Friday (David was not one for hanging around) despite my not knowing what a costume character was, nor ever having visited the Rainbow premises. He was a hard taskmaster but always kept faith in myself and the Rainbow team until, in 1995, he went one step further and sold me the company – in the process changing my business career immeasurably for the better.”
David Scott

Source: https://www.licensingsource.net/indepth/the-industry-remembers-david-cardwell/

Strong merchandise sales as rugby mania grips Japan

Licensing programme for Rugby World Cup 2019 set to be largest and most successful ever.

World Rugby and IMG have revealed that the Rugby World Cup 2019 licensing programme is shaping up to be the tournament’s largest and most successful ever.

With IMG signing more than 45 local and international licensees for the first Rugby World Cup to be held in Asia, pre-tournament sales of the official online store have already outperformed those of the 2015 tournament’s in England by over 50%.

The hundreds of official products – ranging from merchandise and apparel to unique lifestyle and traditional Japanese items – are also available in more than 70 stores run by IMG-appointed official on-site retailer Legends International, including a 1,000sqm megastore in the centre of Tokyo.

Products are being sold in more than 75 countries worldwide, with bestsellers including Union national team jerseys and caps, fan apparel, face towels, keyrings and pin badges.

The six-week tournament is expected to draw a record 400,000 international visitors to Japan and will be the most digitally-engaged rugby event ever.

“Rugby World Cup 2019 will be a very special and global celebration of rugby and, these incredible sales demonstrate that it will not just be big in Japan, but is capturing the imagination of fans and new audiences globally,” said Brett Gosper, ceo of World Rugby.

Bruno Maglione, president of licensing at IMG, added: “Our objective from the start was to build a programme that celebrates the first Asian host country edition of this global tournament, while also capitalising on the overall growth of the sport itself in traditional rugby markets and newer ones.

“Our Japan team and international offices have worked together to develop an extensive suite of products that captures the uniqueness of the host country, as well as providing typical sports merchandise for rugby’s growing legions of fans traveling or watching from their homes around the world.”

In apparel, Canterbury was appointed as the tournament’s branded sports outfitter. In addition to the core Canterbury range and co-branded national team jerseys, consumers have many other choices of products and price-points through multiple collections of branded and non-branded shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, rain ponchos, footwear and fashion accessories.

The available merchandise also features a diverse range of collectables and lifestyle goods that reflect the unique culture of 2019’s host country, including traditional Japanese Jimbaori coats and KIMEKOJI dolls, as well as jewellery and toys featuring the tournament’s official mascot.

Food licensing has been another distinctive component of the local offering with branded ice cream, confectionary, cookies, rice crackers and Shumai dumplings.

Rugby World Cup 2019 takes place in Japan from September 20 until November 2.

“Our new identity is symbolic of both the past and the future”

Interview by Samantha Loveday – LicensingSource.net

Since it was founded in 1985, the industry trade body LIMA has been at the heart of the business, supporting, nurturing and educating not just those within the licensing sector, but the wider business community, too.

But as the industry changes pace, so to must a trade body and in May, we were introduced to its new identity – Licensing International. Its core mission remains the same, however it has changed visual identity and how it articulates its mission to members and the broader business community.

Maura Regan, president, explains: “While our identity as LIMA has been an industry staple for those already in the licensing business, it’s also been somewhat confusing to anyone who didn’t already know us. The capital of Peru? That green bean?

“As we initially looked at merely refreshing the association’s identity, it became apparent that a total rebranding was in order. Our new identity as Licensing International is symbolic both of the changes that have occurred in the licensing business over the past three decades – for example, the rise of experiential and location-based licensing means that we’ve gone well beyond the word ‘merchandising’ – and of the future path the association will forge on behalf of our members.”

The organisation has undergone a complete visual and functional overhaul of its website, unifying its family sub-brands to support the mission such as Licensing University, MindMix and its webinars, as well as its various country-specific identities.

A bumper PR programme helped to communicate the refresh to members and the industry at large including a letter from Maura to current members, as well as press releases, trade ads and signage and branding at its Licensing Expo and Brand Licensing Europe stands.

Maura continues: “We decided on Licensing International after feedback on what our members believed we stood for and expected from us. We reviewed various options with our board of directors and the direction was fully supported.”

Maura explains that the brand marketplace is nothing if not dynamic, and it has to be at least as dynamic to be a valuable resource to its membership.

“There are so many on-going changes in the business – the rise of and brand protection issues related to ecommerce; big increases in such areas as experiential licensing, location-based entertainment and the licensing of services; the increasingly global nature of the business; the rise of influencers; corporate social responsibility, the increased importance of real time data analytics, to name a few – that we must constantly work to identify these and other trends, and give our members the tools and knowledge to deal with them.”

Ultimately, says Maura, brand licensing continues to be a “vibrant, effective tool for brand owners to develop, extend enhance and leverage their IP, and for manufacturers and service providers to use the equity of those brands in creative ways to boost their own businesses.

“And that’s not just us saying it – but is based on all the data out there,” she concludes.

Licensing International: At a glance

The licensing industry trade body has more than 1,250 member companies globally – this includes 120 in the UK.

There are 12 offices and representatives: Australia, Brazil, China, Germany, Japan, Mexico, UK (offices), Canada, France, India, Italy and Russia.

“At our core, we strive to help our members succeed, and to promote the licensing business model to the community at large,” explains Maura.

“Whether in the US, UK or anywhere else among the 12 countries/regions in which we have offices and representatives, we’re committed to convening, designing and developing best in class events and programs to achieve those goals, whether for Young Professionals or the industry at large.

“We’re constantly looking for the most effective platforms – seminars, webinars, networking events or anything else – to get the job done.”

A guiding hand

The brand refresh for Licensing International was guided by Brand Studio CAA-GBG, with chief creative officer, Alice Ann Wilson, telling us that the team was honoured to work on the rebrand and strategy.

“It was important to the client that they put their members in the centre of future needs and communications solutions,” says Alice Ann. “We also heard from key stakeholders that licensing is ever evolving to a brand-first approach – in today’s world, product becomes marketing and experiences become content. It’s exciting that brands are leveraging the power of licensing for equity building in addition to revenue driving objectives. So the power of an international resource is as important as ever, as well as a forward-looking approach.

“The critical moment in the process was when the (LIMA) leadership and board considered all strategic paths forward and were pretty unanimous in supporting the idea of revolution over evolution – hence the decision to embrace a new name as well as branding.”

Alice Ann continues: “The name Licensing International is both strength and simplicity, setting the tone for an organisation that can deliver an unparalleled network of information and resources globally, while putting the importance of each individual member and each territory at the core of its purpose.”

Ultimately, the new brand identity is a “clean and modern visual system” says Alice Ann, which communicates Licensing International’s “commitment to innovation and thought-leadership within the industry”.

This feature originally appeared in the summer 2019 edition of Licensing Source Book. To read the full publication, click on this link.

Animated Elmer TV series in the works

Elmer the Patchwork Elephant is to make his TV debut, with Factory partnering with brand owner Andersen Press to create a new animated TV series.

Based on the classic picture books by David McKee, the show will follow the adventures of the unique elephant who is finding his place in the herd.

It will be animated by BAFTA-winning animation studio Factory and will aim to celebrate what makes people different and encourage little ones to be kind to one another.

“Elmer is one of the most iconic and widely read children’s book series of all time and we are so excited to be teaming up with Andersen Press and David McKee in bringing Elmer to life for a brand new generation of children,” said Phil Chalk, MD of Factory.

Klaus Flugge, chairman and publisher at Andersen Press, added: “Publishing David McKee’s Elmer books for the past 30 years has been one of the greatest achievements of my career.

“As we see Elmer continue to grow in success in the UK and internationally, David McKee, myself and everyone at Andersen Press are excited to partner with Phil Chalk and his prize-winning team at Factory to bring Elmer to a new audience through what promises to be fantastic animated films celebrating the very things at Elmer’s core: friendship, inclusivity and celebrating your own true colors.”

Andersen Press is currently in the middle of a year of celebrations to mark Elmer’s 30th anniversary.

Source: https://www.licensingsource.net/animated-elmer-tv-series-in-the-works/

Stella McCartney teams with Adidas for Wimbledon line

17-piece collection will be worn by some of the biggest names at this summer’s tournament.

Fashion designer Stella McCartney has once again joined forces with adidas, this time to launch a tennis collection.

The range – which consists of 17 pieces – will be worn by some of the big names taking part in this summer’s Wimbledon tournament including Angelique Kerber (pictured), Garbiñe Muguruza and Stefanos Tsitsipas, reported fashion business title Fashion United.

The collection includes a court dress and court zip tee for women, plus a tailored FreeLift construction for men.

The pieces were created using a range of methods and sustainable materials including dope dye technology – this creates less water waste by adding colour directly into the material mix at the initial stage of production – recycled polyester and Parley Ocean plastic, which is a material created from upcycled plastic waste intercepted from beaches and coastal communities before being made into yarn.

Source: https://www.licensingsource.net/stella-mccartney-teams-with-adidas-for-wimbledon-line/

Smiley unveils Smiffys tie up for festival season

The Smiley Company has secured a new deal with Smiffys, which will see the costume and dress-up specialist launch a line of products that pay homage to Smiley’s iconic status in the music scene.

The 17-piece collection will feature apparel including bodysuits, unitards, rain ponchos and boilersuits, as well as a selection of must-have music festival accessories including flags, hats and sunglasses emblazoned with the Smiley logo.

The first line of products will launch globally for the kick off of the festival season this month. Smiffys also has plans for a second wave of products in time for carnival season in February 2020.

“Smiley’s status as a world-famous symbol of festivals and the global music scene is a perfect fit for brands who want to tap into this booming trend,” says Lori Heiss-Tiplady, vp brand strategy at The Smiley Company. “Leading brands around the world continue to leverage our authentic heritage in this space, and we are excited to partner with Smiffys to apply our iconic artwork which will bring happiness to festivals for summer 2019 and beyond.”

Source: https://www.licensingsource.net/smiley-unveils-smiffys-tie-up-for-festival-season/

Global Merchandising Services Spices up its life

Global Merchandising Services is to develop the worldwide merchandise program for pop icons, The Spice Girls.

The original purveyors of ‘girl power’ announced a new Spice World tour last year, kicking off with a 13-date stadium tour across the UK and Ireland.

The tour – which sold out in record time – began on May 24 at Croke Park in Dublin and includes three sold out dates at London’s Wembley Stadium.

Global launched the official Spice Girls online store in April, receiving press from major media outlets and proving a hit with fans. Even Canadian rap star Drake was spotted sporting a Spice World hoodie during his recent tour in the UK.

Global is exhibiting at Licensing Expo this week (booth H230) and is keen to explore opportunities to extend the brand across all channels and key categories.

Source: https://www.licensingsource.net/global-merchandising-services-spices-up-its-life/

Lionel Messi ready to score with apparel line

Barcelona star to launch new premium lifestyle brand in the summer.

FC Barcelona and Argentina star, Lionel Messi is to debut an apparel collection in the summer.

The football star has partnered with brand portfolio company MGO to create Messi. MGO’s chief creative officer is Ginny Hilfiger, the sister of fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger.

The premium lifestyle brand will have a sporty edge and will mainly be menswear, although it will also include a number of women’s tops, reported WWD.

It will launch in July on a global e-commerce site called The Messi Store, with a full product rollout planned for August.

New product will be released each week on a limited basis, while some items in the mix will be autographed by Lionel.

In addition, September will see the brand partner with Savile Row tailor Richard James, plus English shoe brand Trickers. A small capsule collection will be offered at high-end specialty store Santa Eulalia in Barcelona, as well as in London Persona, a brand and store created by MGO partner, Julian Groves.

Chinese online site Tmall will also launch a Messi store in the autumn.

Source: https://www.licensingsource.net/lionel-messi-ready-to-score-with-apparel-line/

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/