Although the first SeaWorld theme park was established more than 50 years ago and the company has always branded itself on merchandise sold within the parks, the consumer licensing efforts of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment have begun to swell only in the past three years. Now with approximately 300 products from 30 licensees, the wave of the company’s future licensing efforts is likely to become a tsunami of branding.
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In the burgeoning weight-loss industry, diet and exercise fads frequently disappear before the pounds they were supposed to remove do. But among the leading diet and exercise brands, NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” is in it for the long haul. The series, which is a production of Shine America, 25/7 Productions and 3 Ball Productions, begins its 15th season on Oct. 8.
“Suffice it to say, we’re not a fad,” declares Kim Niemi, senior vice president of NBCUniversal Television’s consumer products group. “We’re not going to jump onto the next bandwagon that’s coming in. Our philosophy hasn’t changed in 15 seasons, almost nine years. It’s consistent, and it’s tried and true. It takes dedication and commitment for people to stick to it, like anything in life. We have stayed very true to what we believe is the philosophy of this show with every partnership we’ve had. We’ve turned down licensees who didn’t meet our standards.”
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The U.S. Army’s brand licensing program is about more than just commerce. “The licensing program leverages the importance of pride, performance and personal development to build brand awareness and create multiple touch points for Americans to show support to the U.S. Army,” says Paul Jensen, Director of U.S. Army Trademark Licensing.
Since 2006, the Army has strategically extended its brand to more than 50 categories including apparel, footwear, jewelry, consumer electronics, gift and novelties, collectibles, sporting knives, and camping equipment, among others. New York City-based Beanstalk is the Army’s licensing agency.
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Many businesses are cyclical, and in the case of Thermos L.L.C., each year it’s back to the drawing board for its licensing department after they prepare many products months in advance for the six- to eight-week back-to-school season. The majority of that licensed business is lunch kits, hydration and food storage. The best licenses for this seasonal business are popular summer movies combined with the right mix of hot, new licenses and evergreen properties.
Read more: Thermos L.L.C.
For decades, the figures of Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl have embodied the preservation of wildlife environments. And in recent years, The Metis Group LLC has promoted the two, never letting their important messages fall out of the public eye.
“We’re the leader for socially conscious [properties],” owner and Managing Member Libby Kavoulakis explains. “We’re the conduit for transactions and finding opportunities behind government assets, where we can identify market opportunities for them. It’s right in our sweet spot.”
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The Power Rangers may regularly save the world from the forces of evil, but the TV superheroes still need help when it comes to the management and marketing of their brand. That’s where the Los Angeles-based Saban Brands comes in, President Elie Dekel says.
The company is an affiliate of Saban Capital Group (SCG), a private investment firm that operates in the media, entertainment and communication industries. SCG founded Saban Brands in 2010 to acquire and develop a portfolio of properties and capitalize on its experience, track record and capabilities.
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Airports don’t usually conjure up images of manicured golf fairways and greens, unless you happen to be in one of the PGA TOUR stores the company has licensed in 33 major U.S. airports. The PGA TOUR licensing arm of the men’s professional golf organization is establishing its presence at airports with traditional and non-traditional licensing agreements.
Tim Hawes, senior vice president of global licensing at the PGA TOUR for the past six years, plans to make sure the brand’s global presence continues to grow. “In 2012, the PGA TOUR licensing program resulted in $775 million globally of retail sales of PGA TOUR-brand products,” says Hawes, a 16-year veteran of PGA TOUR. “That placed the PGA TOUR in the top-50 companies globally as a licensor. However, we are not satisfied with our current position and we are going to continue working to grow our business significantly in the coming years, both by expanding our current base and also by expanding into new channels and non-traditional licensing venues.”
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At its inception in the mid-’90s, The Licensing Company (TLC) wanted to deliver seamless brand extensions to companies around the world. A way to achieve its goal was to implement a company philosophy where its team always looked at projects with the end in mind.
Executive Vice President Allison Kopcha explains that starting at the end is one of many key differentiators that have propelled TLC to its position of leadership in the licensing industry. “[Licensing] is not just about what brand we can put on an item,” she says. “It is about what consumers want in a product, and creating great products that will sell again and again.”
Read more: The Licensing Company
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