Debra Valencia is an artist who prides herself on creating sophisticated designs that people want to make part of their lives. Her designs inspire women to be chic and stylish, turning everyday life into a pageantry of color. “Ever since I was five years old I couldn’t be stopped from drawing, painting and every craft available. I was obsessed,” reflects Debra Valencia. “As a teenager, I would even design my own clothes. I remember spending entire weekends making new outfits to wear to school on Monday.”

That lifelong passion has inspired Valencia’s career as an artist, designer, educator and author, and ultimately the development of the unique California lifestyle brand, appropriately named “Debra Valencia.” The Debra Valencia brand is currently licensed with more than 20 manufacturers, with hundreds of licensed products sold at major retailers across the country.

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Practically everybody remembers his or her first box of Crayola crayons. The classic green and gold box has been a school supply staple for generations. In many cases, people can recall the name of their favorite color – purple mountains’ majesty, tickle me pink or macaroni and cheese, for example. 

“We’re an iconic brand,” explains Warren Schorr, Crayola’s vice president, licensing and business development and a fan of cornflower.

The first box of eight Crayola crayons rolled off the assembly line in 1903. The packaging was different, but all of the colors are the same as those found in today’s eight pack. In 1949, the box was expanded to hold 48 colors placed in a box with “stadium seating.” A decade later, the classic 64-color box was introduced with a built-in sharpener. Ninety-six colors were packaged into what Crayola calls the “Big Box” in 1993.

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There’s more to Corona than just great taste and a highly recognizable logo. The brand – which is the world’s top-selling Mexican beer as well as the #1 imported beer and #1 imported light beer in the United States and the fifth-best selling beer in the nation overall – is also synonymous with summer and relaxation, thanks in large part to its award-winning multi-million dollar “Find Your Beach” advertising campaign.

“In our experience working with great brands, the most successful brand extensions result from brands that evoke an aspirational lifestyle that transcends the actual product,” explains Debra Joester, president and CEO of Joester Loria Group (JLG), the marketing and licensing agency representing the Corona brand. “Corona is a truly iconic brand that is universally associated with laid back, carefree times spent with friends, and all of the Corona licensed products are designed to enjoy that lifestyle.”

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If you have seen any product, DVD, television program or movie concerning the Three Stooges in the last 50 years, C3 Entertainment had a hand in its licensing, production or distribution. Founded by the Stooges themselves in 1959, the company has since broadened its scope to include chefs, magicians, rock-and-roll legends, celebrities, artists and properties such as Grizzly Adams.

 “We are a media company in three major operating areas,” points out Eric Lamond, vice president of brand management and strategic planning. “We do the licensing, the production and the distribution. Not every licensing agency will do entertainment production, and I can guarantee you not every licensing agency does content distribution – that is very rare. But we do all of it, and we do it very well. We’re a small company, but we get a lot done. That’s good for us and our licensees.”

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With its enormous beach, five-star restaurants, shark reef and other world-class amenities, a stay at the Mandalay Bay resort is no ordinary experience, even by Las Vegas standards. Naturally, when it came time for the resort to find an operation that could help it develop its own line of sun care products, Mandalay Bay needed to find an extraordinary partner. Thanks to the help of Mandalay Bay’s licensing agency, All American Licensing (AALMG), the resort found that extraordinary partner in New York-based PakLab, one of the world’s leading providers of turnkey solutions for the health and beauty sectors. 

Through the combined efforts of Mandalay Bay and PakLab, the Bay Soleil line of skin and sun care products debuted earlier this year at the resort. Like the resort itself, Bay Soleil is no ordinary sun care line, combining spa-like luxury with exceptional protection from the sun. The resort believes the high-end look and feel of the Bay Soleil products make them ideal for the Mandalay Bay experience, and they also offer guests the opportunity to keep a little bit of that experience with them even after they return home. 

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Successful licensing is a multidisciplinary activity that requires extensive experience and expertise in creating and producing products. “There’s no rule of thumb or set formula,” asserts Gregory Economos, Sony Pictures Consumer Products senior vice president of Global Consumer Products. “Yes, there is a strategy but also a gut experience based on the group’s collective thinking on what could work.”

In the case of Sony, that is a highly experienced “collective gut.” Economos has been in the licensing business for 20 years representing a diversity of properties. His team also comes with a highly knowledgeable background. “We probably have hundreds of years of experience collectively on the team,” Economos calculates. “The experience of the group as a whole varies, but it’s a really good group of people.”

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For more than a century, Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. Inc. has evolved along with the game of baseball, Mark Kraemer says. “[We’ve] been able to grow with the game to the highest level, and adjust and change with the times,” he says.

This ranges from sporting goods to products visible in video games for players, “whether they’re on the field or in the seats,” he says. Rawlings strives to stay “in tune with what the players’ needs are, as the games are getting quicker and faster.”

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Long gone are the days when getting his photo on the front of a cereal box was the best exposure an NFL player could receive off the field. The business of licensing and marketing the likenesses of professional sports stars has become incredibly sophisticated in a world of social media and increasingly broad licensed product categories. This is magnified when talking about the NFL, America’s most popular professional sports league.

The stars of the NFL are some of the most recognizable athletes in the world, and there are more ways than ever for fans to connect with their favorites. Making sure fans have those opportunities is the responsibility of NFL Players Inc., the licensing and marketing subsidiary of the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA). According to Vice President of Licensing and Business Development Steven Scebelo, NFL Players Inc. has agreements with nearly 80 licensees who develop and market products featuring the likenesses of approximately 2,000 current NFL players. These products include apparel, trading cards, video games, collectibles and toys. 

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