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.
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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
The agency that packs a powerful punch, Knockout Licensing combines the skills of two well-regarded experts in licensing who have joined forces to cover the gamut from adult, teen and tween fashion brands to children’s classics and new media properties.
Formed in February 2012 by Carole Postal, president of CopCorp Licensing, and Tamra Knepfer, president of TK Brand Group, Knockout Licensing is a full-service licensing agency for which Postal and Knepfer function as co-presidents.
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When Burt Hanna started Hanna’s Candle Co. in 1987, he was a college student merely looking to make ends meet by selling potpourri he made in the basement of his home. Hanna’s hobby quickly turned into an entrepreneurial enterprise after he found some success selling the potpourri, prompting him to move the business out of the basement and into a factory. He also expanded beyond making potpourri into making practically every kind of scented product, ultimately finding a niche in the scented candle market.
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What kinds of products come to mind first when you think of a program about ballroom dancing, a sleuth solving murders, a woman clearing her father’s name, the inner workings of Washington politics or a group of chefs dishing about the latest dish? If you said a coffee mug, you will not succeed in the Disney-ABC Television Group’s licensing efforts.
Crafting licensing opportunities for the idiosyncratic and sophisticated shows and series on ABC requires creative thinking and following the lead of the shows themselves. “You’ve got to understand what your audience looks for,” emphasizes Adam Sanderson, senior vice president for franchise management. “They’ll look for things they connect with – that they have a relationship with – and that’s what we use as a starting point.”
Read more: Disney-ABC Television Group
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