Since the medium’s emergence in the late 1970s, video games have produced a handful of characters that can be called truly iconic. One of the most enduring characters to come out of video games has been SEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog, who made his debut in 1991 and since then has been the star of dozens of games across numerous platforms, as well as multiple successful animated TV programs and several long-running comic book series. Like any iconic character, Sonic has gone through various evolutions over the years, and later this year SEGA Europe is overseeing his latest incarnation with the upcoming “Sonic Boom” television series. 


One of the top interactive entertainment companies for the mobile world, King Digital Entertainment has developed some of the leading franchises in the industry. Today, people from all around the world are playing one or more of its games. With more than 190 titles spanning across more than 200 countries, King continues to expand and enhance its gaming franchises while it is also looking to grow its licensing efforts.

Having been in the business for more than 10 years, King’s leading titles include Candy Crush Saga, Farm Heroes Saga, Papa Pear Saga, Pet Rescue Saga and Bubble Witch Saga. From its earliest days, King recognized mobile space as the right place to be. 

“People are comfortable on the move and want to stay connected,” Licensing Guru Claes Kalborg says. “We can reach out to a broader audience through our mission, which is to create engaging games with social features. If you look to the future, our goal is to be the leading entertainment company in the mobile world. We have the experience and resources to do that.”


Every day is Christmas at Character Arts as all of its brand management efforts are dedicated to the timeless story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This year is even more special for the company as it launches new initiatives to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the television special’s premiere.


Some products have to work hard to make their name in the marketplace, others are just born into popularity. Whether you know it by name or image, the Rubik’s Cube is one of those naturally sticky products. When the Hungarian-born game was launched onto the international scene in the 1970s, the game – appealing because it is both simple and complex – was an instant hit. Now, 40 years after its debut, the Rubik’s Cube has a proven longevity in the public eye, but that’s not to say it hasn’t had its peaks and valleys. 

“This is the 40-year anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube, and if you think about it logically, the kids playing 40 years ago would have been eight to 12 years old, which is a sweet spot for kid audiences. They are now in their late 40s and 50s and they probably have got children of their own and maybe even grandchildren,” explains Charlie Day, president of The Sharpe Company, which is the North American and Australian licensing agent for the Rubik’s Brand Ltd. “The brand and concept itself has had enormous longevity because it’s totally unique and an instantly recognizable icon, but what tends to happen is there is a cycle of success where it will increase in popularity for a period of years and then it slacks off a bit and sales will plateau.” 


Based in Canton, Mass., Reebok International Ltd. is well known as a leading worldwide designer, marketer and distributor of fitness and lifestyle footwear, apparel and equipment. At the same time, the company has an active licensing program that dates back to the 1990s, which it uses as a strategic tool to help Reebok become the world’s leading fitness lifestyle brand.  

“Through our products and partnerships, we want to be there for our consumers, to encourage them to move, and to share our passion for fitness,” Head of Licensing Linne Kimball says.


Nearly 12 years ago, Crocs Inc. revolutionized the casual footwear world with the introduction of its now-iconic clogs made with its unique Croslite material. The soft, comfortable nature of these clogs made them an overnight hit, and today Crocs has expanded from that one original product into multiple product lines from sandals to boots to high heels. According to Senior Director of Global Licensing Matt Lafone, the Crocs brand today encompasses more than 300 distinct styles of footwear, sold in more than 90 countries, but the company still has opportunity to grow. 

As one of the most recognizable brands in footwear, Crocs has a strong presence in the casual footwear market. However, Lafone says the company sees exciting opportunities to take the Crocs brand even further in the near future. Through a carefully managed licensing program that includes working with some of the biggest names in the fashion world, Crocs is expanding its core values to become something bigger. 

Valiant1‘David vs. Goliaths” is perhaps the best way to characterize Valiant Entertainment’s battle against Marvel and DC Comics. But like the biblical David, Valiant has many things going in its favor. 

First, all Valiant heroes inhabit the same universe, explains Valiant Chairman Peter Cuneo. This allows for interesting cross-stories and team-ups. The success of the 2012 film “The Avengers,” in which several comic heroes team up demonstrates the value of this approach. 

Valiant’s universe features 1,700 characters to which the company owns and controls all rights, Cuneo says. Valiant’s position as the No. 3 comic book universe behind only Disney-owned Marvel Entertainment and Warner Brothers’ DC Comics also places it in a solid position. Valiant’s team features many former Marvel staffers, as well. 

Sony1Sony Pictures Consumer Products (SPCP) certainly has a lot on its plate. Its job is to support Sony Pictures Entertainment’s properties by devising impactful marketing campaigns and product lines that resonate with consumers. To accomplish its goals, SPCP is working with its colleagues and partners to make sure all of the consumer products initiatives associated with Sony Pictures’ film and TV properties reach their target audiences. 

“We ask ourselves what our purpose is all the time,” Senior Vice President of Global Consumer Products Greg Economos says. “Our purpose is to generate revenue, but it is also to increase consumer engagement with our TV and film properties. Hopefully, our work will increase awareness and drive viewership.”

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