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Nike Repeats As Top Apparel Brand In Tough Year

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief US shoemaker Nike has done it again, claiming the title of the world’s most valuable apparel brand for the seventh year in a row, but the bad news is that virtually all apparel brands faced a major decline in sales and revenue. That’s according to the annual Brand Finance Apparel 50 report for 2021, which looks at the industry over the past year. And what a year it was. According to Brand Finance’s data, the total value of the top 50 most valuable brands crashed by an almost unheard of eight per cent in a single year, thanks to the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, decreasing from US$ 301.9 billion in 2020 to US$276.4 billion by Jan. 1, 2021. Also, while Nike still took the crown for… . . . read more

Merlin Announces New Music Licensing Pact With JOOX

The indie music licensing company Merlin has just announced a new partnership, this time with the makers of the music app JOOX, owned by Chinese parent company TenCent. JOOX is a new strategic partner that gives Merlin members access to new audiences in Asia, including Hong Kong, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand, as well as South Africa. The agreement between the parties licenses Merlin content via JOOX’s ad-supported and premium tiers, as well as its karaoke feature and library. The music streaming company says it’s thrilled to work with Merlin, bringing a vast new library of unique content to its users across Asia and South Africa. “JOOX always strives to bring users a wide range of music entertainment content from around the globe in different languages and genres, catering… . . . read more

Fordham Tags NXT GEN As Agency For Little Tracker IP

NXT GEN Brand Marketing announced today its appointment by Fordham USA as the global licensing agency for the Little Tracker lines of adventure books and snack foods. Little Tracker is based on a series of books connecting curious children and families to explore our vast and diverse world. The Little Tracker characters and story are deeply rooted in messages of global sustainability, animal preservation, diversity, and inclusion; all relevant and important topics in our world today. Through the Litter Tracker books, hildren can learn to identify wild animals, birds and ocean life, and their unique habitats through a diverse and inclusive cast of child ambassadors featured on a range of products and retail partners such as Walmart, Kroger, Smith’s, Target and more. “Nxt Gen agency is the ideal partner to develop… . . . read more

Dole Says Aloha With New Licensing Agent Beanstalk

THE DOLE FOOD COMPANY PARTNERS WITH BEANSTALK TO EXTEND BRAND INTO NEW PRODUCT OFFERINGS The Dole Food Company is partnering with global brand extension licensing agency, Beanstalk, to extend its iconic brand into food categories that further empower consumers to experience healthy living through association with the DOLE brand. Most famous as the world’s largest producer of pineapples, the DOLE brand has for generations represented the highest quality in produce with a mission to make the world a healthier place through education and research programs. More than just pineapples, DOLE is one of the world’s largest producers of a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. “Today, being a meaningful part of everyday wellness and an environmental steward increasingly resonates with a growing audience across age groups,” the company said in… . . . read more

Topps Going Public in $1.3 Billion SPAC Deal

The venerable collectibles company  Topps Co. has announced it is going public through a merger with a ‘blank cheque firm’ in a deal that values the combined company at $1.3 billion. Michael D. Eisner, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Disney and Chairman of The Topps Company, will become Chairman of the combined company’s board of directors. The combined company will continue to be led by Michael Brandstaedter, President and Chief Executive Officer of Topps. “The strong emotional connection between the Topps brand and consumers of all ages is truly foundational, and, when combined with our growing portfolio of strategic licensing partnerships, creates a profitable business model with meaningful competitive advantages,” said Eisner. “Equally important, the management team at the helm of Topps, which we’ve been building for the… . . . read more

Bluey Crosses the English Channel to Air on France Television

The award winning kids animated series Bluey is crossing the English Channel to thrill a generation of children in France, as France Television has secured the rights to the show and BBC Studios has appointed France TV Distribution as its licensing agent in the country. Beginning this week, Bluey will be broadcast daily in the prime spots of 8:45 a.m. on weekends, and from Monday to Friday at 8:20 a.m.  Julie Kekwick, senior licensing manager, BBC Studios, said: “Building on the success of Bluey in Australia, New Zealand, the US and of course the widely anticipated launch in the UK, I am delighted that we have expanded our pre-school portfolio with France TV Distribution, as our licensing agent for Bluey alongside Hey Duggee and in turn strengthening our partnership with… . . . read more

LeMans Revs Up Licensing With IMG

Prestigious Race Renews Licensing Deal The Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) has renewed its longstanding, exclusive worldwide licensing representation agreement with IMG for 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world’s oldest active sports car endurance race, through 2024. Since being appointed in 2008, IMG has built a robust portfolio of more than 80 licensees for the prestigious event, which has been held annually near the town of Le Mans, France since 1923. The Centenary of the race in 2023 will open up further development opportunities for key categories including apparel, toys and games, collectibles, homeware and accessories. “We are proud that the ACO has once again entrusted us with the 24 Hours of Le Mans consumer licensing programme,” said Arthur Virapin, Senior Licensing Director, IMG. “In the last four years… . . . read more

Take Five To Fill Out Annual Licensing Letter Survey

The Licensing Letter has been collecting data on the licensing industry since 1978 through its annual surveys, and we have launched our Annual Licensing Sales Survey. If you’re in the licensing industry, please take five to 10 minutes to FILL OUT THE SURVEY AT THIS LINK. Everyone who fills out the survey and includes their email address will also receive the Licensing Letter’s Special Report on The Rise of The Virtual Influencer, free of charge. We want to hear your opinion on one of the most difficult years in our industry, and what you think is coming for 2021 and beyond. The data we collect will also allow The Licensing Letter to provide you, our readers, with better data. Thanks for taking part, and we look forward to bringing you the… . . . read more

Boutique Licensing Agency Lands Major Deal With Sanrio

The Brand New Licensing Agency Inks Deal With Sanrio Property Mr. Men and Little Miss The new Boutique Licensing Agency—aka BLA!—was formed as an EMEA-focused licensing agency whose aim is to transform the partnership experience in the licensing industry, and their approach seems to be working. Only a few months after formally entering the market, BLA! hit the ground running with its first representation: Mr. Men and Little Miss, the famous British brand owned by the Japanese multinational corporation Sanrio Co., Ltd. BLA! says it is a new agency inspired by a customer-centric approach and new thinking, but it is building on a base of experience and expertise across multiple categories and regions.  Heading a list of founders that reads like a who’s who of major names from successful global… . . . read more

LCMA Tags Ciarán Coyle as New COO/President

Ciarán Coyle is bringing his deep experience in the brand licensing industry to a new and critical role at LMCA, as President and COO of one of the world’s top licensing firms.  “Ciarán is exceptionally well suited to build upon and grow LMCA’s leadership role in corporate brand extension licensing, and we are excited to have him aboard,” said Allan Feldman, founder and CEO at LMCA. Coyle last worked with Electrolux, where he worked as the Global VP and Head of Brand Licensing, and is credited with growing the electronic giant’s corporate brand licensing program around the world. Prior to that position Coyle worked with Beanstalk for 11 years, most recently as the President for the Europe and Asia Pacific regions. At the time he was based in the company’s… . . . read more


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