The crystal ball to retail trends for 2007

Licensing International - June 2006

In the ever-diversifying marketplace, licensed products represent $175 billion* in retail sales worldwide and bring new excitement to consumer products goods categories across the board. The world’s leading manufacturers, brand owners and retailers come together at Licensing 2006 International, June 20-22, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, to initiate many of the deals that will bring such products to market in 2007 and beyond.

With expectations of more than 23,000 attendees from over 100 countries, „Licensing 2006 International“ - the global marketplace for leveraging brand equity -- will feature more than 500 exhibitors representing more than 6,000 intellectual properties – the most comprehensive presentation of brands in one place at one time, anywhere in the world. The exhibitor roster includes Fortune 500 consumer brands, Hollywood’s top movie studios, publishing giants, artists and designers, even not-for-profit organizations. This year, returning exhibitors are being joined by nearly 200 new exhibitors, including such high profile companies as soccer’s most famous representative – Pele, American Greetings, General Mills, Lucas Films, Manchester United, Microsoft and Nintendo, the U.S. Postal Service and more – all of whom have come to realize that the show is the place for key players to gather, make deals and network all under one roof.

"Licensing International is the crystal ball to the development of innovative, interesting and distinctive consumer product goods that drive worldwide retail sales year after year," says Georgiann DeCenzo, vice president, U.S. Licensing Group, Advanstar Communications. "It’s the launch pad for some of the world’s most successful branding programs, for both new brands and the extension of classic properties alike." According to Charles Riotto, president, The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA), in today’s competitive marketplace, brand, trademark and copyright owners must extend their reach among consumers, and manufacturers and retailers must leverage the distinctiveness and emotional connections that a strong brand or entertainment property can bring to the retail marketplace. "The worldwide business of licensing helps to accomplish that."

LIMA is the official sponsor of Licensing 2006 International.

Now in its 26th year, Licensing International continues to be a platform for the important stories that define this multi-billion dollar industry.

  • An exhibitor roster featuring the biggest names in entertainment, including 4 Kids Entertainment, A&E Television Networks, Discovery, Disney, MGM, New Line Cinema, DreamWorks SKG, Nickelodeon, Sesame Workshop, Sony Pictures, Universal Studios, Warner Bros. and more.
  • High-profile consumer brands such as Honda, Jelly Belly, Sea World/Shamu, USA TODAY, Hallmark, Procter & Gamble, Jeep, Betty Crocker, Kellogg’s, Ford, Mattel, Hasbro, Pepsi and more.
  • The largest ever Art & Design Licensing Gallery, featuring original designs and artwork from more than 200 exhibitors.

International Impact
As worldwide soccer works to gain its foothold in America, licensing takes over as team captain. FIFA World Cup, AC Milan, Manchester United and now Pele are incorporating licensing strategies into the marketing mix to take soccer beyond the grassroots level it has established in the U.S. market to the next level of embedded cultural icon. And as Licensing International takes place in the midst of World Cup Soccer, attendees will be treated to a "live" feed of the on-field action on big screen projection.

Sports Licensing
Sports licensing generated an estimated $18 billion in worldwide retail sales in 2004. Beyond the soccer field, returning exhibitors include the two fastest growing sports in America: NASCAR and the Professional Bull Riders Association. Also, the first-ever "Sports Licensing Summit" produced by the National Sports Marketing Network (NSMN), the exclusive professional trade organization for sports business professionals across the country, will offer a full day of high-powered discussion on trends and best practices among the top sports licensing decision-makers representing the highest echelon of sports including ESPN Consumer Products, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, NHL, PGA, World Series of Poker, WWE, and the United States Olympic Committee.

Video Games Licensing
As the competition in the videogame industry continues to heat up, the major players are all looking for that cutting edge to differentiate themselves at retail. It’s not enough to just launch an exciting new console or feature the hottest game; it’s about establishing a brand presence that drives consumer loyalty. It’s become more than just the game itself that is driving sales – it’s the overall brand image that’s attracting the consumer. That’s why the biggest players in the industry, including MicroSoft (Xbox), Nintendo and Sega are making their presence known on the show floor this year. They’re all looking to protect their brands and extend their equity through licensing in programs that generate brand awareness and help translate intellectual properties into the lifestyle experiences that impact consumer purchasing. Sega has plans for a big celebration of Sonic the Hedgehog’s 15th anniversary.

As the largest category in licensing with more than $60 billion* in worldwide retail sales, entertainment encompasses both the blockbuster movies and small screen hits, exciting new characters as well as the classics. Entertainment is going digital. With the explosion of digital technology, entertainment properties are the driving force in the battle for content. From classic characters to the latest blockbusters from movies and television, entertainment properties are providing much of the downloadable content for digital – and especially mobile – hardware. Though the entertainment category is the launching pad for the latest blockbusters, much has been made in the last few years of the franchising of the movie business with such multiple successes as Star Wars, Shrek, and Spiderman. The trend continues with the newest installments of Fantastic Four and Superman movies as well as Pirates of the Caribbean this summer. All of the major film studios including Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Disney Consumer Products, DreamWorks, LucasFilms, MGM, New Line Cinema, Sony Pictures Consumer Products, Universal Studios Consumer Products, and Viacom are returning this year to showcase their hottest new and classic properties for 2007. Also on hand are major TV production companies including Sesame Workshop, Nickelodeon and HIT Entertainment.

Digital & Mobile Licensing (Digital Media)
In 2004, retail sales of licensed online and interactive products generated $5.09 billion. Whether making a call on a cell phone, listening to music on an iPod, watching TV or a DVD, or surfing the net, consumers now rely on digital and mobile devices for communication, entertainment and work. And the communications industry is relying on licensing to provide much of that content. Because of the high concentration of content providers at Licensing International, iMPACT! – Digital and Mobile Licensing Summit returns to Licensing International for a second consecutive year. This one-day symposium for entertainment, consumer brand, licensing and technology companies, will explore the challenges and opportunities of mobile and digital licensing and help learn how to best take advantage of this profitable phenomenon through branded content, viable business models, advertising, and licensing strategies.

Corporate Brand Licensing
The Brands and Trademarks category of licensed products generated $35.5 billion* in worldwide retail sales in 2004, making it the second largest category in the multi-billion dollar licensing industry. Acknowledging licensing as a highly-effective and lucrative marketing tool and revenue driver, year after year corporate America expands its presence at the most productive place to showcase their brands, Licensing 2006 International. According to Licensing International’s 2005 attendee research, 6,000 visitors came to Licensing International specifically to connect with companies offering corporate brands and trademarks. Among the many corporate brands to be represented at this year’s show are American Greetings, AT&T, Procter & Gamble, Ford Motor Company, Daimler Chrysler, General Mills, Crayola and more. As more and more corporate brand owners realize the power of licensing, it becomes increasingly important for brands of all sizes to understand how to best develop suitable licensing programs. No brand is too small to take advantage of the licensing industry.

Food & Beverage Licensing
Corporate brands and trademarks licensing generated $35.5 billion* in worldwide retail sales in 2004. Of the major licensing categories, food and beverage brands continue to be among the fastest growing segments in licensing. Licensing International’s 2005 attendee research shows that nearly 5,000 of last year's attendees indicated they were expressly interested in meeting with companies offering food and beverage brands. And many of the corporate brands who exhibit are looking for food manufacturers with whom to partner. Among the food and beverage brands to be represented at this year’s show are the Campbell Soup Company, Hostess, Kellogg Company, Pepsi, Pringles, Snapple, M&Ms/Mars and more. The Licensing Company will be exhibiting, and with their representation of Jelly Belly and Kahlua, many delicious new pairings are bound to be in the offing.

Art Licensing
The business of licensing has changed the way artists market their work, redefining the commerce of art from single sales to the generation of ongoing royalty-based revenue streams to the tune of $18.6 billion* in worldwide retail sales in 2004. The Licensing Art and Design Gallery has grown from 20 art and design licensing exhibitors in 1994, to a major force on the show floor, showcasing the craft of more than 200 artists and designers. Through licensing, art and design work is transformed into a brand and marketed to produce paper goods, textiles, home furnishings, stationary, giftware and more that help generate brand awareness as well as that all important revenue stream. Licensing also plays an important role in the diversification of the retail marketplace with distinctive consumer product goods that consumers find appealing in defining their own styles. Among the more than 200 artists and designers expected to exhibit at this year’s show are five of the top eight art licensors, according to LICENSE Magazine’s 2005 Industry Annual report: Thomas Kinkade, The Flavia Company, Lassen International, Art in Motion, Paul Brent Designer and many more. American Greetings Corp., the largest publicly traded manufacturer of social expression products and the creator and owner of Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears and Holly Hobbie, will be on the floor for the first time seeking outbound licensing opportunities for these popular children's properties.