The next breakout property is always top of mind, no matter the consumer product category—fashion, entertainment, character, art, etc. It's partly the reason we are all traveling in circles (sometimes, literally) to a variety of different trade shows, from Comic-Con to Licensing International Show to Bologna Children's Book Fair to American International Toy Fair to Brand Licensing to SURTEX and Action Sports Retailer, among dozens of others. You find yourself looking for the property, judging its "stick-to-itiveness" (now, that's a word), and then applying it to unique products (you want new technologies, seasonal offerings, and lifestyle-driven items at the right price points). We, too, are looking for the same...
So, once again, License! is teaming up with MIPCOM Junior for the "Licensing Challenge," being held October 16 in Cannes, France. License! preselects five properties utilizing the following criteria: new, not yet aired, and has licensing and merchandising potential. Then, the five finalists "pitch" their respective properties to an international jury, which ultimately decides the winner of the "Licensing Challenge." This year's jury includes: Helen McAleer of BBC Worldwide, Grahame Grassby of the Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC), Al Ovadia of Al Ovadia & Associates, Stan Clutton of Fisher-Price, and Ronnen Harary of Spinmaster Toys. Last year's winner, Bernard (BRB Internacional), now is represented by Al Ovadia & Associates for broadcast and licensing and merchandising opportunities. We'll bring you a look at the preselected properties and the winner in an upcoming issue.
Next month, we'll deliver the good news...and the bad news in our 2005 Industry Annual Report. Without revealing all of the numbers this issue, I can tell you that our overall industry was up in 2004 between 1 percent and 3 percent (final numbers were being crunched as of press time). While that's good overall news, some segments of our business decreased over others. However, I believe you'll agree, with the state of retail and the merger and acquisitions phase in 2004 (and still ongoing), our industry consistently gains momentum year over year.
Of course, with this issue begins a heavy traveling season. There's MIPCOM, MIPCOM Junior, Brand Licensing, SURTEX, SEMA/AAPEX Show, and American International Fall Toy Show. This year, I'm adding Paperworld USA, being held in Las Vegas, to my schedule. There, we'll kick off a special licensing series for the show, November 10 at 8:30 a.m. And, of course, I'm thinking LINK. October 5 to 7, LINK New York will bring licensing executives under one roof at The Roosevelt Hotel. Maritz Research joins NPD Group and Credit Suisse First Boston as a supporting sponsor. Plus, Michael Exstein, a senior retail analyst with Credit Suisse First Boston, returns to LINK by popular demand. For an updated schedule, visit www.linkconference.com.
If I miss you at one of the many shows where we traditionally cross paths, as always, e-mail or phone me at (212) 951-6707.
Joyceann Cooney firstname.lastname@example.org