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More Than a Sporting Chance

With Real Madrid moving more than 1 million David Beckham shirts (more than covering his transfer fee of $50 million, Electronic Arts achieving last year's best-selling Christmas video game with FIFA 2007, and Ralph Lauren designing an official umpire blazer for Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Association, there's no question that licensing is an increasingly essential part of the business mix in the world of sport. In fact, the industry reputedly has a global value of $18.7 billion (according to marketing guru Ardi Kolah), or 11 percent of the industry's global value of $170 billion.

Many exhibitors at Brand Licensing Europe operate within the sports market, including Manchester United Merchandising Limited, FC Barcelona, Juventus, PSG, National Basketball Association (NBA Europe), Global Brands Group, Golden Balls, and Dorna Sports who are all taking part this year, and 15 percent of visitors have a specific interest in sports licenses.

Overall, anticipation for Brand Licensing Europe continues to build at breakneck speed as we head into the final organizational strait. Six A-list studios will headline the Screening Suite timetable this year: Disney Consumer Products, Lucasfilm, Marvel Entertainment, New Line Cinema, Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Twentieth Century Fox.

These studios have the opportunity to present sizzles, teasers, trailers, and exciting licensing opportunities for forthcoming movies to an invitation-only audience of retailers, licensees, and promotional marketers from all over Europe. The Screening Suite is Brand Licensing's state-of-the-art cinema, which debuted to wide acclaim last year, and is doubling in size for 2007.

Exhibitor numbers are also continuing to swell, with the likes of Mattel Brands Consumer Products, Nelvana Enterprises, Pokémon UK, Rainbow Productions, RDF Rights, Rob Scotton Licensing, and The Licensing Company recently coming on board. And the Licensing Academy—a series of 10 high-level, free seminars running throughout the event—is shaping up to be a powerhouse of licensing inspiration. A full exhibitor list and Licensing Academy program information can be found at www.brandlicensingeurope.com.

Brand Licensing Europe takes place Oct. 2–3 at the Grand Hall, Olympia in London. Next month's issue of License! Global will look into the lucrative world of licensing in the interactive entertainment industry. Visitors can register for free entry into Brand Licensing Europe 2007 at www.brandlicensingeurope.com.

Q & A

This month Brand Licensing Europe spoke to Juan Pablo Molinero, licensing and rights director at Precisport in Spain.

Q. Who is Precisport?

A. Based in Barcelona, we are a global merchandise and fanwear company; we design, produce, market, and distribute sports merchandise for a wide number of brands.

Q. What impact is licensing having on the sports industry?

A. Licensing has opened the eyes of teams, clubs, athletes, and organizations as the new way of obtaining earnings at the same time as adding brand value. These days, licensing in sports is becoming as important as it is in movies, cartoons, or entertainment.

Q. Which are your most successful licenses?

A. Our most successful license is Ferrari, followed by Valentino Rossi, Ducati, and MotoGP. Harley-Davidson and Eurobasket 2007 are the most recent we have added to our portfolio.

Q. How does it benefit your business to attend Brand Licensing Europe and what are you hoping to achieve from attending this year's event?

A. For us, it's about networking and spending time with brand agencies, licensees, and licensors. This year, we will continue to network and we are also considering participating as an exhibitor in order to promote our licenses to the licensing community.

Q. Why would you recommend other sports marketing companies attend?

A. Licensing is the future and Brand Licensing is a great tool to enter it.

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