A Storied Past: License! Global Celebrates 15 Years
Feb 01, 2013
By Nicole Davis
The early years of the magazine were exciting times for the industry as whole, with licensors and licensees branching out from traditional business models. In May 2003, License! Global highlighted the emergence of furniture as a category in its own right. Other new categories began to develop as well, with brands creating extensions into live events, food, homewares and electronics, building the diverse range of products that have become commonplace today.
At the same time, corporate brands like Mr. Clean, Roto-Rooter, Jeep and Ford, which until then hadn't been part of the traditional licensing paradigm, began to expand beyond their core business. Licensing had become much more than just toys.
In 2007, License! Global analyzed the force that is Star Wars as the brand celebrated its 30th anniversary. After buzz from the films started to die down in the mid-80s, Lucasfilm kept the brand relevant by creating fresh content, first in a series of licensed books and then with the release of Episodes I-III in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The new content spawned years of robust licensing activity that will likely get another boost in 2015, with Disney announcing plans for Episode 7 following its acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012.
Also in 2007, the magazine officially added the word "global" to its name, reflecting an ongoing shift within the licensing sector toward a more international approach. License! Globalrecognized that the Internet had fundamentally shifted the way the world worked–country and regional borders mattered less, which made the market for brands that much bigger. "Think Global, Act Local" was, and still is, the catchphrase of the day, as licensors work to meet the demands of a global audience in a way that resonates within different cultures.
In response to this globalization trend, License! Global launched its daily e-news in early 2008, creating a daily touchstone for licensing and retail executives. This year,License! Global has begun working on new initiatives to share content with key partners in other territories. The first such agreement, with Bugg Toys & Licensing in Australia, was announced in January.