What’s In a Famous Name? License Fees!

Skull Babies are original art work available for licensing and had their own booth at Licensing Expo 2018.
Photo by Diane Taylor

Fame has its downsides, but if fame is used correctly, it can create a stream of licensing income for decades to come.

Walk through the halls of Licensing Expo, held May 22-24 at Mandalay Bay Convention Center, and one is amazed at how many old names and new are now considered brands of value. The makers of toys, mugs, t-shirts, television shows and movies …. are all willing to pay for the privilege of dealing with famous names and images.

Did you know, for instance, that Sally Hansen recently offered a Crayola-inspsired Insta-Dry nail color collection? That in 2017, Coach issued an Elvis Presley collection of handbags? That Game of Thrones is the name of a live concert experience? That JC Penny features a Shaquille O’Neal men’s apparel collection? Or that Las Vegas is right now debuting a new theatrical experience, Marilyn, the Musical licensed by the Marilyn Monroe estate? Famous names sell….and that’s the point of the world’s largest licensing expo.

For the sports-themed family room is this doggie bedroom called a Nap Cap, available for sports logos.
Photo by Diane Taylor

I have attended the Licensing Expo in the past and attended again because I love seeing the variety of products eligible for branding. (Note: one of the booth representatives talking with me said their company’s booth decision was made in part because of watching my previous video of this show…whoopee!) Pre-show attendance at Licensing Expo was estimated at 16,000. The number of exhibitors was listed at 400. Organizer of the event is UBM Americas.

However attending the Expo isn’t the only happening at this event. Attendees can also attend classes at what is called Licensing University organized by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association. The university featured classes such as “The Basics of Licensing Law,” “FutureTech: New Technologies that will Affect Licensing (i.e. AR/VR voice, etc.)”, “Trendwatch: What’s the eSports Opportunity” and “Case Study: How a University Deals with Game Day Counterfeiting”.

Note: The attached video of Licensing Expo 2018 features everything from the Girl Scouts to a dinosaur. Enjoy!


One response on “What’s In a Famous Name? License Fees!

  1. Licensed products sell so well! I own an apparel shop and every single licensed line i ever had was sold with no discounts needed. It’s a gold mine, not only for the license holders, but also producers and every intermidiary in the supply chain. Another thing is that it’s not always an easy thing to get a license – some companies are very picky and they don’t want to put their ‘products’ (cartoon characters etc.) on clothes of a doubtful quality. But this is something I totally understand and support – they need to protect theit good name.

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