BLE NEW EXHIBITOR SPOTLIGHT: The RAF

Brand extensions being sought by global agent IMG.
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The Royal Air Force (775) is known throughout the world for its heritage and tradition since its inception in 1918.

Bravery and commitment have been shown by the organisation throughout the years and today’s RAF includes a range of roles including search and rescue, troop transport and international peace and security.

Having appointed IMG as its global licensing agent, the RAF is hoping to grow its licensing programme. Simon Gresswell, VP of licensing at IMG, explains: “The RAF is aiming to extend its brand into relevant product categories using a combination of modern, vintage and lifestyle design themes, inspired by such consumer propositions as the power of the modern RAF, the nostalgia of the Battle of Britain and the prestige of the Red Arrows.”

The RAF has now consolidated its IP portfolio and taken the Red Arrows brand ‘under its wing.’ For this reason, the organisation believes BLE is a good opportunity to increase its brands’ visibility amongst a variety of licensees and retailers. 

Current licensees include Haynes for publishing and Character Options for toys with new opportunities in kids categories such as r/c, puzzles and games, as well as building on the current success of the HM Armed Forces toy range. Other target categories include eyewear, luggage and fashion accessories.

Gresswell continues: “With the 70th and last official Anniversary of the Battle of Britain being celebrated from May-September next year, the RAF wants to capitalise on this most famous of events in British aviation warfare.”

In celebration of this, the stand at BLE will house re-enactors from the RAF Museum in authentic WW2 fighter pilot uniforms, and inspirational artefacts showing some of the many highlights of the museum’s thousands of artefacts, documents and photographs.

The RAF stand will also provide a window onto the world of the military aviation service for licensees and retailers and show the impact of the brand both in product development and marketing.

Gresswell continues: “Licensees and retailers will also be impressed by the high-speed action footage of the Red Arrows Aerobatic Display Team who perform their split-second routines at air shows across the world and one of the famous Diamond Nine Pilots will even be present on the stand to meet the public."

Visitors to the stand will be able to take away a copy of the new RAF Style Guide, packed with photographs, product concepts and design elements including squadron badges.

The organisation will also be announcing two new licensing deals with special significance for 2010 at the show.

Alongside BLE, the RAF has a number of air shows throughout the year, including the RAF Fairford International Air Tattoo, which attracts over 100,000 visitors, enabling the public to see the aircraft and meet the people that make the RAF brand.

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