Elton John's extensive deal with Universal brings major licensing boon for Bravado

The licensing and merchandising arm of Universal Music Group will line up licensing, merchandising and promotional partnerships around Elton John's Farewell to Yellow Brick Road tour.
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Rocket Man and the most successful male solo artist in US Billboard chart history, Elton John has signed a definitive new partnership with Universal Music Group and Rocket Entertainment.

The new partnership hands Universal representation rights across the artist’s acclaimed recorded music and songwriting catalogues, merchandising, licensing and brand management.

UMG will represent the entirety of Elton John’s legendary creative output throughout his five decade careers, as well as release all of his new music for the rest of his career.

This marks the beginning of a new era of expanded collaboration between Elton John and UMG and expands the global business partnership between the two on a significant new scale.

The long-term commitment also includes the publishing rights to his song-writing catalogue to be administered by Universal Music Publishing Group long into the future.

Meanwhile, Bravado will work closely with Rocket to expand and develop global merchandising, branding and retail licensing opportunities around Elton’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road world tour and catalogue.

Elton John said: “In UMG we’ve got the perfect partners to support all aspects of my creative endeavours. Lucian, Jody, David and the UMG family share the values that we hold dear - nurturing artistry, restless creativity and innovation.

“I am proud and delighted to have them stand alongside me as I embark on the next phase of my career.”

Working with David Furnish, CEO of Rocket Entertainment, UMG will leverage its combination of global reach, creative and commercial expertise and marketing and promotional support to ensure Elton John’s current releases, alongside his rich songwriting and recorded music catalogues, are introduced to new generations of fans.

Furnish added: “During the time I have been CEO of Rocket, our relationship with Universal has gone from strength to strength. Sir Lucian Grainge, Jody Gerson, David Joseph and their teams’ vision to bring Elton into the digital and streaming age and make his catalogue relevant to a younger generation is in perfect tandem with everything we strive to do day in, day out at Rocket.

“Elton’s hunger and desire to push himself creatively and collaborate with the best, most exciting creatives in the world is as great as ever, and Universal fully shares our vision to keep Elton at the forefront of popular culture.”

What this now means for licensing is that Bravado will work to develop fashion lines inspired by the career and style of Elton John.

Mat Vlasic, CEO of BRavado, added: “Bravado sits at the crossroads of music and fashion and we are constantly pushing the limits of what we can do for our artists. It’s an honour to work with Elton - a legendary icon who continues to brilliantly weave music and fashion together while constantly elevating his aesthetic to new heights.

“His influence on fashion has not only inspired designers around the world, including our own, but he has empowered generations of fans to take license with their own freedom of expression, something that I have always admired and greatly appreciated.

‘We are excited to create something that celebrates his legacy and that his fans will treasure for years to come.”

Since becoming CEO of Rocket Entertainment in 2015, Furnish has worked closely with UMG to focus on growing Elton John’s presence on streaming services and social media platforms to support a broader strategy in touring, branding and licensing. A strategically planned series of initiatives across the fields of recorded and live music, fashion, film and video have ensured that not only does Elton’s oeuvre continue to find new fans, but his continuous creative output has remained exciting and relevant across the generations.

Earlier this year, Elton John pushed his live performance business further with the announcement of the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, a VR extravaganza that transported attending media and fans around the world watching on YouTube, through the defining moments of his performance career.

Elton will work with Bravado to create a line of merchandise for his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. The firm will oversee worldwide tour and retail merchandise, brand partnerships, licensing and direct to consumer sales along with activations planned in cities throughout the tour.

Elton John’s presence in fashion and design was felt last year as Gucci unveiled its spring/summer 2018 collection, inspired by Elton John’s inimitable style. It referenced original items taken from Elton John’s archives.

Gucci has also designed the wardrobe for the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour.

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