European Licensing Company

As the industry gears up for the new BLCEE show, we find out more about ELC and its growth in central and eastern Europe...
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The European Licensing Company was founded in 2004 and is now one of the leading agencies in Central and Eastern Europe, operating a network of four offices in Bucharest, Budapest, Moscow and Warsaw and two representative offices in Athens and Istanbul. In total, the company covers over 27 countries and 400 million consumers.

ELC represents a vast range of brands in the growing territory, such as Warner Bros, Cartoon Network, Man Utd, Juventus, Barcelona, the NBA, MMI and Marvel.

Hakan Durdag, CEO, explains: “The relationship with Warner Bros is particularly strong and we were named best performing agent worldwide by Warner Bros. Consumer Products for both 2007 and 2008.

“Brands such as Looney Tunes, Harry Potter and Scooby-Doo are all performing very strongly, while Bakugan and Ben 10 have worked very well for us wherever Cartoon Network has a presence.”

With such a large portfolio of brands over a wide area, ELC signs a constant stream of new deals.

Notable recent licences include a deal with Fritolay in Romania and Poland that saw Ben 10 tazo premiums featuring in packs of Lay’s and Cheetos snacks as part of a nationwide promotion. The deal took in all aspects of retail, from large food stores right through to smaller local outlets.

Durdag continues: “In Russia, we teamed up with the De Agostini publishing house for a ‘Chess of Harry Potter’ partworks collection.

“Each issue contained a new Harry Potter chess figure, based on one of the characters from the smash-hit Warner Bros. movies, as well as instructions, hints and tips about playing chess. The collection sold very well and was a huge hit with Potter fans and chess enthusiasts alike.”

Perhaps its wide portfolio of properties and the number of countries covered by the company, have been its saving grace in the recent difficult circumstances experienced by the area.

“The territories in which ELC operates have been hit hard by the economic downturn,” explains Durdag.

“But despite this we have continued to prosper as we have an excellent team of experienced licensing executives as well as a very strong portfolio of brands. We have experienced ongoing brand development and company growth throughout the last 12 months.”

Using the success of the last year as a benchmark, Durdag is looking forward to another prosperous year in 2010 and beyond.

He concludes: “Although the economy has still not recovered, the licensing market in central and eastern Europe is still in its infancy and this means that there is plenty of room for the market to grow and to develop new opportunities.

“Because of our size and scope we are very well placed to take advantage of this. We will be paying particularly close attention to retail and developing it as an additional revenue driver through DTR deals.”


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