Experiential licensing brings brand new cross-industry prospects

Euromonitor International's Utku Tansel takes a look at how the 'experiencing is everything' phenomenon is driving growth in sports, music and theme park licensing.
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As I explore in our Experiential Licensing: Consumer Fundamentals Falling into Place Global Briefing, today’s consumers are increasingly redefining their values and priorities, leading to the birth of a new consumerism.

“Experiencing is everything” phenomenon is driving growth in sports/music licensing and theme parks/themed travel. Thus, themed flights/holidays, themed hotels and cruises enjoy growing popularity.

This trend also presents many opportunities across a wide range of industries including travel, apparel and footwear, toys and games, consumer electronics, personal accessories and home and garden.

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Key findings:

New consumerism fuels experiencing is everything phenomenon

Today’s consumers are redefining their values and priorities, leading to the birth of a “new consumerism”, while time has become a luxury in our connected world. The experience trend is impacting across many areas from sports and music licensing to licensed themed travel and theme parks while consumers increasingly seek to “do something different” searching for unique, often personalised experiences.

US dominates sports licensing and licensed music merchandise sales

Globally, sports licensing has registered steady five per cent year-on-year growth in the last few years driven largely by licensed sports apparel merchandise sales. Sports licensing is largely constant and does not tend to fluctuate from year to year. The US is by far the world’s biggest market in sports licensing and the business is driven largely by major sports leagues.

Wide range of cross-industry opportunities for licensing

Apparel (menswear, womenswear, childrenswear, accessories) and footwear, video games, consumer electronics (headphones/earphones, wireless speakers), traditional toys and games, personal accessories (jewellery, bags and luggage, pens), home and garden (bed textiles, dinnerwear) are some of the major industries and categories that would benefit further from experiential licensing.

Millennials: A key segment for licensing

Millennials - defined as consumers aged 25 to 34 years - is a sizeable demographic, ranging from 11 per cent of the population in ageing Japan, to 18 per cent in more youthful markets such as Vietnam. It is a key consumer segment for licensing businesses globally and travel is an important area for them. The Millennials group is projected to record the fastest growth in world travellers as this number is forecast to increase by 69.7 million over 2015 to 2020.

Licensing to theme parks brings revenue and brand exposure

Theme parks themselves have become an increasingly important component of many brand licensing strategies in recent years, as licensors search for innovative ways to leverage their property, enhance brand awareness and connect with fans.

Worldwide sales of theme parks stood at $30.9 billion in 2015 registering a 1.6 per cent drop on the previous year. However, steady growth is expected as the category is projected to record a value CAGR of 10 per cent over 2015 to 2020 making it the second most dynamic behind national parks in overall attractions.

New consumerism drives themed travel

Themed travel is part of a phenomenon that is no longer about a property targeting just commercial movie screens or TV series which now includes anything related to the concept of fan engagement from licensed themed flights and holidays to licensed themed hotels and cruises. The underlying trend that has given birth to the integration of various aspects of travel is the connection of entertainment, lifestyle and sports which are heavily influenced by celebrities and global brands.


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