Two well-known industry personalities have opened up their own licensing consultancy.
Tom Howgate, former commercial manager at Manchester United Merchandising, and Andrew Lane - who has previously held the positions of director at branded toiletries specialist Grosvenor of London and, currently, Hasbro's international director of licensing - have set up Fluid Brand Management.
The firm is positioning itself as a licensing consultant to companies on both sides of the licensee/licensor fence. The duo have already secured a number of clients, including Arsenal FC, which will be retaining Fluid as exclusive merchandising and licensing consultant.
"For many years, many football clubs have sacrificed a large proportion of their revenue from licensing to agencies who have demonstrated a real lack of understanding of the sports industry," Howgate explained. "Our role with Arsenal will be simply to help them bring their rights under their own control, and to start to maximise their true potential."
Fluid will be offering 'virtual licensing management'. In addition, for licensees and licensors in the field of sports and brand licensing, Fluid has licence acquisition and sales services.
"We've already received a number of approaches from both sides of the licensee/licensor divide from people who just want us to find the right licensees, or the right properties, but don't know where to start," said Lane, who will retain his position with Hasbro as well as being involved with Fluid.
"The one thing we both understand is how to do win-win deals, so we can help take the pain out of the whole process, and save our clients a lot of time, effort and hassle."