ILM - Licensing.biz

ILM

The interactive licensing specialist is working to raise its impressive profile within the industry as it continues to grow.
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ILM is slightly different to many other licensing agencies in that it deals exclusively with licensors and games publishers and developers.

The firm was founded in 2004 by Geoff Brown and David Colley (pictured) and was created to serve this niche in the market.

Colley comments: "Geoff has forgotten more than most people know about licensing (FIFA World Cup, IOC, LucasArts and UEFA spring to mind) and so it was a real honour to work with someone who was instrumental in the growth of the interactive entertainment market as we know if today."

The team has remained small, enabling it to react quickly to the market place and client's needs. Colley works on the licensing deals and details and the rest of the staff work in an administrative capacity.

Colley continues: "The overall result is a team effort and we do feel that we provide extra services such as the ability to create bespoke licensing contracts for clients."

While the team has remained small, the portfolio has grown steadily and the number of licensors is also expanding. But ILM is still discerning about the type of licences it takes on, even in the current economic climate, when many are taking everything offered to them.

Colley explains: "This is an area we take great care over as we need to ensure that we maintain both the standards that clients expect and the integrity of the properties as this growth occurs.

"In order to do that, you need to bring in experienced licensing personnel who know the value of customer care both during a licensing procurement and vitally, afterwards."

The first licence ever signed by the firm was to work with PGA Toyr Productions, PGA of UK and Ireland, PGA of America, Turner Sports Inc and Ryder Cup to look for partners.

Many of the licences within ILM's portfolio are sports-related. Perhaps the most successful so far has been the recent deal for WRC. Colley comments: "For me, it was successful as it ensured that a great racing brand was back in the interactive market, I'm sure that all rally fans will agree with me on this."

However, not all the deals are sports-led. In fact, Colley says his dream licence would have been the interactive rights with JK Rowling before her books were quite as well-known as they are now.

Whatever the subject though, there is a definite formula for success at ILM. Colley explains how it works: "Knowing that each platform is different and that there is nothing wrong with the segmentation of rights as long as they are assigned to developers and publishers who have the best skill sets to deliver

"Sometimes, six partners are better than one and this can maintain licensee focus in a better way."

This strategy will no doubt continue to be applied going forward as the firm works to increase its profile in the market and improve visibility to the industry.

Colley concludes: "I have personally been involved int eh interactive entertainment industry for 22 years now and having worked in all aspects of production as well as business development and licensing gives me a great insight into the placing of licensors with a partner who will do justice to their brands."

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