Licensing.biz continues its round-up of the big names in the running for a coveted People Award on Thursday April 30th. Today we profile those companies listed as Finalists in the Licensing Agent category.
The team at Rocket Licensing are all described as highly motivated individuals and, as a company, they work hard to bring together opportunities that supports their clients.
Founded in 2007, the company boasts a comprehensive A to Z (well, ‘V’) listing of client brands, ranging from Airfix to Mrs Brown’s Boys, Better Call Saul to The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Fame to The Smurfs.
Said one client: “From the get-go it was easy to get on with them (which is a major part of their success). They seem to have a genuine passion for this business and I consider them to be a great partner to our business.
“Rocket are a fantastic agency and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to other businesses looking to break in to licensing.”
The last year has been a huge success for Bulldog Licensing.
As well as delivering the successful licensing programme behind DreamWorks Animation's hit Dragons franchise, Bulldog has established the activity across the whole of the estate of DreamWorks' brands.
Bulldog is also the representative of one of the world's biggest games studios, developing new licensing programmes across the Electronic Arts suite of properties. Through 2014, the soft lines programmes for Plants vs. Zombies have gone from strength to strength, whilst the toy lines have grown considerably thanks to the launch of the construction toys line from K'Nex.
Also launching at BLE, Bulldog announced the start of the licensing programme behind the top-selling girls' collectable brand, Shopkins.
Perennial favourite Garfield continues to go from strength to strength and the last 12 months saw the launch of the Lazy Oaf range of higher end apparel lines.
Top-selling art brand Life has continued to cement its position as a powerhouse of the fashion world, whilst adding a raft of new licensees, whilst Bulldog also won the rights to represent the global rights to the universally iconic 'black cab' for The London Taxi Company.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2014, this past year has been an incredible one for CPLG. With the likes of Despicable Me, Sesame Street, England Rugby, Care Bears, Jurassic World and Teletubbies in the CPLG rights portfolio, the team has successfully managed a huge number of the hottest properties around.
CPLG was one of the first licensing agents to identify the need for a dedicated retail resource. The specialised retail team has established firm relationships with all key retailers and have driven some of the most impactful retail programs of recent years.
CPLG pride themselves on forging long lasting relationships, representing a number of their current clients for over ten years, and a few for even longer. A broad portfolio is based on three key pillars: Brands, Entertainment and Sports.
CPLG supports the licensing community at every opportunity. They enthusiastically support all Light Fund events, quiz nights, treasure hunts, and are soon to have several members risk saddle sore behinds as they cycle from London to Utrecht (all for a good cause of course!). CPLG UK Managing Director, Stephen Gould, also lends his services as a committee member of The Light Fund.
Established in September 2003, Start Licensing was set up by Ian Downes, formerly group managing director of Fox Kids Europe Consumer Products.
Start's business mantra is ‘Licensing from Start to Finish’ - the business is focused on the business of licensing and boasts of showing 100 per cent commitment to its clients.
Start Licensing have consistently brought together some fantastic licensing partnerships - recent examples include Dr Martens and The Beano for a range of Beano footwear; 151 Products and Tango to create a genuine first in licensing - shower gels based on a carbonated drink brand (the shower gels have now sold over two million units); working with Finsbury Foods to create a Jammie Dodger celebration cake which has taken the iconic brand from the biscuit aisle to the cake aisle; creating Tango flavoured Jaffa Cake biscuits with Huntley & Palmers which are now widely listed at retail.
Ian Downes and the agency are also great supporters of the wider industry - demonstrating an ongoing commitment to promoting the benefits of licensing to a wider business community and acting as fantastic advocate for licensing working in a proactive way at all times.
Brands With Influence
Brands with Influence (BWI) has had an exciting year, growing its portfolio of clients as well as the range and depth of its licensed products in retail.
The key highlights for the year include:
• Agreeing a deal for the TV presenter Kate Humble’s new range of beauty products branded as Humble to be produced by BroadOak, and sold through Waitrose.
• Launching a new licensing programme in the USA for the author and illustrator Caroline Jayne Church and her new brand The LoveMeez.
• Signing the RNLI and launching a new licensing programme for the charity based on newly designed imagery, logos and styles.
• Being appointed to work with the CBBC and CBEEBIES on new children’s licensing programmes including Hacker T Dog (launches in Argos in autumn), The Next Step (tween girl programme launching a new partwork deal with Hachette), Nelly and Nora (new preschool property for spring 2015.
• Continuing to drive Wooly and Tig merchandise sales.
• Launching a new Springwatch licensing programme for the BBC’s Natural History Unit in Bristol.
• Being appointed by Hachette to manage the licensing programme for Enid Blyton, and launching a new range of The Famous Five branded merchandise with Frances Lincoln (stationery).
• Launching a new website for Cash In The Attic which allows customers to get their stuff valued on line, and launching a new Cash in the Attic Live experience at shopping malls across the country.
Caroline Mickler Ltd
Caroline Mickler Ltd is an award winning agency, specialising in creating and implementing licensing programmes for a diverse portfolio of brands.
Clients include The Beatles, Moomin, Janet Reger, Boo the Worlds Cutest Dog and Fifty Shades of Grey as well as Tiger Aspect for Mr Bean. The team boasts of being “an agency with a clear understanding of a brands DNA and how to translate it seamlessly onto merchandise.”
And their clients appear to agree with one offering: “I have worked with Caroline Mickler on and off since 1996 and it has always been a pleasure working with her. She is extremely professional but also funny, dedicated, and charming. She has built a successful agency with selected properties and I applaud her for all her hard work and commitment. She is extremely reliable and never fails to follow up.”
The team at TLC view view themselves as much more than the ‘middleman’ in the licensing business. “Not to be underestimated, we are and view ourselves as an extension of our licensor,” says the team. “We live and breathe the brands we represent - we think strategically, for the long term, understand what the licensor wants (all their objectives differ) and add true value to the brand.”
Examples include The Gruffalo, Coca-Cola, National Trust and Peanuts.
TLC continues: “It’s not about an individual but a team who are focused on building long term relationships with the licensor and licensees - and then delivering this programme to retail.”
The Licensing.biz People Awards take place on Thursday April 30th at Sway Bar, London.