The boss of LMI talks us through his 30-year career in the licensing industry...
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Andrew Maconie

Time spent in licensing industry:
30 years

First job in licensing:
I co-founded IMG working with Martyn Sorrell for Mark McCormack. This was at the end of the 1960s and Tony Jacklin had won the British Open, Jackie Stewart the F1 World Championship and Rod Laver won Wimbledon.

What were your responsibilities?
Licensing for Mark McCormack's sports personalities in Europe.

Current job in licensing:
I founded LMI in the early 1980s. Our first properties were the original three Star Wars movies, where I handled the European licensing, the Indiana Jones trilogy and then the NFL. Now we handle the worldwide licensing for a number of properties including British Motor Heritage and the Royal Mail and anticipate a bumper year in 2009 when the Mini becomes 50.

What are your responsibilities?
Overseeing the different divisions of our company, which breaks down into Entertainment, Corporate and Sport, as well as our worldwide network of sub-agents.

What is your greatest achievement so far?
Setting up my own business.

What is the best licence you have worked on so far in your career?
Right now, I think the best licence I've worked on is Mini, which we have really seen blossom over the past five years. We licence Original Mini, not the new Mini where there are a very limited number of licences granted. We have managed to develop our business in South East Asia and Japan very significantly, and I see these markets, along with India, as very much emerging ones over the next few years.

What licence would you most like to have in your portfolio?
Playboy. This brand has blossomed internationally in the last few years and appeals to a broad range of consumers in many categories, ranging from apparel and lingerie to a good percentage of shelf space in WH Smith.

If you could choose your dream job in licensing what would it be and why?
It would be to run Hit. I feel it has tremendous potential, particularly in emerging markets.

What's the best thing about working in the licensing business?
Making a brand work and it is fantastic to see a licensing programme build from a first few tentative licensees to an overall co-ordinated programme. Eventually, licensees and retailers start calling you and then you know you've made it.


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