Independent licensing agency TPA has been appointed EMEA licensing agent for Bob, the street cat that changed the life of a homeless busker and became a publishing sensation.
After he tended and befriended an injured cat, James Bowen wrote about how his cat changed his life in the book A Street Cat Named Bob.
The book has now sold over a million copies in the UK, and has topped the charts in the US, Germany, Brazil, Portugal and Turkey, to name just a few of the more than 30 countries in which it has been published. More Bob books have followed and enjoyed similar success.
Today, nearly three years after the original book appeared, Bowen and Bob still attract massive queues at book signings up and down the country.
There is now a strong demand for branded product linked to the duo, which is why the literary agency representing Bowen and Bob – Aitken Alexander Associates – has appointed TPA to manage a licensing programme for Bob the brand.
The appeal of both the character and the books extends from the very young to adults, offering a vast potential market. Initial product targeted by the campaign will include giftware, houseware, t-shirts, calendars, plush, mobile phone accessories and posters. However, the Bob brand also has potential in games, jigsaws, and the wider apparel market.
A comprehensive style guide is now in development, with first product launches expected to take place later this year for the 2015 Christmas market.
Chris Taday, MD of TPA, commented: “Bob the street cat is much more than a publishing hit. He is an inspirational figure with strong name recognition, lasting appeal and a potential that extends into many product categories. We’re looking forward enormously to developing that potential with Aitken Alexander Associates – and of course James and Bob.”