THE BIG INTERVIEW: Charlie Day, President, The Sharpe Company

Why the 20-year industry veteran believes it's not just about TV any more.
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It’s true that in the licensing business you don’t have to look very far to find someone who used to work at CPLG. Along with Hit and the BBC, the Hammersmith-based agency seems to be something of a training ground for industry talent.

And, although he’s now swapped West London for Manhattan Beach in California, Charlie Day’s 20-year career in licensing includes a stint as joint managing director at CPLG.

He’s still an agency man though, with his boutique IP firm, The Sharpe Company working with clients including Bang on the Door, Rocket Licensing, Tiger Aspect, Seven Towns and Parthenon among others. Properties include Roland Rat, Dex Hamilton Alien Entomologist, The Dangerous Book for Boys, The Daring Book for Girls, Skunk Fu and Bike Mice From Mars, to name just a few.

“I think the licensing industry is up on last year and we’re slowly recovering from the recession,” Day tells “The mood is definitely more positive now and I think the industry is more receptive to taking chances. The last 12 months were tough for us overall, but things are improving. The main problem has been the lack of acquisitions of new programming by the main US TV broadcasters.”

Day says that key properties at the moment include Rubik’s Cube, which just keeps growing, while Norton Motorcycles is also looking good. Ones to watch at Licensing International will include the Illicit apparel brand, plus the new animated film, The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. On top of this, Decode’s Animal Mechanical TV series will begin broadcasting in the US this autumn, while Norton’s first line of licensed clothing arrives on US store shelves, too.

“The growth of different awareness drivers for IP is going to be key going forward,” Day continues. “We have a great spread of IP of different types that we represent. One of the major trends to emerge over the past 12 months is that brands are growing ever stronger. US broadcasters are not breaking many traditional animated kids TV series any more.

“I think we will continue to see a drift away from traditional TV as such an important builder of awareness for eight to 12 year olds kids’ related IP. Children will get more and more of their IP awareness from internet-driven PC content, as well as video games.”

For Day, the rest of 2010 is all about making the most of the different types of IP The Sharpe Company represents, looking for those extra awareness drivers and new avenues to market. More specifically? “I want to build on the Norton and Illicit brands in the fashion retail sector and have our key licensees in place for the two major entertainment properties Animal Mechanicals and The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus.”

The Sharpe Company can be found on stand 4615 at Licensing International Expo, which runs from June 8th to 10th at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Convention Center, Las Vegas.


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