Roy of the Rovers has been a favourite for over 50 years, known and loved by men and boys. Pink Key's managing director, Richard Pink unveils the licensing plans for this classic brand.

Pink Key’s MD Richard Pink talks ambitions for classic comic brand Roy of the Rovers

Can you give me a history of the Roy of the Rovers brand and its successes?

Roy made his debut as a strip in the comic ‘Tiger’ in 1954 and due to his massive popularity Roy of the Rovers was launched a stand-alone comic in 1976 and went on to run for an amazing 853 issues.

Roy of the Rovers has been a favourite for over 50 years, known and loved by men and boys and admired for his style, talent and quintessential Englishness.

We are licensing the brand based on the huge library of visuals, both front covers and comic strips that is available in the Egmont archive.

What is the demographic for the property and who are you targeting with the licensing programme?

The target is principally boys and men who remember and loved Roy’s story as they were growing up, however we are also targeting women as the main purchaser of gifts for special occasions.

We have targeted Fathers’ Day as a key opportunity at retail for this brand. 

How many licensees do you have on board for Roy of the Rovers and in what categories?

We are having initial discussions with a number of licensees in the apparel and accessories, sports equipment and gifting areas – but the main launch of the programme is going to be at BLE this year. 

What do you look for in a licensing partner and how do you pick your licensees?

We are looking for licensees who understand how to develop a vintage brand, and will take the time to create designs that creatively represent the heritage behind the brand, but are also able to give it a contemporary angle to make sure it stays relevant.

Ideally we are looking for partners who love Roy as much as we do.

What are the main challenges with managing the Roy of the Rovers brand?

The major challenge is managing and selecting from the vast array of available art to select the images that are going to work the best on particular types of product.

We will need to work quite closely with our licensees to get this right and maintain a consistent feel for the brand as the product begins to appear 

What is the secret to maintaining the success of Roy and its heritage?

The secret is going to be focusing on the heritage of the brand, but designing product that also looks and feels contemporary so that we are able to take it into the mass market

How different is your approach to the Roy property compared to other brands in our portfolio?

We adapt the licensees we are looking for based on the brand and the categories we need – in Roy’s case are looking for licensees who have an understanding of how to help us develop a vintage brand , but with strong distribution in the UK. 

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