Licensing, Fight business news
§ ICv2 checks in on some of the reports announced at the Licensing show:
In a separate report published in April, License Global Magazine ranked the top licensing companies by global sales of products based on their properties in its Top 100 Licensors list. Disney was #1, with its Hannah Montana and High School Musical brands generating lots of sales.
Warner Bros., parent of DC Comics, Looney Tunes, and many other powerful brand groups, was #3.
And Marvel Entertainment was #5.
Other movie, TV, or character companies in the top 20 were Nickelodeaon/Viacom at #6, Sanrio (Hello Kitty) at #8, MGA (Bratz) at #14, HIT Entertainment at #15, Mattel Brands at #16, Sony Pictures Consumer Products at #18, 20th Century Fox at #19, and Lucas Licensing at #20.
§ Brandweek has a larger overview of the licensing biz in light of the general economic gloom:
Politicians stumping for high office aren’t the only ones talking about the sluggish economy, through-the-roof gas prices and the mortgage meltdown. It’s top-of-mind with property owners and their licensing partners as the annual Licensing International Expo (better known as the Licensing Show) opens this week in New York before its cross-country move to Las Vegas next summer.
The toy business, thought to be somewhat recession-proof, has been hit by higher costs for essential materials, manufacturing and shipping, along with recalls that continue to take a bite out of marketers’ revenues. Consumer spending is down, especially for discretionary items, and retailers are more cautious than ever about taking risks on licensed goods, often preferring their own private label products. (As a result, the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers Assn. is reporting that manufacturers in North America paid $5.98 billion for rights and royalties in 2007, which was down slightly from the previous year.)
[We’ll have a fuller report from the show with pictures later on.]
§ While not really comics-related, we’ve been following the story of the International Fight League for some while. Now it looks like the IFL , which was co-founded by Wizard’s Gareb Shamus and featured prominently at recent Wizard shows, has cancelled its August show, and may be headed for bankruptcy :
While the IFL has drawn tepid interest from fans, official acknowledgment by the company that it potentially faces bankruptcy if it can’t stop the financial bleeding is worth noting. Despite a presence on TV, a handful of talented fighters and a retooling of the brand under former Showtime executive Jay Larkin, the IFL just hasn’t connected with a large enough fan base, and its stock has taken a beating as a result.