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It’s a Fan’s World: Driving Distribution with Fan-Commerce

By David Voss, Chief Creative Officer at Loot Crate

For more than three years, at Loot Crate, Chris Davis and Matthew Arevalo have created a dedicated and loyal following for our subscription box products, amassing over 600K monthly recurring subscribers across 35 countries! We entered this market wanting to bring a combination of mystery and exclusivity to the geek and gamer fan-based community by focusing entirely on their interests.

Loot Crate is engineered as a recurring revenue model that allows us to introduce a variety of on-trend products every month, targeting pop culture fans with passionate interests in movies, TV, gaming, comic books, anime, as well as expanding to more fan-based verticals such as sports and entertainment. We work with leading franchise owners, such as Sony and the Halo team, and are able to build on their world class brands to offer exclusive products not found on shelves. These partnerships further Loot Crate’s commitment to expanding beyond geek and gaming to include all genres, genders and generations in the world of fandom.

Today, at Licensing Expo, we are expanding the Loot Crate family of fandom. We are thrilled to announce a new licensing partnership with WWE, introducing bi-monthly crates featuring items that will appeal to WWE wrestling fans worldwide. Each crate will include exclusive WWE items and collectibles that will bring WWE fans closer to the Superstars they love. More details to be announced this summer, so stay tuned!

We’re also announcing today a new licensing partnership with Sanrio, another multi-generational global brand leader with a loyal fan community. Sanrio has nurtured its fan community for more than 40 years, and now fans will have access to a special crate celebrating Hello Kitty®, Chococat, Keroppi and more Sanrio characters, delivered directly to their doorsteps.

We infuse the Loot Crate team’s passion for its products with the feedback we receive through our brand’s social community. The end result is the best curated crates, which we deliver each month to our voracious fan base.

As we kickoff Licensing Expo 2016, we wanted to share some tips to embrace the world of fandom and ultimately, drive distribution through fan-commerce.

Say What Again – Listen to all feedback. Every day our fan-based community shares their feedback from our products. Our in-house community management team then identifies their interests or lack thereof, so that our products can appeal to our community and add value to our services.

Let’s Geek Out – Share the same passions as your community – we often say, “we all geek out over something.” At Loot Crate, we self-identify with our customers because we hold the same passions and interests as them, and as fellow geeks and fangirls, we are more connected with our community via digital and real world platforms.

Monthly Mystery Tour – Add value by creating exclusive and surprising new experiences to engage with consumers. We like to keep our fans on the edge of their seats each month by delivering crates with a fresh and original flavor.

Curation is Key – brands fall in the trap of simply offering products without a narrative to tie them together. Create a message for your subscribers by culling products that share a theme or idea, and you’ll have returning customers who appreciate the thoughtfulness of your brand.

For Loot Crate, the past three years have been both rewarding and eye-opening. Everyone cares deeply about something, whether it’s their favorite TV show, sport, music or pastime. We’ve been fortunate to have built a growing business that caters to and understands the inner geek in all of us. Every day we learn just a bit more about what makes a fan so loyal.

Jim Sachs to Lead Roundtable at Licensing Expo 2016

HarrisSachsLLCJim Sachs, partner in Harris-Sachs, LLC, will lead a roundtable discussion for the second year in a row as a part of the Roundtable Workshops series during the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. It is the world’s largest trade show dedicated to brand, character, entertainment, fashion, and art licensing, and will run from Tuesday, June 21 to Thursday, June 23.

During his session, “In the Trenches” Selling of Licensed Products, Sachs will focus on how to market and sell a licensed product once the manufacturer has taken a license for the product. The discussion will take place Wednesday, June 22 from 10:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PST.

The Brand Liaison to Lead International Licensing for Stephen Joseph

Stephen Joseph has selected The Brand Liaison to lead international licensing that expands on its reputation for unique gifts, backpacks, and rainwear into products including apparel, outwear, home décor, and accessories for infants and kids ages 2 to 10.

The new licensing program will debut from January 12 to 19 at the Stephen Joseph showroom 1734B in Building 2 at the Atlanta gift show and at North American Toy Fair from February 13 to16 at booth 2751.

LIMA Hosts Asian Licensing Awards on January 11

The LIMA Asian Licensing Awards ceremony and cocktail reception will be held on January 11, the opening night of the Hong Kong International Licensing Show. The event will bring the global licensing industry together, giving attendees the annual opportunity to network.

All industry colleagues, including non-LIMA members, active or interested in Asian markets, are welcome to participate. The award ceremony will be held at the Honk Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, but guests must register online to participate.

Activision Lands at BLE 2015 with a Strong Portfolio of Properties

Activision Publishing Inc. arrived at Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) 2015 showcasing Skylanders, SuperChargers, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Destiny: The Taken King, and Guitar Hero Live. The company continues to forge alliances with global partners such as Crayola, Penguin, BioWorld, Power A, and Mega Bloks to drive its licensing, merchandising, and retail businesses.

Skylanders has generated more than $3 billion in retail sales worldwide and with the launch of Skylanders SuperChargers has brought vehicles to life for the first time in the history of this franchise. At BLE, Activision will offer a sneak peek of a new creative direction and an illustration style that creates fan-favorite characters.

Call of Duty has generated more than $11 billion in retail sales worldwide. Activision is gearing up for the launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops III with a merchandising program featuring new categories and partners.

Destiny has more than 20 million registered players since its launch and Destiny: The Taken King broke the record for the most downloaded day-one game in PlayStation history. The brand is expanding its merchandising program to apparel, electronics, accessories, and more.

Launching on October 23, Guitar Hero Live introduces GH Live, a first-person point of view game where players interact with a live audience; and GHTV, the world’s first playable music video network. Activision is creating a global merchandising program and collaborating with Pepsi for a Pepsi Challenge to allow fans to win Guitar Hero Live prizes.

Licensing Expo 2015 Reports Increase in Retail and Expanded International Profile

licensing-expo-2015Licensing Expo saw its most successful show earlier this month, drawing 16,150 attendees during the three-day event—a 3 percent increase from last year’s event.

This figure includes a 6.6 percent uptick in international attendance with one in three attendees coming from outside the U.S. The countries with the greatest number of attendees were Canada, Japan, Mexico, and the UK, with significant increases from Australia (up 31 percent), Brazil (up 30 percent), and China (up 12 percent).

The show, sponsored by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA), featured 460 exhibiting companies in 232,000 square feet, an increase of 6.5 percent from last year. More retailers attended than ever before, up 15 percent. The Expo concluded with more than 70 percent of this year’s floor space re-booked for next year.

Press attendance at the Expo increased by 27 percent, with 152 journalists in attendance covering exhibitor news and events live from the show floor.

Licensing Expo 2016 will take place June 21 to 23 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

Activision Announces Partnerships for Skylanders, Call of Duty, Destiny, and Guitar Hero Live

Skylanders SuperChargers Key ArtActivision Publishing Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard Inc., showcased its portfolio of entertainment properties at this year’s Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. Anchored by its Skylanders, Call of Duty, Destiny, and Guitar Hero Live franchises, Activision’s Licensing and Partnerships business features new and retuning best-in-class partners, including McDonald’s, Crayola, Mega Brands, Power A, BioWorld, Penguin, and more which will continue to drive the video game publisher’s licensing, merchandising, and retail business.

Activision’s Licensing and Partnerships business is led by a comprehensive global kids licensing program for Skylanders, and a lifestyle merchandising program tailored for Call of Duty’s millions of fans worldwide. The company expanded its reach last year when it teamed up with Bungie on Destiny to create a program supported by industry leading partners in key categories. This year, the team is kicking off a global program for Guitar Hero Live, focusing on lifestyle and gaming accessories.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ben Affleck’s Batmobile from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Unveiled at Licensing Expo

Warner Bros. Consumer Products Exclusively Unveils the BatmobileWarner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) exclusively unveiled the Batmobile and select costumes from the upcoming film Batman v Super: Dawn of Justice for the first time at Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. The film is supported by a roster of global partners, and will hit theaters next March.

Licensing Expo 2015 Keynote Panel to Focus on Future of Retail

The Executive Keynote Panel that will kick off Licensing Expo 2015, sponsored by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) and owned and organized by UBM Advanstar, will offer licensing executives a chance to gain insights from an exciting panel of top merchants and brand experts.

The keynote session will take place on June 9 from 8 to 9 a.m. and will mark the beginning of the 2015 Licensing Expo at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas.

The one-hour discussion, “Where Is Retail Headed, and How Will We Get There?,” will feature the following speakers: Read the rest of this entry »

Licensing Expo Welcomes the World to Las Vegas

Licensing Expo, the world’s largest and most influential licensing industry event, is pleased to welcome new Pavilions and increased representation from countries including Mexico, India, China, Japan and the U.K. Licensing Expo takes place June 9 to 11 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. These new exhibitors join a growing list of international companies and featured Pavilions that include Brazil and Korea, with China and Japan significantly expanding their footprint at the 2015 show.  Brands from more than 35 countries will be represented on the show floor. Read the rest of this entry »

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