Today marks the opening of yet another Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. And personally speaking, it represents my 17th show. When I first` started attending, kids were asking their parents to go find Nemo, the SuperSonics were in Seattle, 50 Cent was “In da Club” and my flip phone didn’t have a single picture on it. (I was still a few months from getting my Blackberry.) My, how times have changed.
I sit in my office today preparing to attend Brand Licensing Europe (BLE) week after next. An article comes across my desk celebrating counterfeit seizures in the European Union (EU) exceeding 31 million items in 2017. And this is why BLE is such an important show for OpSec Security.
Over 31 million items seized. A statistic definitely worth celebration. That’s hundreds of millions of Euros that do not make their way back to the hands of criminals. That’s 31 million potentially unsafe items that do not make their way into the hands of unsuspecting consumers.
In late June, New York State (U.S.) gubernatorial candidate, Cynthia Nixon, of Sex and the City fame, criticized America’s Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agency for the manner in which they were handling immigration on the U.S.’s southern border. She went as far as labeling the agency a “terrorist organization” and called for its abolishment.
I’m not here to debate whether or not Ms. Nixon makes a valid point. I’m not even here to debate U.S. immigration policy. But I do want to highlight that ICE does a lot more than enforce immigration law… and for that, we should be thankful.
I read an article today asking if Playboy was going to survive the death of its founder, Hugh Hefner. The answer is: it already has… and long before Hef’s passing on September 27th at the age of 91.
In 1953, Playboy launched itself as a men’s lifestyle magazine. The best clothes, the best music (Jazz was Hef’s favorite), the best furnishings, the best stereo equipment… and of course, the ladies for which every adolescent boy tried to sneak a peek.
A colleague of mine recently shared an online article with me called “Can the NFL Ban on Marketplace Sales Succeed?” Within the article, the writer describes a recent quoted policy by the NFL restricting distributors and retailers from selling to other online sellers and retailers. While the article leans towards the effect this will have on smaller retailers attempting to survive, it actually highlights a bigger issue that the NFL, and all brand owners, want to encourage: accountability.
Every year counterfeiters take advantage of popular sports in operations that draw money away from the leagues and organizations sponsoring the athletic events and into the hands of criminals, and this time of year can prove fruitful for the more opportunistic dabblers in the knock-off apparel market.
Football, baseball, basketball and soccer - whatever the sport, chances are it's respective leagues have had to deal with counterfeiters cutting into their profits at one point or another.
While counterfeiting is a problem all throughout the year, there are certain events that present a particular risk. Major sporting events like the Super Bowl routinely attract a lot of spending on tickets and merchandise, and wherever there is a lot of consumer spending, the counterfeiters aren't far behind.
In anticipation of the Super Bowl, we'll be taking an in-depth look at the counterfeiting that surrounds it and the extensive brand protection activities that help to protect the league, the teams and most importantly, the fans.
A brand protection program provides licensing brands with two big advantages: anti-counterfeiting and royalty protection. Experience has taught us that typically a given brand is likely to be more concerned about one of these issues than the other, but both play a vital role in every licensing brand protection solution. These two components are like two sides of the same coin, and they support and benefit each other.
What is a brand’s return on investment for its licensing program? In most cases, there are virtually no hard costs for the licensor: the brand merely grants authority to various licensees and associated vendors to execute on a licensing agreement, and the brand receives a percentage of the generated revenue in exchange. In other words, the brand achieves revenue after expending virtually no up-front costs. So, while the ROI can’t be quantified in normal terms, it’s clearly an attractive result even if the program generates only modest revenue..
I’ve always been a hardcore Baltimore-based sports fan, so you can imagine how thrilled I was when the Ravens played against the 49ers in this year’s Super Bowl. Yet, for all my excitement, I still cringed when I attended the game and could easily spot the difference between the officially sanctioned memorabilia and those items that weren’t.