“Experience is everything” and in terms of brand licensing, this phenomenon has emerged as a game changer thus altering the conventional brand licensing practices in a big way. Once eyeing at product licensing, the fraternity has devised Licensing 2.0 to address the new-age consumers who are increasingly redefining their values and priorities. This phenomenon is steering a gradual progression, especially in sports and music licensing along with theme parks/themed travel. This trend also puts forth a plethora of opportunities across a wide range of industries including, travel, apparel and footwear, toys and games, consumer electronics, and personal accessories. Given the redefined values and priorities amongst consumers, coupled with time becoming a luxury, “new consumerism” has taken shape that finds its roots in the experience. This trend is impacting across many areas while consumers increasingly seek to “do something different” searching for unique, often personalised experiences.
Re-defining sports licensing Globally, sports licensing has registered steady 5% year-on-year growth in the last few years driven largely by licensed sports apparel merchandise sales. In India, the licensed sports merchandise worth $18 million was sold in 2016. Majorly driven by sports leagues and cricket, this genre is witnessing emergence of concepts like sports academy, that focus on experience, thus better engagement. Commenting on the same, Siddharth Chury, Director - Merchandise, NBA India says, “The opening of our first academy in India is an important milestone in the NBA’s efforts to grow basketball in India and demonstrates our commitment to developing talent and shaping the game’s future here.” "We often get NBA stars to visit the academy. That gives the kids a chance to interact with their idols; it’s a big opportunity.”
Raking moolah from travel Millennials account to a sizeable demographic and this key consumer segment for licensing businesses has comparatively huge penchant for travel. The Millennials group is projected to record the fastest growth in world travellers as this number is forecast to increase by 69.7 million over 2015-2020. Theme parks themselves have become an increasingly important component of many brand licensing strategies in recent years, as licensors search for innovative ways to leverage their property, enhance brand awareness and connect with fans.
“The Amusement Park business volume is estimated to be around Rs. 3000 crores and with a growth rate of 10% year on year. Hence there is a huge scope for large licensors to exploit this market. The kids and youth population is growing in India; hence organized ventures into the amusement business would be an excellent avenue for business,” says Samir Jain, COO & Executive Director, Green Gold Animations. Worldwide sales of theme parks stood at US$30.9 billion in 2015 registering a 1.6% drop on the previous year. However, steady growth is expected as the category is projected to record a value CAGR of 10% over 2015-2020 making it the second most dynamic behind national parks in overall attractions.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter has announced that it will hold a romantic dinner in the Great Hall of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Similarly HBO Nordic has teamed up with Lapland Hotels SnowVillage in Finland to construct a “Game of Thrones” themed hotel made out of only snow and ice. Within the hotel one could find a number of Game of Thrones features like the Hall of Faces, giant ice dragon sculptures and even an Iron Throne made of ice. Disney has also announced a host of new attractions to Disneyland Resorts in 2018, including a Pixar-themed celebration. Also opening in 2018 is Pixar Pier, a new land in Disney California Adventure featuring four whimsical neighborhoods based on Pixar properties. Also, Disney has announced a host of new attractions coming to Disneyland Resorts in 2018, including a Pixar-themed celebration.
Cross-industry opportunities for licensing Apparel and accessories, Footwear, Videogames, Consumer Electronics (headphones/earphones, wireless speakers), toys and games, Personal Accessories, Home and Garden are some of the major industries and categories that would benefit further from experiential licensing.