Media

GENERAL

All Things Licensing; Fox Business Channel, June 15, 2011


SPORTS

Adidas To Exit The N.B.A., Opening The Door To Rivals NY Times, 3-17-15

Adidas’s withdrawal from the bidding [for the N.B.A. license] could set the stage for a showdown between its archrivals, Nike and Under Armour, over the right to supply the league with its jerseys. . . .

“It’s an enormously high-profile license,” Ira Mayer, a consultant to the licensing business and former owner of the trade journal The Licensing Letter, said of the N.B.A. license. “But once they did the math, it looked like it was going to be expensive.”

He added, “I’ve got to think that given that the rest of the business has not been doing well, the pressure is that much greater to make sure this would have been a deal that made sense.”

Rebranding The Charlotte Hornets Charlotte News & Observer, 10-24-14

Changing names and colors will typically cause a team’s merchandise sales to spike for a year, said Ira Mayer. But the hype will level out one day, he said.
“The biggest factor is, do you have a winning team or do you have a player who is a real standout that’s going to drive merchandise sales overall?” he said.
Ohio State Contemplates Single Supplier Columbus Dispatch, 4-26-11

It’s unlikely that consumer prices would shoot up if OSU went to a single supplier, said Ira Mayer, an industry expert.

“The environment is so competitive,” Mayer said. “Retailers are not going to put up with more than the market’s going to bear. I think you’ll find that when you have a Nike or adidas taking over a licensing program, they’re making a variety of lines at different price points that appeal to a variety of consumers.”

Charlie Brown Bobbles With The Yankees NY Times, 9-25-13

[In its troubled 2013 season] The [New York Yankees] marked its penultimate regular-season home game with an atypical giveaway for the first 18,000 fans who arrived: a bobblehead doll, honoring not one of its star-crossed players, but Charlie Brown. . . .

“You wind up with a limited number of options that are going to be meaningful for the fans,” said Ira Mayer, adding, “You weren’t going to give away an Alex Rodriguez bobblehead this year.”


Labor Woes Impact Licensing
USA Today, 3-9-11

Licensed NFL merchandise generated around $2.7 billion in retail sales in the USA and Canada in 2010, according to Ira Mayer…
When a 204-day lockout cut the NBA’s 1998-99 season to 50 games from the normal 82, sales of licensed NBA merchandise dropped 15%, he says. It took two years for sales to rebound to pre-lockout levels.
“The impact (of a strike/lockout) is not just on the season when it happens. It carries over into the next season and beyond,” Mayer says.
Retailers are fickle. Once they swap NFL products for other goods that may sell better, it will be hard for the league to get that shelf space back, he adds. NFL products would be partly replaced by a mix of MLB, NBA, NHL and more generic sports.
On the other hand, a hot season, a hot player or a Super Bowl matchup between clubs with national fan followings (such as this year’s [2011] Packers vs. Steelers) could regain that shelf space in a hurry.
“We’re not talking about a death knell, even if there is a lockout,” Mayer says. “If the amount of shelf space goes down 10%, it would come back as soon as the NFL is hot again.”

Fake Beards Support Giants’ Hairy Hurler Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 10-29-10

Fans purchased $2.82 billion of official baseball merchandise last year [20090, according to the Licensing Letter, an industry newsletter.
“That’s a lot of tchotchkes,” said Ira Mayer. “Major League Baseball has gotten really good at this kind of event-based merchandising. When a no-hitter is brewing, they’ve got T-shirts ready to be silkscreened by the seventh inning.”

The Jeremy Lin Fad NY Times, 3-16-12

Ira Mayer considered the Lin craze a fad that will continue to generate interest but not at the extreme level it once achieved. Because Lin was such an out-of-nowhere sensation, Mayer said, it became fun for fans to get caught up in the publicity.

“We’ve hit a certain peak with it,” Mayer said. “It’s not going to disappear,” he added, although he said he based that assumption on the notion that Lin continues to have a key role on the team.

Tiger Plots A Comeback NY Times, 11-25-11

“[Tiger Woods] was brought down, but he’s rebuilding again and rebuilding a different way,” said Ira Mayer. “At this point, he’s the underdog, and that’s a strategy, too. Bill Clinton survived worse, and Tiger is not a head of state.”

ENTERTAINMENT

Jockey Rides ‘Anchorman 2’ Franchise LA Times, 11-14-13
Mayer praised the creativity of the various “Anchorman 2” licensing deals, singling out the Jockey arrangement because it is in keeping with the tone and spirit of the “Anchorman” franchise. “It is a smart, opportunistic move on Jockey’s part,” Mayer said. “For Jockey, it doesn’t even matter if the movie bombs.”

Secrets of Disney’s Top Franchises (video) Yahoo

Disney’s ‘Cars 2’ A Hit Already—in Stores Wall Street Journal, 6-20-11
The average royalty rate for all products licensed from entertainment properties last year was 9.4%, according to the Licensing Letter, a trade publication. Licensing Letter publisher Ira Mayer said that a successful film like “Cars” commands two or three percentage points more than an average movie or TV show.

When Princesses Were King Forbes, 9-17-12
“There are surprisingly few girl properties like it,” says Ira Mayer, publisher and executive editor of The Licensing Letter. “In play, girls like to pretend they are princesses. It was also a brilliant decision to group all of these princesses together.”

“[Disney] has a library that no one else can come near, and they are really good at marketing,” says Mayer.

“There is a finite market for licensed merchandise because there’s only a set amount of shelf space,” says Mayer. “So when [a sudden hit property like] Angry Birds comes in, it costs someone else.”

‘Duck Dynasty’ Audience Ebbs, Even As Phil Controversy Fades LA Times, 7-30-14

“It’s not routine for any [TV] show to sell that level of merchandise [an estimated $400 million in a year],” said Ira Mayer. “It had a huge following and a lot of word of mouth … Wal-Mart went in really strong.”

But that turned out to be the high-water mark. Ratings began sliding and for the season finale — weeks before the controversy over Phil’s remarks in a GQ interview — “Duck Dynasty” was back down to 8.9 million. The Season 5 premiere in January scored 8.4 million — suggesting that the uproar had little if any effect on viewership. The series was simply continuing a natural decline that started months before.

Mayer said that “Duck Dynasty” has, for all its ubiquity, failed to become a lifestyle brand — as, say, the Kardashians have become. Instead, the show represents another type of phenomenon familiar to anyone who follows pop culture. “Fads are what they are,” he said.

Keds Enlists Taylor Swift to Transmit Girl Power NY Times, 1-24-13

“She’s a classic in the mold of the great country singers with wide appeal” like Garth Brooks, said Ira Mayer… “Even people who don’t like country music like her.”

Mr. Mayer said he did not believe that the jokes about Ms. Swift would detract from her appeal as an endorser.

Although “no one wants his or her love life hung out on the line to dry,” he said, such “gossip is part of what celebrities have to cope with nowadays.”

When Angry Birds Were Flying… Kidscreen, 10-1-12

“They got it out there fast,” says Ira Mayer, a licensing industry veteran, referring to Rovio and agent Striker Entertainment’s ability to put products on the shelf quickly to capitalize on the white-hot burst of the app’s initial popularity. “This was not an 18- to 24-month to shelf program,” he explains. “At first, they had only a handful of licensees, so they could react fast.”

“Rovio has done some neat stuff [with Angry Birds],” says Mayer. “No one else was doing it then, and no one is really doing it now.” With its accessible game play, iconic imagery, relatable characters, deep interaction and multiple entry points, Rovio had a number of elements fall into place to make Angry Birds the first digital licensing blockbuster, but it’s not clear that similar properties can follow this blueprint to success.

On Marilyn Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 1-13-11

“You want to prolong the life of the celebrity, and licensing is a powerful means of accomplishing that,” Ira Mayer said.

BRANDS

Why Sears Licensed Its Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard Brands Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 10-12-11

While selling brands elsewhere could give people less reason to come to Sears stores, “on the other hand, you could make the case that the Sears experience is going to be amplified elsewhere,” Ira Mayer said in a phone interview. “If you can exploit your trademarks in a wider context, you may be building your business long term.”

PUBLISHING

 Interview for German television June, 2011