Brands leveraging licensing to appeal to target audiences: Jiggy George, Dream Theatre

George, Founder and CEO, Dream Theatre, speaks to exchange4media about the growth in the licensing and merchandising industry, the company’s association with Liverpool FC and more

e4m by Shreshtha Verma
Updated: Sep 12, 2019 8:44 AM
Jiggy George

Jiggy George, Founder and CEO of brand management and licensing firm Dream Theatre, in conversation with exchange4media on the growth in the licensing and merchandising industry,  current market trends and the company's association with Liverpool FC.

What is the market size of the licensing industry?

The global licensing industry is estimated at 280.3 billion USD in retail sales in 2018, as per Licensing International's 5th Global Licensing Industry Market Study. India ranks 18th with 1,594 million USD in retail sales in 2018. 

At what rate is the market growing? What are your revenue targets for the financial year 2019-20?

The global market grew at a rate of 3.2% over the previous year, but that is a global average. Emerging markets like India, China, Brazil are really the markets driving growth. India is seeing growth across licensing genres and categories, especially in areas like Sports where there is increased sports consumption and football viewership is growing exponentially.  With the addition of LFC, our Sports portfolio itself will grow by over 25 per cent. 

What are the factors contributing to growth?

As a market, licensing has really catapulted in the last few years as a result of the intersection of a few key factors. Awareness and availability of licensed products have gone up sharply, there are new genres opening up and new licensees entering the licensing space;  and though not at the rate we would like, retail too has grown,  both online and offline. The real growth for licensing as a business will really be driven by growth in retail, which is the licensing business's last-mile connectivity. 

Tell us something about Dream Theatre’s association with Liverpool Football Club. How are you planning to take it further?

The Liverpool Football Club has a special relationship and Legacy in India.  India is home to 58.1 million followers and 10 official supporter clubs and LFC is the No. 1 supporter club in the EPL. The club has been named the most trusted football brand in successive seasons in India and saw a cumulative audience of 7.6 million in 2017/18. With LFC crowned Champions of Europe, this passionate fan following is now at its all-time high. And therefore as a company, we are really thrilled to work with the club and bring authentic merchandise to its fans in India. Our core focus will be on building apparel as a category and on lifestyle associated categories of Footwear, Innerwear, Bags, Personal Care and Sporting goods. Our aim is to launch quality products at the right prices and making it retail- accessible for LFC fans and grow the business from thereon. 

Is the Indian business growing? Are brands considering merchandising? What is the size of the indigenous market?

Absolutely. Now more than ever brands across retail and other sectors like FMCG, digital, education are looking at leveraging licensing to appeal to their target audiences and grow their businesses. While there are a plethora of international brands, in the kid's space there is a definite emergence of Indian brands that are doing very well on the back of their TV success.

We also have an Indian brand, ChuChu TV, who we represent globally. ChuChu TV which is the world's most popular kids channels network on YouTube with 30 billion views and 43 million subscribers saw the launch of its toys and games in the US in August with more launches to follow in October across territories. 

What are the new additions to your portfolio?

As a company Dream Theatre plays in licensing under three portfolios: Entertainment, Sports and Lifestyle. We work with the best and most iconic brands like Pokemon, Angry Birds, Liverpool Football Club, Smiley, ChuChu TV and our brands have a thriving fan following and community. We have just added Little Singham and Ninja Hattori to our entertainment portfolio.  We will continue to consolidate and grow, working with the best in the business, across brands, retail and partnerships.





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