Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
June 10, 2015: Are consumers really influenced to buy products that feature the names and likenesses of cartoon characters, corporate brands and logos of pro and collegiate sports teams on or associated with them?
According to a new report, yes, in a big way — to the tune of an estimated $13.4 billion in global royalty revenues and $241.5 billion in worldwide retail sales in 2014.
Sales are led by the Characters & Entertainment category, but also includes the (Pro) Sports and Collegiate categories among the top drivers.
Those numbers are record-setting and on the rise, according the just-released LIMA Annual Global Licensing Study from the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Assn., a leading leading trade organization for the global multibillion dollar licensing and branding industry,
"Licensing is a major marketing and retail force and our first-ever global survey clearly attests to its power and reach all over the world," Charles Riotto, LIMA president, said in a statement. "With this comprehensive report, we are able to provide LIMA members with the data they need to more effectively grow their brands and businesses."
The study, which was conducted by Brandar Consulting, LLC, under the auspices of LIMA, found that the global licensing industry is dominated by five major sectors: Character & Entertainment, Corporate Trademarks, Sports, Fashion, and Collegiate.
Combined, they represented 89% of all licensing revenues in 2014.
The Character & Entertainment category was the most dominant, with more than $107 billion in estimated retail sales, accounting for 44% in retail sales, according to the report.
The consumer products campaign for Disney’s animated Frozen took top honors as "Overall Best Licensed Program" of the year at the annual International Licensing Awards, held June 9 at the 2015 Licensing Expo in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, Las Vegas.
Frozen also won in the Film, Television, or Entertainment (Animated) Program category.
FIFA's 2014 Men's World Cup won for best "Sports or Sports-Themed Entertainment Program."
The Top Five caegories also included Corporate Trademark ($53 billion, 22%), Fashion ($29 billion, 12%), Sports ($26 billion, 11%) and Publishing ($12 billion, 5.3%).
The Top Ten categories included Collegiate ($4.6 billion, 1.9%), Celebrity ($3.3 billion, 1.4%), Music ($2.3 billion, 1%), Art ($1.7 billion, 0.7%) and Non-Profit ($1 billion, 0.4%).
U.S./Canada was by far the most dominant region with more than $144 billion in retail sales, nearly 60% of the worldwide total, according to the study.
Europe, with more than $57 billion in retail sales, accounted for just under one-fourth of the total global market. Asia accounted for nearly 10% of total retail sales, according to the LIMA Annual Global Licensing Study.
The survey, conducted in April 2015, was fielded online in six different languages and supplemented with in-language phone interviews that resulted in reported revenues for 24 countries representing all major geographic regions. In all, the analysis includes specific data from 490 companies spanning the globe.
The full LIMA Annual Global Licensing Study, including regional and country-by-country breakdowns for major markets, will be available this summer.