Apr 18, 2017 | By Ellen Kirkhope
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As the next International Licensing Expo held in Las Vegas on June 21-23 approaches, we expect to see collaborations between major brands being a key takeaway at the show.
Over 435 companies and 35 countries representing more than 5,000 brands will be exhibiting at this year’s Licensing Expo. Key players include Nickelodeon, Hasbro, Mattel, DreamWorks Animation, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Sanrio and Warner Bros., to name a few.
Here are three key partnerships to keep an eye out for (and WGSN subscribers be sure to check out our report after the show to see the latest trends and inspiration coming from the show).
Vans has been no stranger to hot-selling collaborations over the past 50 years, making smart and highly successful partnerships through the decades. Recent brand collabs have included Disney, Hello Kitty, Takashi Murakami and Star Wars. Their latest ventures taps into the nostalgic Nintendo brand with graphics including 8-bit inspired art and characters from “Super Mario Bros.”, “Donkey Kong” and the “Legend of Zelda” along with prints of the console itself within apparel, footwear and accessories for kids and adults. The “Game Over” print on the soles as well as the covetable console replicated shoe box will be sure to resonate with parents who grew up in the 80s. I am not sure what we want more, the sneakers or the box?
Hello Kitty inspired Dunkin’ Donuts for the first ever branded doughnuts from Sanrio. Three different designs are set to appear in store, specifically in Germany with the character represented on doughnuts different flavors. Doughnuts are still trending strong (we frequent the boxes in our WGSN NYC office all the time) and as Hello Kitty continues to be at the top of licensing placement as shown in current market studies, it’s a win-win partnership. The brand pairing will not only appeals to kids but also kidults who have a sweet tooth and nostalgic love of the character.
Nickelodeon will be the entitlement sponsor of the NASCAR Series (for the 2nd year in a row) on Sept. 18 with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme including Danica Patrick and other drivers signed on to drive Turtle-themed cars for a unique and engaging race experience for the whole family. Combining racing with this new fashion collaboration, showcasing garments that celebrate SpongeBob and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles adds newness to something as traditional as a Nascar racing and merchandise, a key way to engage and help to convert some new younger fans. Nickelodeon and NASCAR already partnered for a co-branded collection of merchandise for Spongebob, and this latest offering will build on the success of last year’s collaboration.
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