Travel and destination licensing is a diverse category that contains an array of properties that generally contain an element of adventure or aspiration. Properties such as Discovery Adventures, New York City, The Endless Summer, and Travelocity lean more toward the adventure end of the spectrum, while properties such as the Beverly Hills Shield and Aspen tread on more aspiration and luxury.
Both the travel/adventure and luxury sectors have been hard hit by the soft economy, but that’s not to say that strategic licensing hasn’t found success in this space.
“We launched Discovery Adventures in 2009, when the market was already severely impacted by the downturn in the global economy; nevertheless, the program got off to a good start,” says Debra Joester, president of The Joester Loria Group. “Our biggest hurdle has been the natural disasters and turmoil in some of our most popular destinations, including Egypt, Japan, and Thailand.”
The New York City licensing program has also grown—by adding co-branded merchandise with partners such as Marvel, as well as by expanding its retail footprint—despite a weak economy.
“We are adding new vendors and product categories all the time,” says Lloyd Haymes, vice-president licensing & consumer products at NYC & Company. “Hopefully that trend will continue as we expand our footprint.”
And even though the Beverly Hills Shield represents an opulence that has been somewhat curbed since the economy weakened, the property still has its place on the shelf and on screen.
“Interestingly, we have been getting more than the usual amount of requests from television production companies that want to use the iconic Beverly Hills Shield in their title treatments, establishing shots, and other placements to connect a show’s content with the city,” says Neil Platt, brand development and marketing director at Bradford Licensing Associates.
The New York City and Beverly Hills Shield programs both offer royalties to the locales they represent. A significant portion of the proceeds from the sale of NYC products benefit the New York City Police Foundation and the FDNY Foundation, while the royalties from the Beverly Hills Shield program go back to the city council and are distributed according to the city’s plans. Another common goal of these two city-oriented programs is to protect the intellectual properties from being knocked off.
Whether for adventure or luxury, travel and destination licensing offers travelers and dreamers alike an opportunity to experience some of the world’s most popular destinations.
The Joester Loria Group:
The Discovery Adventures program, managed by The Joester Loria Group, is offering 40 trips in its 2011/12 brochure, which is a 25 percent increase over 2010. Discovery Adventures, the travel brand, and Discovery Expedition, the lifestyle brand of the Discovery Channel, share the core values of adventure and exploring the world. On the way is Discovery Expedition lifestyle luggage, travel bags, and accessories, which are launching Q1 2012 from Delsey.
NYC & Company:
NYC & Company partnered with Marvel Entertainment to offer an exclusive co-branded line featuring super heroes from the Marvel Universe alongside NYC’s real-life heroes and agencies. The merchandise includes T-shirts by Jem and C-Life, hats and bags by Bioworld, and a variety of accessories by Silver Buffalo.
Bradford Licensing Associates:
Bradford recently signed a deal with B&H/Chaser to produce women’s tops using the Beverly Hills Shield art.
FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) secured the rights to license The Endless Summer, an iconic travel and beach culture film from 1964. FME plans to extend the brand by launching a full-scale consumer products lifestyle program inspired by the surf and travel experience captured in the film.
Travelocity licensee Mizco introduces the World Travel Adapter and Charger, which is a go-anywhere electrical adapter that features a built-in USB charger. It is adaptable to the power supply in more than 150 countries and its built-in surge and spike protector helps protect expensive electronics. Beanstalk represents Travelocity for licensing.
Brand Sense Partners:
The Beverly Hills Country Club (BHCC) lifestyle brand, through its business development firm Brand Sense Partners (bsp), has partnered with Traveler’s Choice, a luggage and travel accessories manufacturer.
In its evolution into a lifestyle brand, access to BHCC is now being extended worldwide to those whose personal style reflects a commitment to well-being, an expression of effortless elegance, and a convergence of happiness, health, fitness, and fashion. Product categories will include apparel, footwear, fashion accessories, swimwear, optical, fragrance & beauty, bedding & bath textiles, tabletop, home furnishings & décor, furniture, and luggage & travel accessories.