King Features Syndicate, a unit of Hearst and home to some of the world’s most popular entertainment characters, announced expansion into the new territories Benelux, India and the Middle East, for its iconic comic characters, Popeye and Olive Oyl. Building upon its already successful global licensing program, brand owner, King Features, has signed new agents to support growth in the territories, including J&M Brands (Benelux), Wildbrain CPLG (Middle East), and Black White & Orange (India).
Affinity for Popeye and Olive Oyl continues to skyrocket across Europe, and now J&M Brands will continue to grow the beloved characters’ presence in Benelux, which is comprised of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. J&M Brands will focus on introducing new apparel, collabs, food, health and beauty, and sustainable partnerships that align with the brand and resonate with European audiences because of Popeye’s authenticity and ability to evoke a welcoming nostalgia for many. This year, they will introduce two new eco-conscious Popeye partnerships. School of Life Projects (Netherlands) incorporates materials like wool, a renewable fiber source, into their collection to preserve traditional artisan crafts, and apparel brand, A-Dam (Netherlands), develops their garments using recycled and organic materials.
In the Middle East, Wildbrain CPLG is expanding Popeye and Olive Oyl’s reach in new territories including Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates with fashion retailer Riva Fashion and product distributor, Trucare FZC.
Continuing growth for the characters in India, Black White Orange Brands recently brokered a deal with Universal Sportsbiz Pvt. Ltd. for a successful Popeye collaboration with popular Indian youth fashion and apparel brand, WROGN. WROGN was co-created by Indian cricket star, Virat Kohli, who served as the face of the Popeye campaign. The Popeye x WROGN collection includes a range of 28 t-shirts featuring classic poses of the spinach-eating sailor paired with the graphic WROGN logo.
“We’re tremendously proud of the growth and success that the Popeye brand has experienced globally and look forward to the brand’s continued expansion with our newest international agents and partners. There’s something extraordinary about the iconic Popeye and his universe that truly transcends across all cultures,” said Carla Silva, VP/GM, global head of licensing, King Features.
King Features’ expansion into new territories comes on the heels of several successful Popeye initiatives, including apparel collections from ICEBERG, Moncler, Intimissimi Uomo and Mey, NFTs from UNDONE and MADWorld, along with sustainability-focused partnerships with the Popeye Sail Club powered Pick a Pier in partnership with Blue Flag, and an Angry Birds Friends x Popeye tournament in support of ocean clean-up organization, The SeaCleaners.