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Licensed product sales ramp up, again, in 2012

New York -- Sales of licensed products climbed in 2012 for the second consecutive year, churning sales into the billions for trademark owners of a broad assortment of brands.

According to the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association's (LIMA) 2013 Licensing Industry Survey, which was released this week during the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, trademark owners -- including entertainment studios, sports leagues, fashion houses, corporate brand owners and others -- generated $5.454 billion in royalties in 2012, a 2.5% increase from the prior year, for an estimated retail value of $112.1 billion.

By comparison, licensing revenues grew by 5% in 2011.

The 2013 survey, which was conducted by researchers at Yale University's School of Management, showed growth in nearly every licensing category, with entertainment, trademark/brands, fashion, and sports merchandise being the key revenue drivers. Together, these four broad-based categories represented 94% of all licensed revenues last year.

"Our 2013 Licensing Industry Survey shows there is a lot to be optimistic about for retailers and companies of all sizes that are leveraging the power of licensing to drive product sales," said Charles Riotto, LIMA president. "These latest findings clearly show that licensing is a positive and effective tool across virtually every category of goods."

Other highlights stemming from LIMA's 2013 Licensing Industry Survey:

--Character-related merchandise: Considered the largest classification, encompassing entertainment, TV, movie and celebrity licensing, and biggest sales generator in 2012, this category accounted for $2.55 billion in royalties and an estimated $49.3 billion in retail sales, up 2.8% from the previous year.

--Corporate brands: The second largest category in the report and the one associated with major corporate brands and trademarks, collected $928 million in royalties in 2012, up 2%, and an estimated $21.6 billion at retail.

--Fashion: Royalty revenues for Fashion licensing, which includes branded goods of noted designers, increased 3.4% last year to $755 million, translating into estimated retail sales of $16.5 billion.

--Sports: Major league sports, including leagues and individuals, scored a 2.2% increase in licensing revenues, to $685 million in royalties, for an estimated $12.6 billion at retail.

--Art: Licensing revenues for art properties increased 1.5% last year to $134 million in royalties, translating into an estimated $3.9 billion at retail.

--Collegiate: Royalties for college trademarks advanced 1.5% to $206 million in 2012 for approximately $3.8 billion in retail sales.

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