The Company’s licenses typically require the licensee to pay the Company royalties based upon net sales with guaranteed minimum royalties in the event that net sales do not reach certain specified targets. The Company’s licenses also typically require the licensees to pay to the Company certain minimum amounts for the advertising and marketing of the respective licensed brands. As of January 1, 2019, the Company and its joint ventures had a contractual right to receive over $405 million of aggregate minimum licensing revenue through the balance of all of their current licenses, excluding any renewals.
The Company believes that coordination of brand presentation across product categories is critical to maintaining the strength and integrity of its brands. Accordingly, the Company typically maintains the right in its licenses to preview and approve all products, packaging and other presentations of the licensed mark. Moreover, in many of its licenses, prior to each season, representatives of the Company supply licensees with trend guidance as to the “look and feel” of the current trends for the season, including colors, fabrics, silhouettes and an overall style sensibility, and then work with licensees to coordinate the licensed products across the categories to maintain the cohesiveness of the brand’s overall presentation in the market place. Thereafter, the Company obtains and approves (or objects and requires modification to) product and packaging provided by each licensee on an on-going basis. In addition, the Company communicates with its licensees throughout the year to obtain and review reporting of sales and calculation and payment of royalties.
The Company believes marketing is a critical element in maximizing brand value to its consumers, licensees and to the Company. The Company’s in-house marketing department conceives and produces omni-channel marketing initiatives for the Company’s brands. These initiatives aim to increase brand awareness, positive perception and drive-engagement and conversion. The Company believes that its national campaigns result in increased sales and consumer recognition of its brands.
The Company has organized its marketing structure to allow for ongoing updates to its marketing campaigns based upon market trends. Marketing consists of four areas: Social and digital marketing, public relations, creative content generation and brand management. The Company uses its in-house talent to create compelling 360° marketing campaigns that include social/digital marketing, print, outdoor, celebrity, influencers, bloggers and other innovative strategies. It also will utilize outside agencies when needed to supplement. In addition to building omni-channel campaigns, the Company works with major retail partners to provide assets for online, digital/ social and in-store marketing.
The Company maintains separate websites for each of its brands, in addition to www.iconixbrand.com to further market the brands. In addition, the Company has established an intranet for approved vendors and service providers who can access additional materials and download them through a secure network.
Many of the Company’s license agreements require the payment of an advertising royalty by the licensee, and in certain cases, the Company’s licensees are required to supplement the marketing of the Company’s brands by performing additional advertising through trade, cooperative or other sources.
The Company’s in-house brand management supports the brands by providing licensees with unified trend direction, guidance and coordination of the brand image across all product categories. The fashion team is focused on identifying and interpreting the most current trends, both domestically and internationally, by helping forecast the future design and product demands of the respective brands’ customers. Typically, the Company develops a trend guide, including color, print, pattern, fabrication and key silhouettes while being sensitive to the overall “DNA” of each brand. In addition, the Home division generates original designs and patterns, which both the licensees and DTR partners utilize to allow each brand their own brand identity and individual lifestyle.
This is accomplished by delivering these guides each season. The fashion team also provides insight into new emerging categories and business shifts that affect the merchandising of the brand. Often times, these new ideas can be formulated and sold as capsule collections or sub-brands into current or new retailers, based on the guidance given by the fashion and brand management team. In addition, the Company has product approval rights in most licenses and further controls the look and mix of products its licensees produce through that process. In cases where we do not hold contractual approval rights, as is the case with many direct-to-retail licensees, the brand management and fashion teams still work closely with the designers and merchants of the particular retailer to give guidance and opinions on the product aesthetic.
The team often provides bought samples from comparison shopping that inspire key items within each collection. With respect to Alberta ULC (owner of the Buffalo brand), the Company has entered into arrangements with its partner to oversee and control the creative aspects of the brand, including design and brand marketing. With respect to our Umbro brand, we have created a design entity, Diamond Icon, that designs apparel and footwear products to service the needs of our global licensee network.