The licensing game is a crazy one. For those you don't know, licensing is when you pay a company to use something that is theirs. In our case, we license a lot of graphics and logos to use on our slides. We have dabbled so far with a couple of licenses with the NBA and the NBA Retired players and have been very happy with it. I think we are learning everyday about how how to maximize them. Its great to have the licenses, but the key is sales strategy once you have them. There is a new sense of urgency when you have a license, and have to pay an upfront fee for. People forget that these major companies have new products come to them everyday hoping to be the next licensee. It's a lot harder than you think.
To have a chance at acquiring a license, you need to have a unique product, great operations systems, a sales force/strategy and the ability to adapt quickly. Luckily, we have all these, and have grown but sales, but know we can always do even better. We are going to be launching with a company called Fanatics soon, which I think is going to be game changing for us. They are a huge ecommerce platform that specializes in licensed goods. We have tried for over 1.5 years to partners with them. It was one of the toughest sells I personally have ever done because it took more perseverance than I thought I had in me.
We have a great team and we were able to constantly put new ideas and designs in front of them until we finally got a meeting in Florida with them. We will know soon, but if it goes well with NBA, there will be no reason to then go after many of the other sports licenses. #whynot
One of the most memorable scenes on Shark Tank was when Robert told me that we "needed him" to get some of the biggest licenses in the world, like Disney. 1 week after the show aired in September, we were sitting at Disney's HQ with a meeting (without Robert). We are lucky enough to have other connections/partnerships to get us meetings with almost anyone in this world. That's just the half of it, though: can you get a meeting.....? If so, then, are you ready for the meeting....? If the answer is yes to both, then get ready to give it everything you have to make it worthwhile.
Nickelodeon x ISlide was just released this past week as well, so it will be interesting to see how we do with a non-sports branded license. Here we go, no turning back now!
Stand In What You Stand For - JK