You are on page 1of 5

DCP chairman Andy Mooney is once again bullish about the future and a new decade of growth for

the world's largest licensor that includes a portfolio of robust content and, of course, Marvel Entertainment.

By Tony Lisanti

ndy Mooney, chairman of Disney Consumer Products, jetted routinely to Mexico, in early March, to address the company's licensees and partners. Mooney has done this gig before, not only in Mexico, but also throughout the world. It was a rather typical corporate event, but what made this trip a little different and certainly more newsworthy, was the message that Mooney delivered to the licensing community audience that DCP is once again bullish about the future and there's no better time in history to be associated with the company. This might seem trivial at least on the surface because DCP is after all the world's largest licensor and it has been growing consistently ever since Mooney took the helm in December 1999, actually almost tripling the division's size over the past decade from $10 billion in annual worldwide retail sales of licensed products to $27.2 billion in 2009. But that 2009 sales number is about $3 billion less than what the company reported the previous year. The reality is that the past few years have been tough on just about every licensor, licensee and retailer worldwide.
34 www,Iicensemag.com March/April 2010

A

Therefore. Mooney's optimism about the future is far more newswortby not only for DCP and its hundreds of partners, but also for tbe brand licensing and retail industry worldwide. "I'm back on the $,S0 billion bandwagon," Mooney says in an exclusive interview witb License! Global. "Witb the content on the horizon and the potential for accelerating growth for the Marvel brand. I am tremendously optimistic about the future." Mooney recalls telling the Mexican licensing community two years ago—and licensing industry executives may recall Mooney's proclamation at the Licensing International Expo in 2007—that $50 billion in retail sales was the new milestone for DCP. Then the global economic crisis and recession hit

While DCP has had little influence on the film's initial consumer products programs. which were well in place when the deal was finalized. Toy Story 3 director. •"' And Marvel Entertainment. • International expansion. at New York Toy Fair March/April 2010 www.corn 35 . which are broader and edgier these days than the traditional character-driven business of the 1990s. r The expansion of Disney digital publishing. by leveraging the DCP operations and infrastructure. It"s this superhero phenomenon. These ambitious initiatives and financial goals are what will define a new decade of growth for DCP and certainly the legacy of its chairman now entering his second decade of service. Pirates of the Caribbean 4—that will help expand several core franchises and create new ones. according to License! Global's Top 125 Licensors. which DCP has had success implementing. Mooney says that the company can also help enhance certain marketing and promotional initiatives for the film. that has eluded Disney for years as the company watched Marvel. DCP chairman. DCP's growth plan will be accomphshed through a diverse offering of new content. perhaps the most significant reason for Mooney's growth projections and optimism. I'he repositioning and redesign of Disney retail stores. "The international operations will be seamless. Hasbro and other studios churn out these wildly popular characters in one box office blockbuster after another. The Marvel acquisition. which is unique and different from anything Disney currently offers. He says that the core Marvel management team based in New York will continue to run everything related to the Marvel brand activity domestically.licensemag.9 billion in retail sales of licensed merchandise in 2009. reporting $4. while in domestic John Lasseter. with Andy Mooney. the short-term goal for Marvel is to focus on international opportunities. and plans are for new prototypes to open in several markets later this year. which is dominant in the lucrative boys' toys category. where DCP sees unlimited growth potential. But DCP doesn't have to watch from the balcony anymore with Iron Man 2 set to debut on May 7. In addition. Cars 2. Mooney believes that Marvel shares with Disney the same philosophical core strategy and solid foundation of authentic storytelling that has a strong core audience. Mooney's optimism is partly rooted in the economic recovery worldwide. the world's eighth largest licensor.and the past few years have had many companies in a status quo mode. According to Mooney. particularly in the BRIC territories. ^ Building brand franchises or play patterns without studio content such as Disney Fairies. where there is a significant upside. catapults DCP into an entirely new segment of entertainment and consumer products. it will play a key role and exploit new opportunities in a postrelease effort to strengthen the franchise and sustain its long-term popularity as a standalone property. which Walt Disney Co. which returned to the DCP division in 2008. but also in the multitude of new strategic initiatives. traditional franchises and internationai development that includes: An abundant new slate of studio content over the next few years—including Toy Story 3. wliich is apparently slowly but surely about to change. acquired last August with the deal closing in Decemher.

So we are sticking with it until we see some reason to abandon or modify it. geographic areas and retail channels. For tbe Toy Story franchise. "We are much more diversified and one of the things tbat it has enabled us to do is more carefully target Mickey and Poob to certain demographics instead of stretching them across all demos. continues to expand and in some territories it has become the No. DCP is gearing up for a new Winnie the Poob movie in 2011.the market. DCP's competitive advantages will quickly benefit the company.000 international employees." Mooney explains tbat tbis is exceedingly low for a brand with the awareness and emotional depth tbat Disney has and that normally brands with tbat type of awareness that runs in tbe 90th percentile. including a plush bear character named Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear from Thinkway Toys." 3 6 www. scheduled for release June 18." Another key reason for Mooney's optimism about the future of DCP's business is market share. Moonoy says tbat Toy Story 3. 1 franchise over Mickey and Pooh. according to Mooney." For Winnie the Poob. genders. kiy account i-('lationships. according to Mooney. Jakks Pacific and FisherPrice. It also features 14 new toys.licensemag. as well as our knowledge of consumers and the nuances of each individual country. "DCP has 1. "That's a normal cyclical response to fashion as a retreal to nostalgia and retro themes. usually have market shares in the 30 percent to 40 percent range. Furthermore. while the remaining 20 percent was a revolving door of theatrical merchandising. "Therefore. Currently. Hashro. quality products and to have the best team in place. The strategy is to focus on franchise management. Mooney believes the core strategy for growth established by DCP a decade ago is still viable and followed. which showed tees in a recent fashion show in Milan. yet we run about 6 percent global market sbare. will be the biggest merchandising event DCP has ever had and he expects that it will only he eclipsed hy Cars 2 next year. based on almost $30 billion in retail sales. "It's not surprising that there's an interest in retro trends coming uff tbe back end of tbe recession. The LEGO Group.com March/April 2010 Mooney recalls that 80 percent of about $12 billion in retail sales in 2000 came from just Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh. Mooney points to the shift in business for Mickey. During the recent New York Toy Fair." he adds. "Market share by category is still in tbe singledigit range. DCP has a new . featuring Princess Tiana. DCP unveiled its collection of toys that includes more than 20 licensees. The Disney Princess franchise. which is coming back into fashion with leading designers worldwide such as Dolce & Gabbana." says Mooney. who will all become servants of the Marvel business. less than half of tbe revenues are from Mickey and Pooh. it will be independent and we will just look for synergies where it makes sense to both organizations." says Mooney. franchise development. "Kvery three years over the last decade we have evaluated our strategy and surprisingly have determined that it Is still working and that we have tremendous market sbare growtb available. Following the recent theatrical and DVD release oí Princess and the Frog. "The highest market share by category continues to be toys." he says." he adds. Mooney says the character will return to the esthetic qualities of the original Winnie tbe Poob. which is valued at $8 billion at retail. with $4 hillion in retail sales. Mattel. we believe our brands bave a long runway of growth still available. "By tapping into the depth of our structure and the retail and license^' relationships that we have in local markets. tbe second-largest property. be points out. including Thinkway Toys.

Tangled. The Disney retail stores are another piece of the DCP business that Mooney is glad to have back in the division.licensemag. apparel and accessories." While thnrp have been reports of a possible name change to Imagination Park. which will also include a new kids' theater and interactive displays. There will be no doubt by the investment community in 2010 why DCP is still recognized as a growth business. schedule to hit theaters in November. 1 licensor is bullish about growth. The growth message that Mooney delivered to the Mexican licensing community recently is resonating worldwide. The new look. stationery and personal care items launching in July. There is a fourth installment planned for May 2011. according to Box Office Mojo. which was a box office smash with $. wbat a great way to begin his second decade as chairman. not only among DCP partners." he says. While Alice in Wonderland. but among other licensing executives as well because when the world's No. Mooney recalls in 2009 a discussion with the investment community when they said DCP business was saturated and questioned how DCP would grow.com 3 7 . including home décor. It will feature a narrow focus to kids and be merchandised by franchise.colloction of products. There are 340 retail stores worldwide. will launch over the summer in several cities with a new store in New York's Times Square planned for fall. made a major statement with window displays and in-store merchandising. including Bloomingdale's and Hot Topic. "Three franchises that today account for more than $6 billion in retail sales—Princess. especially considering the acquisition of Marvel Entertainment. a new prototype is being developed. as well as new products from licensees Mattel and CDl. OCP also has high hopes for the character of Hapunzol being featured in the movie. Several retailers.568 million worldwide through March 21. For Mooney. © March/April 2010 www. DCF hopes to capture incremental business on the DVD release and he believes Alice will continue to be a strong niche business. everyone is interested. "We most missed not having them in-house because of the ability to give birth to new franchises and leverage the sell-through data. says Mooney. Mooney says the consumer products effort was a boutique-type program with quick sell-through. Fairies and Disney Baby—were all born within the Disney stores. Another strong franchise driven by theatrical is Pirates of the Caribbean. pointing out that more than 90 percent of the merchandise is exclusivo versus otber DCP retail collections.

or email articles for individual use. users may print. and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However. download.Copyright of License! Global is the property of Advanstar Communications Inc. .