Bare Tree Media is the leading digital licensee for IPs such as The Smurfs, Betty Boop, and Care Bears. We offer brands a variety of digital solutions including, but not limited to, mobile messaging stickers, mobile phone themes, smartwatch faces, virtual goods within online worlds and the metaverse, and digital collectibles. 

In case you missed it, our team flew out to Las Vegas, Nevada to attend Licensing Expo’s annual licensing trade show. This event hosts more than “10,000 professional attendees involved within the consumer product licensing industry” and connects the world’s most “influential entertainment, character, art, and corporate brand owners” with consumer goods licensees (Licensing Expo). 

Bob Ferrari (President) & Sonya Priest (Licensing Coordinator) sat down to recap their experience at the 2024 Licensing Expo.

Our Creative Manger, Jackie, "playing" Tetris

Why the Licensing Expo?

BF: The Licensing Expo is Bare Tree Media’s most important trade show of the year. This event provides us the opportunity to meet with our licensors outside of Zoom boardrooms for face-to-face meetings and social events. In addition to meeting with our partners, we also network and explore new business partnerships. Most of the licensing industry centers around physical merchandise—apparel, accessories, and home goods. We love showing brands how our digital offerings allow them to more effectively reach and engage their audiences.

Who did you chat with?

SP: We have a large IP portfolio primarily composed of media and entertainment brands. Each year, our brand partnerships list grows, giving us more opportunities to meet, network, and connect at the Licensing Expo. Some of our current licensors include:

We also work with numerous independent artists managed by Tate Licensing. We had many productive discussions with our licensors and are looking forward to announcing some exciting new projects.

What did you learn, if anything, from the expo?

SP: Beyond the networking opportunities and client meetings, the Licensing Expo holds many presentations, panels, and workshops. We received resources and guidance on navigating style guides and saw case studies for specific brand launches. We also attended the “Video Games: Driving Billions to Play” panel and “Paris Hilton and 11:11 Media: Building a Global Brand Across Culture, Content, and Commerce” keynote presentation. These presentations discussed trends within the licensing industry and how licensees can better engage kids and family franchises. We work with a lot of brands that have cross-generational appeal, so these discussions were really informative.

What about the future of marketing excites you?

BF: I am excited licensors are embracing digital as a key category for the future plans of their IPs. Our team is always focused on innovation, and we will present ideas that drive both digital sales and marketing initiatives.

How We Play a Role?

BF: We are positioned perfectly to help brands navigate the future of commerce through “Phygital” opportunities, the merging of physical and digital opportunities. In 2024, we will be offering AR experiences on Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat to engage fans and link them to a site for purchasing our branded digital products. We are also exploring tech to link the purchase of a physical product at retail to a digital replica GIF to own. Exciting times ahead for our company and licensed IP owners.

Is there anything else you'd like to add?

SP: The Licensing Expo is always a great week, and I am sad it’s over! Bob, however, will be attending the Brand Licensing Expo in Europe this September.

Interested in something unique for your brand? Reach out to our team!

Bare Tree Media is a full-service creative studio and digital publisher creating super slick, mobile-facing content! We would love to help your brand reach its fans, build community, and increase digital sales revenue. Check out our IP Licensing & Digital Publishing pages to see our IPs, as well as branded experiences we’ve published for mobile platforms.

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