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ASPIRE goes back to school with expanded collegiate slate

ASPIRE – the dedicated Corporate & Lifestyle division of WildBrain CPLG – is expanding its collegiate brand roster with newly added representation rights for the New York-based institution Columbia University, plus the University of Cambridge.

ASPIRE will represent Columbia University primarily in India, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the UK and Europe in a new partnership, with the aim to grow the collegiate brand’s presence in lifestyle categories including fashion, apparel, accessories, back-to-school, home and gifting.

ASPIRE has also been appointed to represent the University of Cambridge across its core IP for consumer products, alongside its consortium of eight University Museums and Cambridge University Botanic Garden. ASPIRE will represent the institution in Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Turkey, MENA, India and the US.

“As we continue to expand our portfolio of prestigious university brands, these latest representation partnerships enable us to further drive the growth of the collegiate trend in the consumer sector,” commented Victoria Whellans, commercial director at ASPIRE by WildBrain CPLG. “For both Columbia University and the University of Cambridge, we’ll look to leverage the legacy of these iconic institutions to tell their stories and engage consumers through creative collaborations and products.”

For the core University of Cambridge IP, ASPIRE will build a consumer products range with target lifestyle categories including fashion, apparel, accessories, homewares, paper and stationery, gifting, food and beverage, footwear, personal care, jewellery and puzzles. The first partnership for the IP has already been secured with Trucarekidz, who will develop a collection for the leading lifestyle retail chain, Reliance Fashion, for a range of apparel in India featuring the University of Cambridge brand.

ASPIRE will also develop a licensing programme for the University of Cambridge Museums and Botanic Garden. This will take inspiration from more than five million works of art, artefacts and specimens from the eight university museums in the collection. The museums represent the UK’s highest concentration of collections outside London. ASPIRE plans to expand the brand into new lifestyle categories, including paper and stationery, puzzles and apparel.

The licensing programme will also aim to extend existing museum products created by the University of Cambridge into mainstream retail channels.

In addition, ASPIRE has also secured an expanded representation agreement with Yale University, which will now see the agency handle rights across Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, alongside existing markets of the UK, Europe, MENA, Israel, North America, China, India, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand.

A wave of new licensees are on board for Yale University, including Hollywood Magic SAL for apparel and accessories in Malaysia, Indonesia and additional MENA markets; Kid’Abord Sarl for a back to school collection in Belgium, France and Luxembourg; Sogema SAS for bags and accessories in France and Portugal; and Yasin Tekstil for apparel in MENA, Turkey and Europe. The new ranges rolled out from summer 2023.

For the University of Southern California, ASPIRE is expanding its representation to include APAC and Greater China, alongside existing territories of Europe, MENA, South Asia, Australia and New Zealand. ASPIRE has also secured new partnerships for the institution, including Caprice Australia for apparel and accessories in Australia, and Cotton On for an apparel, accessories and homewares line in markets including North America, the UK and Asia-Pacific (APAC).

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