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The Licensing Q&A… with Jane Barron

We delve into the licensing life of The RFU’s licensing & marketing manager.

Jane Barron,

Licensing & Marketing Manager, Rugby Football Union

My route into the licensing industry went something like this…

I actually did TV & Film Licensing as my dissertation topic at university after being introduced to it in a marketing seminar. From there I set out to find a job in the industry, and my first role was at The Licensing Syndicate working for Renee Deutsch. I later moved to the Copyrights Group, before joining the RFU.

How many years in the industry?

With licensing in my job title, 21 years (wow that’s a long time!), but even my teenage Saturday job was in a toy and card store so I suppose I’ve always worked with licensed merchandise.

When I was growing up, I had no idea licensing was an industry so I wanted to be…

A police officer.

The deal I am most proud of is…

The current second tier supporter apparel deal with Tri Distribution. This deal has had fantastic traction with retailers and means England Rugby fashion apparel is readily available all over England; there’s still nothing more exciting than seeing your product on sale.

My most interesting experience in licensing has been…

My week of radio interviews. With Mills & Boon, we launched a series of England Rugby romantic fiction, had a fun launch party at the Twickenham and lots of PR take up. I was interviewed live on BBC R5 lunch time news and then did a couple of light hearted interviews with Australian breakfast radio shows.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever received is…

Licensing is a very small world.

If I wasn’t in licensing, I would be…

In tourism. I do the marketing for Twickenham World Rugby Museum & Stadium Tours as part of my role; it’s another really friendly industry to be involved with.

Who do you admire most in the industry (and why)?

Chris Protheroe at CPLG, who is sadly no longer with us. Chris was passionate about sports licensing and understood the power of the brands on and off the pitch. I learnt a lot from him.

In a film of your life, which licensed character would play you?

Penelope Pitstop from Hanna-Barbera’s Wacky Races.

If I could change anything about the industry, it would be…


From a sporting perspective, licence product has traditionally been thought of as event and promotion based, dropped into range specifically for international tournaments. However, the reality is that fans and families consistently love to buy rugby gifting products, justifying its shelve space at retail all year round.

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