News of the world: “We continue to keep our eyes open for projects that have begun organically”

Striker Entertainment’s Russell Binder talks Five Nights at Freddy’s, shifts in attitude at retail and building fandoms that are under-serviced.

For our annual overseas round up, LicensingSource.net asks a selection of licensing industry insiders in key territories to tell us about their takeaways from 2023 and the challenges and opportunities they expect to encounter in 2024, and for a single word to sum up each year.

Today, we head to the US, with Russell Binder, founding partner, Striker Entertainment.

“2023 was another solid year for Striker. Five Nights at Freddy’s was a big win for our client and for us, with a record-breaking box office and a growing global business for the brand across virtually all product categories. Next year is the 10th anniversary of FNaF, which we will be announcing key product and experiences around soon.

A big challenge is balancing increased licensee and retail interest for the brand among companies that want to capitalise on the opportunity but may not be intimate with the IP and fandom, against a long-term sustainable business where we both nurture the IP and prevent its over-harvesting.

We continue to hear about reductions in square footage in department and a heavy push towards online and marketplaces. While we used to have to rely heavily on the big box retailers to justify hard goods and tooling expenses, we’re seeing a shift in attitude towards discount retailers who are making serious endeavours into licensed goods at accessible prices.

We continue to keep our eyes open for projects that have begun organically building fandoms that are under-serviced. Horror continues to be a growing 24/7/365 genre so we are leaning into that, as well as content born out of newer content delivery platforms.

My 2023 phrase is game on! 2024’s is limitless.”

This feature originally appeared in the spring 2024 edition of Licensing Source Book. To read the full publication, click on this link.

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