News of the world: “When facing challenges, it’s so important to stay flexible”

King Features’ Carla Silva talks leveraging Popeye’s 9m+ fanbase on social to secure new deals, and prioritising the expansion of its IP into promotions, gaming and the VR space. takes a temperature check on the global licensing industry, asking licensors and agents based outside the UK to share their highs and lows of 2022, their strategies for a successful 2023, plus the words they’d use to describe business in the year just gone and the new one.

Today, we head to the US, with Carla Silva, vp and gm, global head of licensing, King Features.

“2022 was all about adapting – when facing challenges, it’s so important to stay flexible. We saw product for our Emmy-nominated series The Cuphead Show hit the market and perform well, our brands’ publishing programmes flourished across the globe, we assigned International agents in new territories and secured global representation for Rebel Girls. In addition, it was a great year for Popeye fashion.

In 2023, we’ll be focusing on continued growth of our fully owned brands Popeye, Olive Oyl, Flash Gordon and The Phantom globally, expanding Rebel Girls into new territories worldwide and broadening the US footprint for our other represented brands, Moomin, Crazy Frog, Archie Comics and Pucca. Plus, we’ll be celebrating 50 years of Hägar the Horrible.

Character licensing is extremely competitive right now, with a few IP owners dominating the space. The challenge is grabbing consumers’ attention long enough to inspire the passion needed to drive product purchase.

I see 2023 as a year filled with opportunities, including leveraging Popeye’s 9m+ fanbase on social to secure new deals, and prioritising the expansion of our IP into promotions, gaming and the VR space.

2022 was exhausting but rewarding. 2023 will hopefully be exhilarating.”

This feature originally appeared in the spring 2023 edition of Licensing Source Book. To read the full publication, click on this link.

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