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Sports licensing business growing in Asia

Hong Kong Licensing Show opens today (July 4) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. Picture shows Mr Peter Wong (second from right) toured around at the fair.
(Left to Right) Picture shows renowned Chinese athletes Ms Liu Xuan, Director of Leisure and Culture Services Ms Anissa Wong, Secretary for Home Affairs Dr. Patrick Ho, TDC Executive Director Mr. Fred Lam, Chairman of the 5th East Asian Games Planning Committee Mr Timothy Fok, and Mr Li Ning at a seminar that unveiled the business opportunities arising from the 2009 East Asian Games.

Sports licensing business is growing rapidly in Asia, where some of the largest international sporting events will soon take place. Running from July 4-6 at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, the 5th Hong Kong Licensing Show will unveil the business opportunities arising from the 2009 East Asian Games and 2010 Asian Games.

Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (TDC), the show will feature over 110 exhibitors from 13 countries and regions. More than 280 saleable trademarks and properties spanning sports, characters, art, collegiate and celebrities will be presented at the show.

TDC Assistant Executive Director Raymond Yip said the Football World Cup attracts attention from around the world, pulling the sales of related licensed products. "It reflects the fact that sports fans, consumers and the general public are driving the demand for sporting merchandise to new heights," said Mr. Yip.

Last year, the retail sales of sports-licensed products amounted to US$15.5billion. "Pepsi, Adidas, McDonalds, Carlsberg - are just some examples of the super-brands looking to heighten the value of their brands through licensing agreements with major sporting events and sporting icons." Mr. Yip added.

He said the debut "Sports Pavilion" at the Licensing Show helped the industry to seize new sports licensing opportunities in Asia. "Exhibitors are ready to partner with potential licensees to develop different sports-licensed products, such as garments, footwear, stationery, houseware, toys and much more," said Mr. Yip.

A brand new "Hong Kong Character Hall" will be another attraction at the fair. Showcasing Hong Kong's design capabilities, the Hall will highlight home grown characters from about 28 Hong Kong designers. Internationally acclaimed figurine designers such as Brothersfree, Toy2R, Richard Wong and Jordan Ma, who have been working with Adidas, Levi's, SONY and Coca-Cola, will participate for the first time at the show.

Mr. Yip said that apart from helping Hong Kong designs and brands to expand into the overseas markets, the Licensing Show is also an ideal platform for overseas players to expand their licensing business in the Chinese mainland.

As consumers in China grow increasingly brand-conscious, he said manufacturers are looking for international properties that will help their products move up the value chain. Mr. Yip said the budding licensing business in China has stimulated the demand for design, distribution and legal services from Hong Kong professionals.

"According to EPM Communications, the Chinese mainland continues to exhibit the highest growth of licensing receipts worldwide - they increased 12.5% to US$1.1 billion in 2005."

Featuring exhibitors from Hong Kong, the Chinese mainland, Japan, the Philippines, Korea, Taiwan, the UK and the US, as well as new-comers from Belgium, Germany, Greece and Thailand, the show unites international brand and property owners with potential licensees, manufacturers, licensing agents and promotion partners in Asia.

Other major activities at the show include:

  • Conferences
    The Show will feature a series of market intelligence forum on the latest trends of home-grown characters, sports licensing, strategic brand extension, collegiate licensing, as well as intellectual property rights protection and licensing business opportunities in China. Heavy-weight speakers include representatives from the East Asian Games Planning Committee, Formula 1 China Agent, Marie Claire, Coca-Cola, Oxford University, UCLA, Disney and Bridgeman Art Library etc.

  • The 3rd Premier Asia Licensing Awards
    Featuring recognition in categories such as "Best New Property" and "Best Licensing Agency", the Premier Asian Licensing Awards serve to spotlight those companies or individuals who have made a significant contribution to the growth and performance of brand extension and the application of licensing.

Following the receipt of close to 200 impressive nominations that were then short listed by the organiser's Award Evaluation Committee, six key category winners will be announced at the Gala Dinner presentation on July 5, 2006.

The fair is sponsored by the New York-based International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association (LIMA). Supporting organisations include Federation of Hong Kong Industries, Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, Licensing Executives Society of China, Hong Kong Sub-chapter and the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce. Traders aged 18 or above are welcome to visit the show. Free admission.

Useful information:
Fair website: http://www.hklicensingshow.com
Seminar & speakers' profile: http://www.hklicensingshow.com/eve_sch/even_sch.htm
Profile of HK licensing business: http://www.tdctrade.com/profile/licensing.htm
The 3rd Premier Asian Licensing Awards: http://hklicensingshow.com/award/index.htm

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Content provided by Hong Kong Trade Development Council