Interesting licensing data

[:en]USA Today reports about the US Marine Corps licensing efforts. In our opinion, this is more fan merchandising than brand licensing, and one can argue, that government bodies should not do it. But the numbers are quite interesting.

The Marine Corps licenses its logos and slogans like Semper Fi. Products so far include coffee mugs, T-shirts, airsoft guns. And consumers spend about $37 million annually on Marine Corps licensed merchandise. Now this spreads over a couple of trademarked logos and slogans, not just one.

The Marine Corps received $1.8 million in royalties last year. From that one has to deduct the cost of operating the trademark program and securing registrations. The royalty rate of roughly 5% on retail prices, probably 10-15% on wholesale prices. As with many merchanding articles, these products get their value mostly from the license. Thus, it seems a fair rate.

But the royalties come from over 300 licensing agreements, the average of US$6,000 per contract is less than optimal. One can only hope, that the median is better and that those contracts are in the hand of much fewer licensees. Because otherwise the cost of managing the licenses exceeds income. Or worse, there is no licensee and licensed product management.[:]