Viva Elvis! Company Adds Licensing Deals for King of Rock ’n’ Roll
Elvis has left the building – and the country.
Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc. has signed licensing agreements with companies in Europe, South America, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand.
Carol Butler, vice president of international licensing at Elvis Presley Enterprises, said global demand grows every year for products featuring the image and name of the King of Rock ’n’ Roll.
“With such high interest and activity, we’ve found it necessary to expand our international agents,” Butler said.
The new licensing agents are:
• Celebrities Entertainment, now the exclusive representative for the Elvis brand in Europe.
• Vega Brands in South America.
• HW Brands Ltd. in Israel.
• Infiniss in Korea.
• Merchantwise Pty. Ltd. in Australia and New Zealand.
Butler said much of the increased licensing interest stems from the fact that 2011 is the 55th anniversary of:
• Elvis’ first national hit, Heartbreak Hotel.
• Elvis’ first album, Elvis Presley.
• Elvis’ first movie, Love Me Tender.
• Elvis’ first TV appearances on The Milton Berle Show, The Steve Allen Show and The Ed Sullivan Show.
Butler said the 35th anniversary in 2012 of Elvis’ death will produce even more licensing opportunities. The entertainer died in August 1977 at his home in Memphis, Tenn.
The Elvis brand has 175 licensees selling products in more than 120 countries. More than 1 billion Elvis records have been sold worldwide – more than any other solo artist in history.
Memphis-based Elvis Presley Enterprises operates Elvis’ Graceland mansion, and oversees Elvis-related merchandising, music publishing, and TV, film, video and Internet projects.
Elvis Presley Enterprises is a subsidiary of CKX Inc. New York-based CKX owns an 85 percent share of the Elvis brand. Priscilla Presley, Elvis’ ex-wife, sits on the CKX board.
During the first nine months of 2010, Elvis royalties, Elvis licensing and Graceland operations generated more than $44.6 million in revenue for CKX.
Elvis’ daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, was owner and chairwoman of Elvis Presley Enterprises until 2005, when she sold a majority interest in the company. She retains a 15 percent stake in the company and holds full ownership of Graceland. The mansion opened to the public in 1982.
Aside from Elvis Presley Enterprises, CKX owns 19 Entertainment Ltd., whose brands include the American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance TV franchises, and Muhammad Ali Enterprises, which controls the brand of the famed boxer.