Features Syndicate, a US based media and entertainment giant, which is a part of the US based Hearst Corp., has recently entered into an agreement with Extend Brands. Extend Brands is a premium Delhi based licensing and merchandising company, which executes licensing programmes for international and domestic brands in India. The agreement is to license three of King Features' most popular characters, Popeye, Betty Boop and Baby Popeye, in India.
As per the agreement, Extend Brands will develop comprehensive licensing and merchandising programmes for these characters. They will be associated with major brands across categories such as apparel, accessories, home furnishings, back to school items and toys. The company is also planning promotional activities with FMCG brands.
Extend Brands will follow the licensing revenue model that is commonly followed across the globe. It will give the rights to use these products to various brands, and companies using these products to market their brands will have to pay royalty to King Features Syndicate.
Do they look on Indian superheroes such as Hanuman as competition? Senjam replies, "There is definitely a lot of scope in that sector, but it is still at a nascent stage." The total character licensing sales in India is estimated to be Rs 500 crore.
Other famous characters from King Features Syndicate are Blondie, Dennis the Menace and Flash Gordon.