ABG partners with Universal Music Group to market musical artists – WWD
Authentic Brands Group Doubles its Entertainment Assets.
Today, the New York-based brand distributor will reveal that it has signed an agreement with Universal Music Group to actively acquire and manage artist brands. The news comes a day after ABG bought Iconic Images, a UK-based photo agency that owns millions of images of celebrities in fashion, music and pop culture.
Terms of the two agreements were not disclosed.
In addition to a label, UMG is also the music industry’s premier derivative company and owns a film and television business that it uses to help its artists achieve new levels of success at all stages of their careers. ABG owns the rights to famous brands such as Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali and Elvis Presley, and increasingly focuses on entertainment and events.
Working together, UMG and ABG will work with artists, their representatives and legal heirs to exploit and market their names and likenesses on merchandise, memorabilia, licenses, brand experiences, media and entertainment.
Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG, said: “UMG and ABG have a strong track record as powerful stewards of artist and celebrity brands. Through this initiative, we will invest in name and likeness rights to create unique opportunities for artists with the goal of greatly expanding their cultural and commercial impact.
Jamie Salter, founder, president and CEO of ABG, said the two companies “will work strategically to preserve the legacy of history’s greatest artists.”
On Monday, ABG announced its acquisition of Iconic Images and said the company would be the first in a fine art vertical that ABG is creating in its Entertainment division.
Through this acquisition, ABG will own and manage the rights to the entire Iconic Images photographic archive, including fine art prints by acclaimed photographers Ed Caraeff, Eva Sereny, Ted Williams and Terry O’Neill, as well as photos from ‘musical icons and Hollywood stars such as the Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Audrey Hepburn, Brigitte Bardot, Kate Moss and others. These images will be used on a variety of licensed merchandise as well as at events, exhibitions and sponsorship agreements.
“ABG is already home to some of the most iconic names in entertainment, including Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Muhammad Ali. Iconic Images’ unprecedented archive fits naturally into ABG’s portfolio, ”said Marc Rosen, president of entertainment for ABG. “We continue to explore innovative new ways to preserve and monetize modern pop culture’s most memorable moments and icons. We are excited to establish fine art as ABG’s newest vertical sector with the acquisition of Iconic Images and look forward to continuing to invest in art and photography.
Robin Morgan, Founder of Iconic Images, added: “ABG’s expertise in investing in intellectual property, storytelling and value marketing is what makes the acquisition of Iconic Images a complement. natural. ABG has a proven track record of unique storytelling and marketing, and I’m delighted to partner with this renowned organization.
Morgan, a former editor of the Sunday Times in London who created Iconic Images seven years ago, will remain with the company under ABG.