4K Media Looks to Europe for Yu-Gi-Oh! Brand Growth

September 19, 2015 at 6:08 am | Posted in Other Stuff, Yu-Gi-Oh! | Leave a comment

Yami Yugi scowling as he takes on Slifer the Sky Dragon in a duel against Marik in episode 66

Licensing is a tough game to play for even the most recognizable brands on the market. Capturing a piece of the children’s licensing pie is an especially daunting task, but Jennifer Coleman, VP of licensing and marketing at 4K Media (Konami), is optimistic as she looks towards Europe to strengthen the Yu-Gi-Oh! property.

“We’re looking for a licensing deal and a licensing partnership to enhance the trading-card play and the collectibility of the overall brand,” Coleman tells media industry publication World Screen. “There are so many different types of collectibles, so we’re looking to target that market as much as we can.”

Coleman’s comments come ahead of Brand Licensing Europe, the largest European licensing trade show, which will be held mid-October this year in London. Having already secured Yu-Gi-Oh! TV deals in France, Germany, and Italy, 4K Media is now looking to tap into the U.K. market at BLE, she says.

But niche properties like Yu-Gi-Oh! could have an uphill battle for brand recognition and shelf space, says Coleman, no thanks to Disney’s stranglehold on the kids’ licensing industry and shrinkage of the traditional retail landscape. Still, when one door closes, another opens; smaller manufacturers and e-commerce retailers are recognizing the potential of niche brands and seizing the opportunities ignored by brick-and-mortar stores, creating new avenues for growth, Coleman explains.

Read the full story in World Screen for more insights from Coleman and other licensing agents about the state of the kids’ licensing and merchandising industry and what they hope to accomplish in Europe.

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