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Stephanie Kupperman on cult movies – and the ethos behind new agency Licensing 360.
Stephanie Kupperman, thanks for making time! As a winner of the accolade Licensing International Rising Star, you’ve overseen brand partnerships with classic films including The Terminator and Halloween! How did you get into the industry?
I was fortunate enough to be introduced to licensing through my family business, Creative Licensing. As you know, they represent films such as The Terminator and Halloween.
And you say that’s a family company?
Yes, it’s owned by my father Rand Marlis. I have memories of ‘shopping’ in the samples closet of the company as a child. As an adult, I worked to grow the business through the acquisition of new clients and new hires internally.
So it’s in your blood! And you recently launched your own agency, Licensing 360. How come? Is it the result of lockdown madness?!
Yes, actually! I toyed with this concept for years and – once lockdown hit – I thought, what better time?
What motivated it?
I had a deep desire to build something that was mine and do it from the ground up. My greatest learnings in my career have come from when I jumped into the deep end and learnt how to swim, and I wanted that experience again. I also love this industry, love the people that work in it, and wanted to establish my own brand with my own relationships outside of those I held at my previous company.
Great answer! And what services do you offer?
I’m a full-service agency offering traditional licensing services. They include deal negotiation, legal administration, product approvals, brand development, press and social media consulting, go-to-market strategy, and royalty accounting.
And what are your goals with Licensing 360? What’s your ethos?
My goal is to offer brands a tailored, individualised approach to licensing that delivers fan-first merchandise. I believe all brand partnerships must start with the fans, and build from the ground up, not the other way around.
So what is it you’re looking for in a client?
I’m interested in clients that are excited about licensing, eager to expand their brand, and have a loyal fanbase.
Are there any types of licence in which you’re particularly interested right now?
Cult classic films of the 90s and 00s that either never developed a licensing program, or haven’t had merchandise on shelves in many years… They would be ideal! However, more broadly, I’m interested in brands that have a loyal fanbase.
You mention cult movies. I notice you already represent one… Wet Hot American Summer. For the uninitiated, what is it?
Yes, Wet Hot American Summer is a one such cult classic film. This was made in 2001 with a huge roster of a-list talent. The cast includes, Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, Janeane Garafalo and Bradley Cooper in his film debut! It spawned two Netflix TV spin-offs and has retained a loyal fanbase.
How did that come to be in your portfolio?
I established a relationship with the producers while I was at Creative Licensing and continued that relationship into Licensing 360.
Terrific. Thank you Stephanie. Listen, I know how busy you are so I’ve kept it short and sweet. Final question: what have I not yet asked that it would be great if I did?
How can you reach me?
Good question! And just from that, people will be able to tell how practical you are… And how forgetful I am! So what’s the answer?!
Please visit my website, www.licensingthreesixty.com – or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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