Well established as the worldwide authority on record-breaking, Guiness World Records is looking to capitalize on its 98% brand awareness in the consumer products and promotional arena.
A newly formed licensing division of the company will encompass teams based in its London HQ, as well as New York and Tokyo, all working towards targeting kids ages seven to 15 with more merch and promo opps. Jennifer Gilmour will helm the North American markets out of New York, while Erika Ogawa oversees the Japanese market from her Tokyo home base and Beatriz Fernandez operates everywhere else from London. Global initiatives will be handled by international sales director Frank Chambers.
Guinness is aiming to build on existing partnerships with TT Games (famed for its Lego video game franchise) for Wii and DS games, National Geographic Kids Magazine for licensed content, Scholastic for publishing, and Egmont, American Greetings and Franco Panini in various other product categories.
The company is also seeking new partners in publishing, toys and games, mobile content, home entertainment, interactive, stationery/paper goods and gift & novelty.
GWR has traded hands several times over the past few years, and this isn’t the first time it has been aged down to play in the kids space. Gullane acquired the company from Diageo in 2000, and then it went to HIT in 2002 when the Gullane itself was bought out. Both companies tried to set the property up with entertainment and consumer products extensions for kids, but these efforts never really took hold. HIT sold the franchise to its current owner, Canada’s The Jim Patterson Company, in February 2008.
The Guinness World Records annual book has sold more than 100 million copies around the world since 1955.