A year into handling the Emily the Strange licensing program for its creator Rob Reger and his company Cosmic Debris, L.A.-based licensing agent Gator Group is taking the niche teen/tween girls IP to the mainstream with a new music deal.
The freshly inked contract with EMI’s Virgin Records will result in an entire album of original Emily the Strange music hitting retail shelves and online music platforms in 2011.
‘From her beginning 15 years ago, Emily has always been associated with music,’ says Jennifer Sullivan, VP of global account management at Gator Group, explaining why the deal was a natural for the IP. ‘We aren’t calling it ‘indie rock’ or ‘alternative,’ we are calling it ‘Strange Music.’ We are hoping that she will create an entire new genre of music.’
While Emily’s backup band has yet to be named, Sullivan says many big names in the industry have already approached the project managers.
‘Virgin represents [Damon Albarn's] Gorillaz, the most successful virtual group of all time,’ says Sullivan. ‘It saw the potential with Emily.’
The new deal comes on the heels of a long list of partnerships that Gator has inked for the IP since starting to work with it about 12 months ago. So far more than 22 licensees have been signed for both North American and international territories in categories including apparel, comic books, accessories and toys and games. And the Gator Group has proven that the property, which emerged from a design on a skateboard, is just starting to hit its stride.
‘Emily’s really about individuality. It’s the sort of geek chic that really hits upon the idea of empowerment and rebelliousness,’ Sullivan says. She adds that the property’s fan website has been around for almost a decade and still pulls in about one million unique visitors a month.
The next stage of development is rumored to be a feature film, although nothing is official yet. However, Reger revealed at Comic-Con San Diego that Emily would be making her feature film debut in a live-action film from Universal Pictures, produced by Dark Horse Entertainment.
‘Emily’s adventure will continue,’ hints Sullivan. ‘We expect 2011 to be a big year.’