John Lennon is the latest iconic personality to secure a worldwide licensing, global branding and rights management agreement with Epic Rights.
Yoko Ono has pacted with Epic Rights ceo Dell Furano to develop a worldwide initiative encompassing the career of her late husband.
Epic Rights will develop two new programs for the John Lennon legacy: the John Lennon Classic brand for products featuring the artist's name, likeness and signature; and the Bag One Arts brand based on drawings by John Lennon from rare archival sketches. These drawings encompass the years 1964 through 1980 and celebrate human love and communication, including his iconic and instantly recognizable self-portrait. Epic Rights will introduce the new John Lennon programs to potential licensing partners at the June 2014 Licensing Expo in Las Vegas.
As the worldwide merchandise and licensing agent for John Lennon Classic and Bag One Arts, Epic Rights will bring the two separate brands to licensees and retailers around the world. Both John Lennon Classic and Bag One Arts programs will offer licensees the opportunity to incorporate Lennon's photos and images, as well as his sketches, across a broad selection of product categories. All licensed products will have the personal approval of Yoko Ono.
"Regardless of how we have experienced John Lennon — through his music, his art, his writings — he was defined by the message of love and peace, becoming an icon for generations worldwide," said Yoko Ono. "I regard the John Lennon Classic and Bag One Arts licensing programs as another way to honor John's legacy, and I am confident that by working closely with Dell and the Epic Rights team, we will achieve this goal."
Furano says, "We are committed to developing a worldwide licensing program that respects Lennon's beliefs and contributions to humanity, and anticipate strong global consumer demand from existing and new fans who want to connect with John Lennon and his legacy."
Lennon was actually a visual artist before he picked up his first guitar or wrote his first song. From 1957-60 he studied at the prestigious Liverpool Art Institute. Later he would not only author, but also illustrate three books: In His Own Write, A Spaniard In the Works and Skywriting by Word of Mouth. In 1969, as a wedding gift for Yoko, he began working on a series of drawings called Bag One — a chronicle of their wedding ceremony, honeymoon and plea for world peace — The Bed-In. In the years that followed the break-up of The Beatles, Lennon expressed himself once again through drawing, this time reflecting love for his family. Since 1986, Bag One Arts has published a series of limited edition prints of his work, which have traveled throughout the world. The Bag One Portfolio is in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Epic Rights is a full service global branding, licensing and rights management company dedicated to building celebrities and entertainment brands via its broad global network of retailers, licensees and agents. Working with a roster of top clients and brands, Epic Rights' services includes licensing/branding, music merchandising, social media management, VIP ticketing and fan clubs.
The L.A.-based company also oversees sponsorships and endorsements, digital archiving of all creative/photos/media assets and manages worldwide e-commerce for its clients in addition to providing in-house legal resources for trademark registration and audit management. Among its clients are KISS, Aerosmith, Woodstock, artist Gary Baseman, Jefferson Airplane, Stevie Nicks, Def Leppard, Billy Idol, Doobie Brothers, Joan Jett, Jeff Beck, The Cult, Velvet Revolver, Scott Weiland and Cinderella.
CEO Furano is the co-founder with Bill Graham of Winterland Productions, the leading merchandising and licensing company in the early days of the concert industry, acquired by CBS Records in 1985 and eventually sold to MCA/Universal in 1988. Furano was the founding ceo of Sony Signatures Network, expanding into artists’ websites, social media, VIP Ticketing/Fan Club and e-commerce. The company was acquired by Live Nation in January 2008, overseeing the merchandise division until the end of 2012, when he formed Epic rights.
This story first appeared on THR.com