Live Nation, the world’s largest promoter and venue operator, has purchased a majority stake in Trunk LTD., a high-end licensing and merchandise firm. The purchase price was not disclosed.
“Artist merchandise is a large segment of the live business [that] we have never been in, and we believe with the amount of tours we produce globally, the venues we own and festivals [we produce], that this segment represents a new area of growth and services we can provide the artist,” Live Nation CEO Michael Rapino tells Billboard.biz.
Trunk has more than 60 exclusive licenses, including AC/DC, Aerosmith, the Beatles, Blondie, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, the Grateful Dead, the Doors, the Rolling Stones, Motley Crue and David Bowie. Trunk products are available at 600 specialty stores and boutiques around the world, and will now move from retail shelves to venues.
Trunk was founded in 2003 and led by CEO/creative director Brad Beckerman, who will continue leading the company on aggressive growth strategy under Live Nation as president/CEO of Live Nation Merchandising. The plan is to take Trunk distribution beyond traditional retail outlets into Live Nation venues by creating Limited Edition products only available on tour.
At Live Nation, Beckerman will join the company’s executive team to develop merchandising, venue retailing and branding strategies. “I’m not a typical merchandiser,” Beckerman tells Billboard.biz, “I’m a brand developer.”