In Licensing

How much does it cost to invest in a sports licensing operation? This is one of the most frequent questions we get asked when talking about licensing. It is a legitimate curiosity and it is a question that has several answers.

Let’s start saying that generally the remuneration of a licensing agreement is made of two different parts, the minimum guarantee and a variable part linked to the volume of sales of the licensed product, also known as “royalties”.

Why such a contract structure?

Because this structure allows both parties to get great benefits from a successful operation. In fact, they will be developing, by signing the licensing agreement, a real partnership with the objective of producing a win-win operation.

Which are the benefits of such a structure?

I will underline a few of them and I’ll do it as they come to my mind. First of all the party that grants the right to use its brand (the licensor) gets a minimum guaranteed and because of this, it can rest assured that the license will be deployed. This lump sum is a sort of insurance policy that covers the risk that the licensee doesn’t go ahead with the project but just acquires the rights for the mere purpose to take out of the market the opportunity that a competitor could go for it.

The licensee shows its real commitment by paying a certain amount of money so it is certain that the license will go ahead at full speed.

Since part of the remuneration is linked to the volume of sales, the licensee can have access to great projects without investing most of its resources. Therefore there will be more than enough budget left to be invested in product developmentmarketing, and commercial activities to push the product.

On the other hand, the licensee, who is obviously risking his capital, can rest assured that the licensor will be very willing to help.
Since a big part of its turnover is linked to sales he (the licensor) will be very helpful in the management of the daily activities and will make any possible effort to help with the approvals, the promotional actions and so on. So the licensor will do everything he can to help the licensee in developing a successful operation.

Now, the sore question: How much does it cost?

The real answer is, there is no price list. If you want to buy the big names of the market and you are in a very popular and busy category, eg fashion, you can expect deals starting at 6 figures. On the other hand, if you are in a niche, maybe a very rich but not very crowded one, it is likely that you can end up with a good deal because the licensor will consider that there are fewer chances to exploit commercially such a sector and it will be more for him to go for an alternative.

Are licensing programs popular? Who is doing it?

Licensing is extremely popular and in 2017, according to LIMA, the Global Revenue from Licensed Goods and Services generated US$271.6 Billion.

So, there are thousands of companies involved in licensing,  partnering with brands such as Walt Disney, Ferrari, Bentley, Ducati, Procter&Gamble, Pepsi Cola and many others. If the industry is in such good health, It is crystal clear that there must be something good in it, maybe something you have never considered but that it is worth investigating.

One last hint: It is always advisable to be the driver of the process.

Having said that, if you have an interest in licensing and in motorsport, we can run for you all the necessary preliminary check and verify the investment required for your specific category. Let’s talk about it, or have a look at our Licensing page. We can be always reached at


Riccardo Tafà
Riccardo Tafà
Riccardo nasce a Giulianova, si laurea in legge all’Università di Bologna e decide di fare altro, dopo un passaggio all’ ISFORP (istituto formazione relazioni pubbliche) di Milano si sposta in Inghilterra. Inizia la sua carriera lavorativa a Londra nelle PR, prima da MSP Communication e poi da Counsel Limited. Successivamente, seguendo la sua insana passione per lo sport, si trasferisce da SDC di Jean Paul Libert ed inizia a lavorare nelle due e nelle 4 ruote, siamo al 1991/1992. Segue un breve passaggio a Monaco, dove affianca il titolare di Pro COM, agenzia di sports marketing fondata da Nelson Piquet. Rientra in Italia e inizia ad operare in prima persona come RTR, prima studio di consulenza e poi società di marketing sportivo. Nel lontanissimo 2001 RTR vince il premio ESCA per la realizzazione del miglior progetto di MKTG sportivo in Italia nell’anno 2000. RTR tra l’altro ottiene il maggior punteggio tra tutte le categorie e rappresenta L’Italia nel Contest Europeo Esca. Da quel momento, RTR non parteciperà più ad altri premi nazionali o internazionali. Nel corso degli anni si toglie alcune soddisfazioni e ingoia un sacco di rospi. Ma è ancora qua, scrive in maniera disincantata e semplice, con l’obiettivo di dare consigli pratici (non richiesti) e spunti di riflessione.
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