Universal Music and Authentic Brands Strike Deal to Acquire and Manage Names and Likenesses

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Universal Music Group and Authentic Brands Group — a brand owner, marketing and entertainment company — have announced a strategic initiative to acquire and actively manage artist brands, including names and likenesses.

With labels, a merchandise company and a film and television business, UMG is the world’s largest music company. ABG’s portfolio includes celebrity brands such as Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali, and Elvis Presley and creates brand experiences. The two companies will work together “to expand the legacies and cultural impact of artists around the world,” according to the announcement. Working with artists, their representatives and legal heirs, the companies will strategically market and position artists across a wide range of consumer touchpoints, leveraging their name and likeness to drive opportunities in merchandise, memorabilia, licensing, brand experiences and media and entertainment, among others.

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UMG Chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge said, “UMG and ABG have strong track records as powerful stewards of artist and celebrity brands. Through this initiative, we will invest in name and likeness rights to create unique opportunities for artists with the goal of greatly expanding their cultural and commercial impact.”

Jamie Salter, founder, chairman and CEO of ABG, said, “We are honored to partner with the enormously talented team at UMG for this groundbreaking initiative. Together, UMG and ABG will work strategically to preserve the legacies of history’s greatest artists.”

ABG’s portfolio also includes Shaquille O’Neal, Dr. J, Greg Norman, Sports Illustrated, Eddie Bauer, Nautica, Izod, Forever 21, Juicy Couture, Frederick’s of Hollywood, Van Heusen, Brooks Brothers, Barneys New York and more.

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