A Quick Chat With Mark Abernathy, VP Licensing & Business Development at Feld Entertainment

by The Editor 0

The Bugg Report sits down with Mark Abernathy to discuss all things relating to Monster Jam and future plans for this powerful brand across the Australian and New Zealand markets.

Thank you for speaking to Bugg Toys & Licensing, Mark. Since we last spoke prior to June’s licensing expo, it would be great to get an update from you on the Monster Jam brand.

It has been a busy couple months coming out of a successful licensing show for Feld Entertainment and the Monster Jam brand. During the show we introduced Monster Jam CreaturesTM and one of our newest Monster Jam trucks, Pirate’s CurseTM, to attendees. Monster Jam Creatures is a sub- segment of the Monster Jam brand that highlights characters inspired by the themes of the popular Monster Jam trucks. Monster Jam Creatures radio controlled vehicles (New Bright) debuted this August at mass retail and new Pirate’s Curse diecast vehicles and playsets (Mattel) will be launching in Spring 2016.

Coming out of licensing show we released the new Monster Jam BattlegroundsTM video game, assigned Hunter Products worldwide rights to produce Monster Jam branded ride-ons, completed the first ever front flip in a monster truck during our June Monster Jam Path of DestructionSM tour in New York, and made history in Spain with our highly successful Monster Jam tour which included stops in Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia.

We just recently wrapped up a four-week North America McDonald’s Monster Jam Happy Meal promotion and have been planning for the upcoming Australia Monster Jam tour, which is very exciting.

Can you give us an update on the 2015 Australia Monster Jam tour and some highlights?

Monster Jam will be returning to Australia for the entire month of October and will feature six performances in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, and for the first time ever, Perth. Monster Jam trucks including Grave Digger®, Max-DTM, DragonTM, Son-uva Digger®, Madusa®, Monster Mutt® Dalmatian and other fan favorites will be returning to Australia, while Team Hot Wheels® and Zombie HunterTM will make their official Australia Monster Jam debuts in front of full capacity crowds. Over 150,000 fans will be in attendance, making this year’s tour the fastest selling and highest grossing international tour in Monster Jam history.

2015 marks the second annual multi-city Australia Monster Jam tour. How has the growth of the tour affected the licensing business?

Australia fans have really embraced the Monster Jam brand. As a result of expanding the tour to multiple cities and supplementing with additional television programming, retail sales have sky-rocketed. Australia has quickly become the top performing international territory for the Monster Jam brand both in live event ticket sales and retail sales. With the help of WP Brands, our Australia licensing agency, we’ve signed on eight new Monster Jam Australia licensees in the last eight months positioning Monster Jam for additional growth in years to come.

From a licensing standpoint, what has Feld Entertainment been working on to prepare for this year’s Australia Monster Jam tour?

In anticipation of this year’s tour, Feld Entertainment has teamed up with Australia’s leading lifestyle value retailer, BIG W®, to bring an exclusive Monster Jam® retail promotion to over 180 BIG W store locations across Australia. During the promotion, which runs from 23rd September through 14th October, BIG W stores will carry the largest assortment of officially licensed Monster Jam products in Australia. The product assortment will feature over 30 exclusive SKUs and spans ten product categories including apparel (Caprice), accessories (Engelite), back-to-school (Licensing Essentials), bags (Caprice), bedding (Network Clothing), DVDs (Universal Pictures), footwear (Caprice), posters (Impact Rock), stationery (Hunter Leisure), and toys (Mattel vehicles and playsets and New Bright radio controlled vehicles).

Outside of licensed merchandise, the promotion will also feature interactive store events and will be supported with a two-page BIG W catalog spread, as well as a digital and in-store marketing campaign and a national sweepstakes. BIG W stores in Sydney and Melbourne will host Monster Jam truck displays in their parking lots and customers in attendance will have a chance to take photographs of Monster Jam trucks, meet drivers, get autographs and stock up on new Monster Jam gear. Customers who spend at least $20 on Monster Jam merchandise at BIG W can also enter for a chance to win a trip to the ultimate Monster Jam fan experience; the 2016 Monster Jam World Finals®.

What does Feld Entertainment have planned for the Monster Jam brand in 2016 and beyond?

The focus for Monster Jam in 2016 is to continue to expand the brand’s international footprint even further
to includes tour stops and licensing programs in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. A good portion of 2016 will also be dedicated towards laying the foundation for the Monster Jam tour’s 25th Anniversary celebration in 2017.

For licensing enquiries for Australia and New Zealand please contact WP Brands:

Phone: +61 3 9274 2900
Email: info@wpbrands.com.au