Position Summary:

The NBA reaches fans and consumers worldwide through the licensing and marketing of consumer products bearing the league's trademarks and player attributes. More than 300 licensees manufacture, sell, and market NBA-branded products that are promoted worldwide and sold in more than 125,000 retail locations in 100 countries on six continents. The Director of Licensing NBA Africa & BAL is responsible for creating, maintaining and growing the licensing programs for all the NBA teams and players and the BAL. The individual needs strong negotiating & sales skills to bring in profitable licenses that fit various brand portfolios and build cohesive strategies to ensure a total brand statement tailored to specific objectives, all while addressing the league goals. The Director of Licensing is responsible for planning and building a forecast and meeting set profit goals. The position entails that at any given moment; individual has a clear view of every license agreement from legal, accounting and product approval and follows up with activity for the life of a contract.

Major Responsibility:

  • Identify regional partners to develop Africa e-commerce platforms to support retail objectives Development of a regional merchandising strategy to support the growth of retail channels in NBA Africa and BAL priority markets
  • Identify and coordinate key licensees and accounts to support the roll out of NBA branded destinations i.e. NBA Stores and pop up stores at BAL games and other NBA events
  • Work with licensees and agents to develop NBA merchandise for GMG
  • Manage licensees and agents through product development cycle - from development of creative briefs, obtaining legal clearances, to final execution and production
  • Negotiate categories, product selection, minimum guarantees, royalty rates, payment terms and territory with licensees, to achieve strong margins and competitive price points at retail
  • Ensure that licensed merchandise resonates with fans by extrapolating key values and themes from the NBA brand and its programming and translating that into merchandise by clearly articulating program requirements to licensees and agents
  • Stay current on market trends and competition and bring new ideas that will enhance product offering and provide a competitive edge in the marketplace that delivers on NBA's mission to be ground-breaking and innovative
  • Independently lead, manage, and supervise licensees
  • Maintain and grow licensing programs and initiatives
  • Analyze every aspect of our licensing program and maximize every category that makes sense for the NBA brand initiatives
  • Negotiate and approve merchandise and promotional deals, while overseeing all aspects of business terms from inception to end of contract term
  • Build forecasts by region and category. Initiate programs by tying together licensees, retailers, distributors, promotional partners and NBA entertainment initiatives which result in a total concept that is successfully tailored and executed for the international market
  • Solve licensing issues in a creative and non-confrontational way; maintain a solution-oriented approach to conflicts
  • Ensure that licensees comply with all the terms and conditions of our relationship
  • Oversee partner contractual compliance
  • Maintain verbal and written rapport with international contacts to ensure effective and explicit communication
  • Some examples would include regular day to day e-mail, scheduled conference calls, newsletters, information updates, travel and constantly encouraging cooperation among agents and licensees. Follow up with internal legal department on coordination of deal memos, contracts, amendments, legal notices and termination
  • Coordinate and follow up with internal accounting department on credit approvals, invoices, royalty reporting, late payment notifications and audits
  • Correspond with the NBA product approval team in cases where particular licensee is having trouble with our process or there is a problem that can lead to low sales or late launch of product
  • Regularly communicate with various internal contacts to ensure our licensing programs are aligned; provide or request support when necessary
  • Represent NBA at trade shows, meetings and summits which require travel
  • Provide licensees with opportunities and ideas for possible co-branding or distribution possibilities
  • Create and update relevant power points tailored for specific agents, licensees and prospective licensees use and information
  • Review new licensing proposals and make recommendations to senior management
  • Oversee financial and market analysis, due diligence, and legal review of potential new licensing opportunities and strategic partnerships
  • Assist with strategic analysis of market trends and competition
  • Support key licensees in retail meetings
  • Coordinate with NBA retail and marketing teams to plan retail assortments, solicit performance and consumer feedback to aid in future product development, and develop exclusive merchandise such as premiums for 3rd parties
  • Receive and review final samples from all licensees
  • Supply licensees with useful information regarding NBA news, key initiatives taking place in their market, relevant information/designs from other licensees, etc.
  • Help to develop & execute NBA merchandising concepts inside retail locations and including concept shops/ stores or ecommerce sites
  • Create synergies with marketing and TV partners as well as grassroots events in which licensees can participate and that drive awareness for our licensed products
  • Collaborate regularly with GMG US team to develop creative ideas and new business opportunities. Provide overall regional leadership and management
  • Provide consistent direction to all licensees/retailers
  • Monitor co-op marketing funds and provide recommendations on how to maximize expenditures on behalf of both licensee and retail community in driving long-term growth of product initiative
  • Work with internal and external public relations and marketing agencies where required
  • Build and manage premiums as part of new and renewed Marketing Partnership agreements in conjunction with the NBA Africa and BAL MP teams

Required Skills/Knowledge:

  • Excellent interpersonal/management skills
  • Proven negotiation skills
  • Strong computer skills in Microsoft Office
  • Knowledge of current market trends in licensing, the competitive landscape, retail and licensing terms Strong understanding of sponsorship activation including events, media, marketing rights, content, etc.
  • Must be highly motivated, proactive, self-starter with high energy and team spirit
  • Strong business savvy
  • Excellent presentation skills, including the ability to lead discussions and interact with senior executives (internally and externally)
  • Strong financial and analytical skills; ability to create internal and external reports
  • Ability to forecast issues in projects, troubleshoot, and problem solve with internal constituents and external partners
  • A minimum of conversational French language skills preferred

Experience Needed

  • At least 5 years’ experience in category, product and/or brand management
  • Educational Background Required Bachelor's degree in Business, Marketing or related discipline