Licensing & Merchandising Manager National Geographic


Context & Background to Role

National Geographic Partners (NGP), a joint venture between the National Geographic Society and media group 21st Century Fox, was formed in 2015 and operates all media and consumer businesses under the hugely respected and recognised National Geographic brand. Almost a third of profits are returned to the not-for-profit National Geographic Society to support its ground-breaking work in the fields of science and exploration.

NGP is targeting ambitious growth. Its largest, established businesses are in media (TV channels, print publishing and associated digital media), but the newer consumer products and experiences business lines are seen as a key driver for future growth and have strong potential internationally, as they are at present relatively undeveloped outside the US domestic market.

Licensed consumer products is one of the business lines identified for growth. Activity in this area to date has been low-level and hence a VP Europe & Africa was recently hired to develop the strategy to grow the National Geographic branded consumer products across the region, and rapidly put in place the operational requirements to deliver this strategy.

With this strategy in place, UK and Italy have been identified as the key territories to expand the CP business, and Softlines (apparel, accessories, footwear), as the most important category group to develop, followed by toys and themed entertainment.

We are looking for an experienced talent in this field, to have a dual responsibility: market leader and a regional category overview.


  • Working with the Regional VP Consumer Products Europe & Africa and Italy management, to define the optimal strategy and approach for developing the licensed consumer products business across Italy, including:
    • The priority categories, partners and retailers that NG should target – from both a commercial potential and brand perspective
    • Required level of resourcing to support NGP’s medium-term ambition for this business line
    • Procure and manage Italy licensee business, from planning phase to category management:
      • Pitch opportunity to relevant potential partners
      • Negotiate deal terms according to company policies, and ensures contract signature process is completed
      • Conducts quarterly or semi-annual licensee business reviews
      • Submits and reviews licensee forecast and results quarterly
      • Partners with Creative team to ensure timely product approvals and product range expansion, as you see appropriate
      • Partners with Marketing team to involve licensee in local initiatives
      • Looks into media opportunities to promote licensee’s product
      • Meets retailers to generate cross-category promotional opportunities, branded corners, etc.
      • Assume a Category lead role for all of E&A, in addition to the Italy country lead role
        • Clearly communicate category strategy across the region
        • Ensure local market teams across the region are equipped to implement the appointed category strategy
        • Procure and Manage Regional licensees of appointed category, in conjunction with manager in the country where licensee is located.
        • Lead and/or Participate in local Industry events, like Milan Licensing Day, Licensing Awards, etc. Organize booth participation, Summits, PR, Advertising, etc. in collaboration with the Comms and Marketing team.
        • Work with regional consumer products leader to ensure licensing management processes are applied to Italy:
          • E.g. product approval processes, contract management, sales and revenue reporting, royalty collection.
          • The position will have a direct reporting line to Italian management, with a dotted line to Regional Consumer Products.


Experience Sought

  • 5-10 year experience in Consumer Products, Licensing business for an international (and preferably premium) brand, achieving demonstrable market-leading results.
  • Excellent knowledge of licensed consumer products local market
  • In depth Category experience
  • Knowledge of Licensing management processes and policies.
  • High energy, hands on individual with successful change management experience.
  • Excellent sales and negotiation skills
  • Experience in working on matrix organizations, and with virtual teams.
  • Strategic and commercial mind set
  • Excellent communicator and collaborative approach

Location: Rome

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