THE estate of the late pop artist Prince signed a global licensing deal that gives Universal Music Group’s Bravado unit exclusive control over his image for merchandise and branding.
Bravado will work with the estate of Prince Rogers Nelson to manage retail and licensing of the brand, according to a statement Tuesday. The deal was made with Charles Koppelman and L. Londell McMillan, entertainment experts hired by the court-appointed special administrator overseeing the estate.
With the deal, Vivendi SA’s Universal Music has obtained two important pieces of the artist’s legacy. The estate previously chose Universal Music to represent Prince’s publishing rights, and is in the process of selecting a record label to handle many of his recordings. Acquired by Universal Music in 2007, Bravado burnished its reputation for successful merchandising with a string of pop-up stores for rapper Kanye West and heartthrob Justin Bieber.
“Prince had such a unique and amazing sense of fashion and style, so it’s very important for us to follow that and come up with different product lines,” said Mat Vlasic, Bravado’s chief executive officer. “We need to work with the best of the best. We’ve got some really cool ideas.”
Bravado represents artists in more than 40 cities and provides services including sales, licensing, branding, marketing and e-commerce, according to the statement. One of its jobs with the estate will be to clamp down on counterfeit merchandise.
Prince, who sold more than 100 million albums, died of a drug overdose last April at age 57. — Bloomberg