Meet the man making millions off dead people
New York Post
28th November 2016
David McGlynn David McGlynn David McGlynn David McGlynn View Slideshow Jamie Salter has a knack for making a lot of money on dead people. In six years, the licensing pro has morphed his Authentic Brands Group into a $1. 5 billion powerhouse by acquiring the rights to dead cultural legends — Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, Muhammad Ali and Elvis Presley — and creating products for a global audience still hungry for their favorite stars.
For Salter, the success has buffed his reputation as a brand expert. For private equity firm Leonard Green & Co. the success has turned a $50 million investment into a 60 percent stake in a company that, sources said, is now worth $1.
5 billion. Plus, the buyout firm has racked up $800 million in realized and unrealized returns, those sources said. To help keep the growth engines firing, the Authentic Brands chief executive has recently made the jump from the world of the great beyond to living superstars.
It was Salter behind the Willem Monroe TV spot for Snickers that was launched during Super Bowl 2016 — as well as the $8. 99 Marilyn at Penney’s, the $5. 59 Marilyn wall calendar and the $24.
95 16 oz. glasses featuring the platinum blonde. Similar efforts power the Elvis and Jacko sales engines.
Salter also buys the licensing rights to nearly dead retail brands, keeping Frederick’s of Hollywood, Aeropostale and Juicy Couture alive. Currently, he is considering bidding for bankrupt American Apparel. “He acquires brands and broadens the appeal,” a source who has worked with Salter said.
He also licenses brands overseas. is part of the growth strategy — notably a Judith handbag. ‘[Salter] acquires brands and broadens the appeal’ In addition, Salter is weighing spicing up the Frederick’s of Hollywood brand with some Monroe magic, as well as blending the Hickey Freeman men’s suit brand to create an Elvis sports coat.
Authentic owns 80 percent of the King of Rock ’n’ Roll brand. Lately, the company has begun focusing on living celebs, inking deals with former NBA stars Julius “Dr. J” Erving and Shaquille O’Neal, and Mexican pop singer Thalia.
Dr. J’s signing in September followed the Shaq deal in December 2015, which has resulted in a of the onetime basketball great’s sales. Shaq has a small equity stake in the company, sources said.
So far, Dr J has won a n spot on TNT’s “The Dunk King” reality show, and a licensing deal with the Roots of Fight clothing company. Salter paid Dr. J a fee for his license, and will keep 51 percent of all licensing fees, with the balance going to the Philadelphia 76ers great, sources said.
Shaq, the business partner, was seen at the wedding of Salter’s eldest son, Corey, earlier this month, most prominently in a video of him dancing at the reception, his head and shoulders towering over the other guests, that was aired on TMZ. Since the licensing deal, Shaq brand shoe sales at Walmart alone topped the 120 million pair mark. On Sunday, they were selling for as low as $15.
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