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People Profile: Molly Robbins, SVP of Global Licensing & Business Development for USPA Global Licensing Inc. image

People Profile: Molly Robbins, SVP of Global Licensing & Business Development for USPA Global Licensing Inc.

The global licensing community is powered by an incredible group of professionals whose diverse backgrounds and creative energy drive innovation and excellence. Each week we’re profiling one of these professionals in this ongoing series.  

How did you get into licensing (or how did licensing find you)?
I started my career at Levi Strauss & Co. in the legal department. I quickly discovered that I liked being closer to the product and business side. Then the Latin America licensing division had an open role, and it was a good fit. It provided me with a great opportunity to combine my strongest traits into an ideal career.

What’s a “typical” day in your current position?
Every day I focus on business development, strategy, and trouble shooting. I work with our global partners to drive commercial initiatives across all our categories for U.S. Polo Assn. to enhance global brand awareness, increase consumer touchpoints, and generate revenue.

What’s your biggest personal or professional accomplishment?
My biggest professional accomplishment is developing as a leader. I am largely in my role as SVP of Global Licensing and Business Development because of the people I have worked with and learned from, as well as those that allowed me to lead with confidence and integrity. This professional self-awareness has also given me compassion and resilience in my personal endeavors.

What are the most significant trends or changes that you’ve seen in the business in recent years?
The global markets have shifted. Retailers are scrambling to become more appealing to a consumer base that is diverse in age, cultural backgrounds, tech savvy, and overall access to and expectations for products and shopping.

What keeps you up at night? What’s your biggest challenge these days?
The unpredictable. In the last several years, U.S. Polo Assn. has exceeded our annual revenue goals and has now set a healthy revenue goal over the next five years. I am ready, and up for the challenge!

In your opinion, what is the top skill every licensing executive should have in order to succeed?
They need to be highly effective at dealing with commercial ambiguity and finding executable opportunities to drive business.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received, or what’s your favorite quote?
Circumstances don’t create character, they reveal it — Zig Ziglar

I was raised to believe in myself, and this has truly defined me. I am driven by challenge, I’m not afraid to take risks, I learn from my failures, and I remain optimistic.

What is your favorite licensing deal of all time? (It doesn’t have to be one that was signed by you.)
I am always amazed by the licensing programs that bridge categories, business models, or distribution channels. For example, any partnership that brings together spirits and ice cream, restaurants and frozen food, or sports and fashion.

The last licensed product I bought was…
This January, I purchased a U.S. Polo Assn. hooded puffer jacket in Shanghai.

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