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Rising Star People Profile: Jeremy Smith, Head of Licensing at Casely image

Rising Star People Profile: Jeremy Smith, Head of Licensing at Casely

The global licensing community is powered by an incredible group of professionals whose diverse backgrounds and creative energy drive innovation and excellence. We profile one of these professionals each week, and in this special edition of the People Profile series we are introducing one of the 2023 Rising Stars Award recipients to shine a spotlight on their success.

How did you get into licensing (or how did licensing find you)?
I got into licensing after our company Casely was approached by WMG, which represents the Grateful Dead. Being new to the company and a big fan of the band, I was given the opportunity to lead our collaboration efforts. I had been fascinated with partnerships prior to this, and once I immersed myself in the licensing world, I fell in love with the industry almost immediately.

What’s a “typical” day in your current position?
My day-to-day responsibilities have me connecting and communicating with our licensors, as well as outreach to everyone from PR, affiliate, charitable initiatives, artists, and potential partners. I also work with the Casely team internally throughout the day. Staying up to date on the latest happenings in the licensing world is another part of my everyday routine.

What’s your biggest personal or professional accomplishment?
I would say my biggest accomplishment is finding enjoyment in life and sharing it with the people I love and care about, including family, friends, and co-workers. The Casely team were actually friends prior to working together, and being able to share career success with some of my closest friends has been an incredible experience.

What are the most significant trends or changes that you’ve seen in the business in recent years?
I would say the sheer number of companies, celebrities, and influencers that want to and are willing to collaborate. I also think there’s a strong demand for high-quality marketing content and the ability to connect with an audience through online social channels.

What keeps you up at night? What’s your biggest challenge these days?
We’ve been fortunate to work with amazing licensors over the past few years, and it’s an exciting challenge to plan and decide where to take our licensing program going forward. We’ve got some fun things in store, and I can’t wait to share them with our incredible audience who has supported us every step of the way.

In your opinion, what is the top skill every licensing executive should have in order to succeed?
The ability to communicate. You’re not going to get very far in the industry without being able to have productive and valuable conversations with your team, licensors, licensees, and agencies.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received, or what’s your favorite quote?
Attack each day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.

What is your favorite licensing deal of all time? (It doesn’t have to be one that was signed by you.)
It’s hard to pick just one, but a deal that changed the way I looked the licensing industry is the partnership between Parks Project and National Geographic.

If you weren’t in licensing, what would you be doing now?
It’s a tough question, perhaps something in marketing. I’m also an avid golfer, and I formerly worked in sports media. I always thought producing live golf events would be a pretty great gig to have.

The last licensed product I bought was…
A Vans x Crayola sweatshirt!

The Rising Star Awards recognize the next generation of leaders around the world for their commitment, passion, and contributions to their company and the licensing industry. This year’s Rising Stars were recognized and celebrated at the Hall of Fame Gala Luncheon in New York City on December 6th, 2023.

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