IMG Asia’s Miki Yamamoto discusses bringing Tetris into gummies, apparel, cosmetics and more.
Miki, it’s great to connect. Before we dive into all things Tetris, how did you come to work in licensing?
After graduating college, I started my career at United Media, a part of United Feature Syndicates Inc that managed various IPs from their newspapers, including Peanuts and Garfield. I was assigned to manage the licensing business for these properties.
Not bad brands to start your career with! One IP that you look after now in your role as SVP of IMG Asia is Tetris. What makes it an exciting brand to work on – and one that excites licensees?
Tetris is an evergreen game brand, loved and recognised by people of all ages around the world. This allows for a great deal of creativity among licensees as they look to translate this unique and popular concept into various categories.
On that, what categories has IMG found success in with Tetris?
Tetris has an exciting cross-generational appeal that lends itself well to lifestyle categories. We’ve started creating many fashion collaborations in Asia and extended into more categories beyond apparel, such as home items and candy. One great example is the Tetris x Uha Gummy Candy collaboration, which was a hit among consumers. The gummies look great – and not necessarily an obvious direction for the brand to go in.
Can you talk us through any other deals that surprised and delighted fans of the brand?
GXG, one of the top street brands in China, collaborated with the Tetris brand. They projected Tetris gameplay footage on Shanghai Twin Towers and invited young consumers to watch while wearing Tetris clothing. Chinese fashion licensees put a lot of effort into marketing and this example shows how effective that can be.
Sticking with apparel for a moment, a FILA x Tetris collection launched recently in Indonesia. It’s a really striking collection – the sneakers in particular look fantastic.
We actually first launched the FILA x Tetris collaboration in Mainland China. It was a great success in the market and was then extended to Indonesia. As the top licensing agency in the world, IMG has strong resources and relationships with local and global brands in each region helping us find such opportunities.
The Tetris team tells us that a NFL x Tetris is debuting later this month. What can you tell us about that?
We have an NFL licensee in Korea who operates about 70 NFL-branded fashion stores. The company believed it would be very interesting to combine Tetris with NFL to reach younger consumers beyond the core NFL fanbase.
We’ll keep our eyes peeled for that. Miki, I know you’re busy so to wrap up, where do you see future opportunities for the brand?
There are many categories that we have not developed yet which we think would be a natural extension for Tetris. We are very enthusiastic to explore new Tetris products in areas including personal care items, cosmetics, luggage and toys.