Gary Caplan has played a major role in the business of licensing for over thirty five years, helping to shape and influence the direction the industry has taken.
Thanks to the breadth and depth of his work, he is often referred to as “the Godfather of Licensing.” A pioneer and visionary, Caplan is renowned for his intimate understanding of the business and passion for licensing. Over the years, he has represented some of the most recognizable consumer product brands in virtually every category of licensing, from apparel and toys to home furnishings, stationery and beyond.
Early in his career, the business of licensing was just beginning to emerge as a viable marketing tool. Gary realized that while there were already dozens of “licensing agents,” all of whom represented properties, but, none focused on the specific needs of the licensee and/or property owner.
Recognizing a great opportunity, he demonstrated his entrepreneurial drive and his dedication to the business of licensing by founding his own company, Gary Caplan, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in the marketing and management of licensed products.
As the consummate professional, Caplan feels his greatest accomplishment is client retention and believes long term relationships allow him to form true “partnerships” with his clients.
Prior to establishing Gary Caplan, Inc., Caplan served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Stuart Hall Company. While at Stuart Hall, he championed and pioneered the development of licensed products for the stationery, gift, and school supply categories. His strategies helped to shift the focus of the industry away from commodity products driven mainly by price, while bringing increased awareness to the unique marketing opportunities provided by the use of licensed characters, logos, and entertainment driven events.
Caplan is a frequent speaker at seminars, universities and trade groups worldwide. He is a founding member of LIMA (International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association), served two terms on its Board of Directors in addition to two terms as the association’s Vice President.
Caplan’s devotion to the growth of licensing surpasses all standards.
As a result of his work Caplan was presented the “Industry support Award” from LIMA to recognize his “continual unselfish contribution of time, talent and energy to all phases of the licensing industry”. In 1999, Caplan was inducted into the Warner Bros. Consumer Products Hall of Fame.
In recognition of his achievements and contributions, he was inducted into the LIMA Hall of Fame joining the ranks of such legendary figures as Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets; William Hanna and Joseph Barbara; Jim Davis, creator of Garfield; Mark McCormack, founder of International Management Group; Charles Schultz, creator of Peanuts; Walt Disney; Leigh Anne Brodsky; Shintaro Tsuji, creator of Hello Kitty; Greg Battersby; George Lucas; Pete Rozelle; and Neil Freidman.