Mega Merch Merge: Bravado & Epic Rights ‘Centralize’ Rosters, Lisa Streff To Oversee Global Licensing Strategies

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Epic Rights and Bravado, merchandising companies both owned by Universal Music Group, are “centralizing” their licensing rosters, further streamlining the world’s largest merch entity operating under one umbrella. Lisa Streff, Epic Rights’ SVP Global Licensing, will oversee global licensing strategies across both companies. She will report to Jesper Poulsen, who was named Bravado GM in April.

The more streamlined merchandising companies have the licensing rights to some of the biggest-selling merch in the world by acts that include: The Rolling Stones, KISS, The Weeknd, AC/DC, David Bowie, The Sex Pistols, Black Sabbath, Guns & Roses, John Lennon, Run-DMC, Avril Lavigne, Blackpink, Def Leppard, Justin Bieber, Beastie Boys and Slipknot, among others.

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Streff, who was named a Pollstar 2022 Women of Live Honoree, joined Epic Rights in 2014, the year Epic Rights, was founded with the late great Dell Furano, who passed away earlier this year. As SVP of Licensing, Streff will continue to spearhead the development of global merchandising licensing programs for Epic Rights’ artists adding oversight of programs for Bravado’s clients.

“Since joining Epic Rights, it has truly been an incredible ride to play an integral role in the growth of what was essentially a start-up organization to now being part of the biggest global merch company,” Streff said in a statement. “This is a magical time to be in music licensing and merchandising. I am honored and excited to collaborate with Matt (Young), Jesper and the Bravado team in this expanded role and to work with some of the biggest artists in the world under the Bravado banner, while continuing to spearhead the programs for our Epic Rights’ talent.”

Both Streff and Paulson worked at Epic Rights with the late great Dell Furano, the “King of Merch,” who passed away in Sept. 2021 at age 71. Furano co-founded Epic Rights in 2014 which was sold to Universal Music Group at the end of 2018. UMG’s acquistion has seemingly turned out well: according to UMG’s 2021 year-end financial filings, UMG  generated 363 million euros (about $382 million) from ‘Merchandise and Other,” up 45.4% year-over-year.

 “I have had the pleasure of working with Lisa for close to ten years and am proud of how our team built Epic Rights’ global retail footprint. said Paulson in a statement. “Lisa has been instrumental in developing innovative campaigns; creating unique licensing opportunities and partnerships with best-in-class licensed products for our artists and their fans. Creating this strategic alignment of our Retail and Licensing teams gives us a competitive advantage unmatched in the industry.”

Young, who was appointed president of Bravado in November, stated: “We are continuing to grow our global licensing and retail business with a more unified and complementary strategy across both Bravado and Epic Rights, while maintaining individual strategies and priorities. With Jesper leading the team as General Manager and Lisa driving global licensing strategy, we have the right team in place to ensure growth for our artists in this area.”

Furano began his career, after graduating from Stanford University in 1972, partnering with his brother Dave and the legendary Bill Graham to establish Winterland Productions, creating a merchandising and marketing juggernaut in the early days of the concert industry, before creating several more merch entities and flipping them.

Winterland was acquired by CBS Records in 1985 and subsequently sold to MCA/Universal in 1988. In 1993, Furano became founding CEO of Sony Signatures and then founded Signatures Network in 1999, which Live Nation acquired in 2008. Furano oversaw the Live Nation Merchandise division until the end of 2012.