Maxim, which epitomized brand extensions gone amok by slapping its name on everything from sheets to hair dye, is getting back into the licensing business.
But this time, said Joe Mangione, CEO of Maxim parent Alpha Media Group, “We are going to be very careful.”
Through a just-announced deal with licensing giant IMG, the 2.5 million-circ lad magazine is closely eyeing products like apparel and grooming—for women as well as men.
As its circulation exploded in the lad mag boom of the late ’90s, Maxim launched an ambitious expansion plan that included a string of steakhouses with Jeffrey Chodorow, casinos and resorts in addition to the aforementioned bedsheets and hair dye. None remain. One relic of the era, the Maxim Super Bowl party, is still around and being expanded to three local events this year.
“There were a couple of hits and misses that the company tried to do internally,” said Mangione, who wasn’t at the company during its earlier brand-extension blitz under Dennis Publishing. Mangione maintains that despite the failure of the magazine’s earlier efforts in the area, brand licensing represents a huge opportunity for Maxim. “This is the first meaningful, strategic worldwide licensing effort,” he said. “It’s definitely a multimillion dollar business.”