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Rovio Entertainment flies high with innovative Angry Birds licensing platform
Stolen eggs. Hungry green pigs. A flock of furious, flying feathers. Angry Birds is a smartphone sensation, a multi-million-dollar grossing movie, and a lucrative licensed merchandise business.
And Rovio Entertainment, the trailblazing Finnish company responsible for creating the brand, is flying high, with annual revenues more than doubling between 2015 and 2017 to close to €300 million. As Rovio prepares for the 2019 launch of The Angry Birds Movie 2, the opportunities for brand licensing are set to soar. “The 2016 movie was huge for us,” said Simo Hämäläinen, Rovio’s Senior Vice President for Brand Licensing. “It took $350 million at the box office, and created a huge demand for licensed merchandise. With Salesforce, we handled that explosive spike in demand with ease; the platform is now business-critical for us.”
Catapulting to the top of the charts one bird at a time
As Rovio prepares for the 2019 launch of The Angry Birds Movie 2, the opportunities for brand licensing are set to soar. “The 2016 movie was huge for us,” said Simo Hämäläinen, Rovio’s Senior Vice President for Brand Licensing. “It took $350 million at the box office, and created a huge demand for licensed merchandise. With Salesforce, we handled that explosive spike in demand with ease; the platform is now a very important asset for scaling.”
Formed in 2003, success really came home to roost for Rovio in 2009 when Angry Birds – a game featuring a flock of birds used as wrecking balls that players slingshot at green pigs – was catapulted to the top of the download charts.
Angry Birds games have since been downloaded more than four billion times and Angry Birds has become one of the hottest global brands.
Thousands of brand licensees, agents, designers, and product developers as well as Rovio’s internal commercial and finance teams help to make the brand success. A success that has not only transformed its parent company but also the entertainment industry as a whole.
A bird’s eye view of global licensing activities
With so many people involved in the branding, merchandising, and licensing of Angry Birds, Hämäläinen and his colleagues needed a centralised platform to give them a bird’s eye view of activities around the globe.
“We were storing loads of information on Excel and email and had different partners using different systems,” said Timo Pesola, Vice President for Operations and Business Performance. “We needed a flexible and scalable platform to keep track of the entire licensing process: from leads,opportunities and contract templates to style guides, products approvals, reporting and invoicing. We wanted everything to be in one place.”
After seeing how Salesforce had helped Rovio’s advertising and sales teams transform their processes, Rovio’s brand licensing team evaluated possibilities to implement Salesforce for licensing operations and decided to follow suit in 2016.
A single platform for a 1,000-strong flock of users
Simplified processes for product reviews and royalties
Rovio has also simplified the design and development of Angry Birds merchandise for companies around the world. It has created an image bank and product review platform on Community Cloud, which enables brand licensees/agencies to share designs for approval via a custom-built workflow.
Once a product hits the market, Rovio can track sales volumes to ensure royalties are calculated and distributed correctly with just a click of a button. “By making processes as easy and smooth as possible for our agents, they are likely to dedicate more time to Angry Birds instead of the licences of other big names in entertainment,” said Hämäläinen.