The University of Cambridge appoints Plus Licens AB as European licensing agency

The University of Cambridge has appointed Plus Licens AB as its new European licensing agent as part of the establishment’s plans to build its licensing programme outside of the UK.

Founded in 1209, the University of Cambridge is the fourth-oldest university in the world with alumni including 110 Nobel Prize Laureates, 47 Heads of State and 190 Olympic Medalists.

Rich in history, the University’s famous Colleges and University buildings attract visitors from all over the world, while its museums and collections hold treasures that offer an exciting insight into some of the scholarly activities, both past and present, of the University’s academics and students.

With alumni that include Newton, Keynes, Hawking and Darwin, Cambridge has always been and continues to be a place of where curious minds make great discoveries including gravity, DNA and evolution to name a few.

Len Dunne, CEO, Fitzwilliam Museum Enterprises, said: “FME Ltd manages both the University trademark programme and the commercial rights of the rich collections of its museums.

“In the UK, FME Ltd has retail, online (, wholesale and licensing divisions and, with the support of Plus Licens, it would like to give the opportunity to the rest of the European based licensees and consumers to enjoy a unique Cambridge experience. It is proud to be working with Plus Licens, its very first licensing agent for the territory.”

Eva Brännström, executive vice president, Plus Licens AB, added: “We are extremely proud and happy to have been appointed the pan-European agent by University of Cambridge. The University and the great museums represent everything that the world needs now more than ever: education, history, art and science.

“Plus Licens is committed to long term relationships and we now look forward to start a brand program based on the good values and fantastic art programs available from The University of Cambridge.”

The Red Arrows to publish its official history with Penguin Random House’s Century

The world-famous aerobatics display team division of the Royal Air Force, The Red Arrows, is to publish its official history with Century, an imprint of Penguin Random House, thanks to a new deal brokered by IMG. The book will be published in hardback, audio, and e-book on April 29th, 2021.

Called the Red Arrows: The Story of Britain’s Iconic Display Team, the title is written by head of the Red Arrows, Wing Commander David Montenegro, a former Red 1 and Red Arrows team leader. The title will feature tales from Red Arrows pilots, past and present, as it celebrates the division’s history of courage, daring, and skill of the past 50 years.

The book will also provide an insight on how the team represents the RAF and the United Kingdom around the world, its important role and work.

David Montenegro, Officer Commanding, Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows, said: “Ever since our first dynamic display, the Red Arrows has aimed to inspire and enthrall through precision and teamwork – showcasing the excellence of the Royal Air Force, worldwide.

“Much of this activity, and the strength and success of the team, is achieved through the tireless application, innovation and dedication of our highly-trained personnel – individuals who have served operationally, helping the RAF to secure the skies and protect our nation.

“I hope readers, who may have seen one of our nearly 5,000 displays since 1965, or perhaps just have an interest in high-performing teams, will gain a new, unique and colourful perspective on the Red Arrows. However, above all, I want to bring all of the excitement, speed and vibrancy synonymous with a world-class Red Arrows show to even more people through a book illustrating the very best of British.”

Jess Ballance, editor at Century, Penguin Random House, added: “We couldn’t be more proud and excited to be publishing The Red Arrows. It grants readers a fascinating pilot’s-eye perspective of what it means to fly in those iconic aircraft. This book is a true celebration of the Red Arrows, one of Britain’s national treasures, and their fascinating history, featuring personal stories from the people behind the planes and exploring the skills and incredible mindset of the world-class Red Arrows pilots.”

Ballance commissioned world rights to the project from IMG, the Ministry of Defence’s exclusive licensing representative.

The Met Museum to launch new kids’ books series with global publisher DK

The global publishing house, DK, has landed a strategic commercial partnership with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, to launch a range of children’s books that each take inspiration from art, history, and culture, to draw readers into the world curated by the museum.

Under the new deal, DK will commission original text and illustration, which will be informed with commentary by The Met’s unparalleled staff, works from the Museum collection, and archival assets to illustrate and explore 5,000 years of art.

The books will be available in bookstores across the world, including The Met Store.  

Mark Searle, DK’s publishing director, licensing, said: “The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a historic cultural institution and we are very proud to be their partner for this new range of books.

“We are excited to be part of The Met’s mission to make art more accessible, and it is an honour to share this content with readers in every continent.”  

Lisa Silverman Meyers, global head of licensing for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, added: “We are  absolutely thrilled to be collaborating with DK on this partnership. DK has a long tradition of  delivering content to children and families in the most engaging and interesting ways, and we are so pleased to be working with them to help us deliver our mission of access and education.

“As The Met  celebrates its 150th anniversary this year, we look forward to creating books where all children can  see themselves in these stories and activities.”  

DK will act as The Met’s strategic partner for children’s commercial publishing, worldwide and in all  languages, beginning with six children’s titles planned to publish next year. The list will include books  on art, history and culture.  

Geronimo Stilton becomes the official children’s virtual tour guide of Pompeii

Atlantyca Entertainment’s Geronimo Stilton has become the official virtual tour guide for children visiting the UNESCO World Heritage’s Archaeological Site of Pompeii. The first video tour of the special campaign is now online and across all of Pompeii’s social media channels and websites.

Under the partnership, two more video tours will be launched in the forthcoming months. The agreement initially provides for maps and guides which will be followed by video content featuring the mouse journalist Geronimo Stilton as he accompanies fans on a visit of the archaeological sites, highlighting its history and monumental beauty.

The Archaeological site of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Oplontis/Torre Annunziata together constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A World Heritage Site is a cultural or natural landmark that has been recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). These sites are deemed worthy of preservation due to their universal value to humanity, both today and for future generations.

The Archaeological Areas of Pompeii, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata’ was listed as World Heritage Site on December 6th, 1997, as Site number 829.

“We are so honored,” noted Atlantyca Entertainment’s Claudia Mazzucco. “Having Geronimo Stilton as an official guide for children, to introduce them to some of the greatest monuments and stories that Pompeii has to tell, is like another adventure.

“This special initiative perfectly combines Geronimo Stilton’s innate curiosity and renowned passion for sharing stories that encompass history, art and nature.”

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh celebrates 350th anniversary with new licensing programme

The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh is celebrating its 350th anniversary this year with the unveiling of two new licensing partners in Caithness Glass and Flame Tree Publishing.

RBGE was established in 1670 as a physic garden near the Palace of Holyroodhouse. The purpose of the garden was to supply fresh plants for medical prescriptions and to help teach medical botany to students. Almost 20 years later, in 1699, it received a royal warrant.

Over the years many intrepid botanists introduced exotic plants from all over the world and innovative techniques into the gardens. Moving to its present site in Inverleith in 1823, RGBE  is one of the world’s leading botanical gardens and today delivers world-leading plant science and conservation programmes and cares for large archives of botanical art as well four gardens in Scotland.

In this anniversary year, RGBE is hosting a programme of exhibitions and events, and has kickstarted an ambitious plan to rebuild its existing glasshouses and create a new one under its Edingburgh Biomes project – one which aims to secure the Garden’s work for future generations.

RGBE’s licensing programme is focused on using its archive and environmental message to work with companies that reflect its brand values. Royalties from products sold help to directly fund and support the work RGBE does to develop its collections to maximise their value as a research, education, conservation and heritage resource.

Inspired by the 350th anniversary, Caithness Glass will produce a range of collectable artglass  featuring a ‘Water lily – Nymphaea’, ‘Blue Poppy – Meconopsis’ ‘Rhodoendron Ferrugineum’ and ‘Ferns’. 

All of these plants have a special connection to the gardens.

Caithness Glass was founded in 1961 and is now a world leading producer of  paperweights and artglass. Each piece is a unique work of art and hand crafted to the highest standards by skilled makers.

Jacqueline McCulloch, area sales manager of Caithness Glass, said: “Caithness is delighted to be working with RGBE in its anniversary year. The first in a series of planned items launched at Spring Fair were received very well with many orders taken – we are confident that this will be an excellent collaboration for years to come.”

Meanwhile, Flame Tree Publishing works with many prestigious museums and galleries creating published content under license including books calendars and greetings cards. For its RGBE 2021 calendar – which is on sale now – Flame Tree is publishing botanical imagery by the victorian artist Charlotte Cowan, discovered in the RGBE archives.

Frances Bodiam, managing director of Flame Tree Publishing, said:Looking through the archives at the RGBE was a revelation and we were thrilled to unearth the work of Charlotte Cowan. There are many other wonderful images to discover and we look forward to working with RGBE in the future.”

Helena Lawrence, head of retail and brand licensing at RGBE, added: “In our anniversary year, signing these two licenses emphasises how much our brand values resonate with licensees. We are very pleased to be working with Caithness and Flame Tree and also to launch our new style guide which will show how our wonderful collections can inspire new product.

“Further licenses are already in the pipeline which will showcase our collections.”