New Elvis owners keep old PR team for new initiative

LOS ANGELES: The new owners of Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) are hoping to expand the rock icon's brand globally while retaining the marketing team that has helped keep the King alive for consumers over the past two decades.

LOS ANGELES: The new owners of Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) are hoping to expand the rock icon's brand globally while retaining the marketing team that has helped keep the King alive for consumers over the past two decades.

Robert Sillerman, founder of radio company SFX Broadcasting and concert promotions firm SFX Entertainment, announced last month that he was buying an 85% stake in EPE, which holds rights to Elvis' name and likeness, music revenues, tourist operations at Graceland, and TV shows and films.

Shortly after, EPE announced a branding initiative aimed at keeping the icon's image fresh and expanding its reach globally.

"We feel there is a huge opportunity globally to [expand] the Elvis experience," said EPE marketing director Jennifer Burgess. "This new relationship gives us the opportunity to grow."

Burgess added that the new ownership was not only retaining all in-house marketing staff, but had also decided to keep its outside PR representative of more than 20 years, David Beckwith, who has his own eponymous PR firm.

"It's still all the same people," said Burgess. "No one left. Honestly, they are impressed with what we've been able to do with keeping the Elvis brand so hot."

Beckwith added that the account includes "everything from Broadway to television to merchandising to licensing."

The new branding effort is heavy on advertising and centers on the tagline "Elvis Lives." It is building off a branding campaign last year that used the tagline "He Dared To Rock."

"We felt like that was so successful that we wanted to do that again, even though this year we didn't have a specific anniversary or milestone to hang it on," said Burgess.

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