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Picture This
Blakeway Worldwide Panoramas Excited about Future in Licensing
July 22, 2008

Nine months ago, Blakeway Worldwide Panoramas was preparing for its industry debut at the Sports Licensing and Tailgate Show. According to Jim Blakeway, things couldn’t have gone much better for his company.

“We showed up in Las Vegas with really just a tease of products in the grand scheme of things,” he says. “That led to 30 new licenses for us, including Georgia, Auburn, Florida State, Miami, Kansas and Michigan. It will be a great deal of work. We’ll do a lot of game shots and some of the campus, as well.”

Blakeway’s North Dakota Panorama has done very well with Fight Sioux hockey fans.

For many of the retailers and buyers in Vegas, Blakeway and its full-cover panoramic photographs were a revelation of sorts. The company arrived at the show with a handful of stadium pictures, including Oklahoma and Wisconsin, and a set of NASCAR shots ranging from individual cars to racing venues. “We brought something to the table that had never been seen before,” says Blakeway.

The reaction from the industry and consumers has been amazing. “Distribution is the key,” says Blakeway. “When we have it, sales are phenomenal. For example, the panorama of North Dakota’s Ralph Engelstad Arena sold 300 framed prints in its first six weeks.”

NASCAR has also been a solid seller. Blakeway is curious to see the impact of Tony Stewart’s decision to start his own team. “It will probably have an affect on the sales of all merchandise,” he says.

Will there be ripple effects from Tony Stewart’s departure from Joe Gibbs? Blakeway is eager to find out.

But Blakeway is used to weathering the ups and downs of the marketplace. “There is a lot of risk in our business, but also a lot of fun,” he says. “We do our panoramas for fans, students, schools and our retail partners. We want to be successful for everyone. Each panorama is a fairly expensive project on our end. But we’ve always had more winners than losers.”

 

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