SpokeGuards was contacted by Marion, the grandmother of 7 year old Milli, a devoted One Direction fan from Glasgow. Milli had all One Direction memorabilia and is a wheelchair user. Marion asked SpokeGuards to design and supply a set of spoke guards with a One Direction theme. This in itself was not a problem that is what SpokeGuards do for their customers. However, when it comes to a band such as One Direction, they are covered by numerous licencing laws and copyright, so reproducing their logo without approval is unlawful. In order to give Marion what she wanted, an official approval had to be obtained from either the band themselves, a management team or someone else who owned the copyright. A search commenced to discover who owned the copyright to One Direction and who had the authority to grant a licence for official merchandising. Was it Simon Cowell himself?
Milli’s SpokeGuards Story
After an extensive search, itself taking 6 weeks, the organisation responsible for granting licences was found to be Global Merchandising Services Ltd. This Company acts on behalf of acts as diverse as Mariah Carey, Iron Maiden and Lana Del Ray, in addition to the likes of Cheryl Cole, The Libertines and, of course, Niall Horan. Initial approaches to Companies such as Global Merchandising are often ignored because of the volume of requests they receive. Global Merchandising was different because a reply was received within 24 hours of the first contact. The story of Milli was explained and the reasons to request an official merchandising contract and copies of official high quality photographs of the band. Due to the nature of this special request, internal discussions took place with the management team which led to a licence being granted to SpokeGuards for One Direction themed spoke guards.
Four separate designs were presented and approved, in addition to a special one off design especially for Milli. The special set of SpokeGuards was sent to Milli free of charge and she received those 7 months after the initial contact from Marion. As can be seen from the photos, Milli’s smile was as wide as could be.
Although it cannot be guaranteed each time, if you have a special request, please contact SpokeGuards and all efforts will be made to obtain a merchandising licence or a one off approval.