Ford’s famous Blue Oval as well as various corporate trademarks used in video games, clothing, die-cast car models and other merchandise has generated a $1.5 billion business for the company, according to Forbes.com earlier this week. This segment of Ford’s business has grown by a stunning 50% from $1 billion just a few years ago. That’s why Ford officials were extremely excited with the news that the second of three credit-rating agencies has lifted Ford debt out of the junkyard, giving back Ford the full rights to the Blue Oval and other assets.
For the first time ever, Ford gave up the Blue Oval as collateral when it secured $23.5 billion in new financing in 2006. While the financial recovery of Ford is well-documented, the intangibles make the difference in its recovery. Presently, Ford has about 400 licensees. This is a climb from around 300 in 2004. In 2011, Ford granted about 18,000 product approvals. This is an increase from the 15,000 figure that was reported a couple of years ago. Just recently, clothing retailer Forever 21 was granted the license for the "Built Ford Tough" slogan. Last year at Bed Bath & Beyond, a Ford line of Tervis Tumblers made its debut. [source: Autonews]