Brand extension and strategy agency Licensing Link Europe has been appointed to manage global licensing for North Coast 500, the 516-mile-long coastal touring route through the Scottish North Highlands that has become an online and tourism phenomenon, on behalf of brand owner North Coast 500 Limited.
Since 2015, when just over 500 miles of stunning coastal scenery were documented and marketed as a road trip under the name the North Coast 500 (NC500), this Highlands coastal touring route has become a global phenomenon, building an audience reach in 2018 alone in excess of 3.3 billion people. The cumulative number is now at a staggering 8 billion from around the globe.
Website views have been followed up by visitors – thousands of them, keen to take part in what has been described in many publications as ‘the world’s best road trip’, offering views of some of the most glorious scenery the Highlands of Scotland has to offer.
This success of this approach has benefitted businesses across the North Highlands and established the NC500 as ground-breaking, both in terms of tourism in Scotland and as a business model for brand management, reach and boosting awareness.
North Coast 500 Ltd is a privately funded company whose primary aim is to grow the NC500 brand, its reach and its positive impact on tourism in the North Highlands, and to deliver outstanding economic impacts for the communities in the North. Using the trademark registrations North Coast 500 and NC500, it plans to deliver a licensing programme and partnerships programme with key brands to generate sustainable revenue.
Licensing Link Europe, a strategic brand extension and licensing agency, connecting licensees, retailers, promotional partners and consumers with an exciting mix of entertainment and lifestyle brands, will manage the campaign. Licensing Link’s initial focus will be on publishing, social expression – in particular stationery, calendars and diaries – and apparel – especially outdoor apparel. The campaign will make full use of the stunning imagery this extraordinary route has to offer in its style guide.
Ian Wickham, Director of Licensing Link Europe, says: “In the space of a few short years the NC500 has transformed the fortunes of an entire region, showing how to make an iconic destination and a tourism asset into a market-leading property without diminishing the qualities that make it special. The brand awareness that comes with this campaign and the NC500 name will boost the popularity of this wonderful destination and the revenue it earns for the region.”