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EMI forms deal to market Dean Martin's name

October 31, 2006|From Bloomberg News

EMI Group said Monday that it had formed a partnership with the Dean Martin trust to market the late singer and movie star's name, image and likeness.

Martin's worldwide record sales exceed 50 million units, according to London-based EMI, which said it would continue to market his catalog of recordings.

EMI is taking steps to find alternate sources of income from its artists at a time when traditional forms of revenue, such as CD sales, are declining. EMI has made deals with Robbie Williams and rock band Korn in which it shares revenue from touring and merchandising as well as from recordings.

The company and the trust are "exploring licensing opportunities with home furnishing, fashion and hospitality brands" using Martin's name and image, said EMI spokesman Adam Grossberg.

Martin recorded for EMI's Capitol label and for Reprise Records, owned by Warner Music Group Corp. EMI said it acquired the rights to the singer's Reprise catalog in 1998.

Martin, born Dino Paul Crocetti in 1917, died in 1995. He co-starred in movie comedies with Jerry Lewis, appeared in dramatic films, and recorded many hit records, including "Everybody Loves Somebody" and "That's Amore." He also hosted a hit TV variety series in the 1960s and '70s and was a member of the so-called Rat Pack with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.

Marketing the name, image and likeness of artists has become a higher-profile business in the last year. Entertainment investor Robert Sillerman's CKX Inc. made similar deals with Muhammad Ali and the estate of Elvis Presley.

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