The Times Square headquarters of Authentic Brands is a very glamorous graveyard. A black-and-white photo of Marilyn Monroe hangs above the front desk. On a wall opposite, Elvis Presley sings and signs autographs in an endlessly looping video. Nearby, a pair of Muhammad Ali’s gilded boxing gloves glimmer alongside red-and-black Michael Jackson “Thriller” socks.
“There’s not a lot of the estates in this sort of icon business exploiting these assets correctly,” says Salter, 55. Most are owned by family members who can’t all agree or who have little business experience. “They live off the music or off certain parts of the assets. They’re not building them into long-term brands. I think it’s not that they wouldn’t. They just don’t know how.”
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