IP acquisitions key for Disney growth, says Iger

Disney chair Bob Iger has said that the company’s acquired IPs play a big role in delivering large returns on investments into its theme parks.

Speaking during the Deutsche Bank 2016 Media, Internet and Telecom Conference, Iger said that some of Disney’s most significant investments in recent years have been pumped into its acquired IPs, including the likes of Pixar, Marvel and Avatar.

“We measure our growth outlook on a return on investment capital basis,” said Iger. “Our investments in the last 10 years have driven substantially higher returns than we had been seeing previously.

“Some of that comes from the fact that the investments have been made in attractions and in shows in our parks that are tied to branded IPs. Cars Land would probably be the best example of that. The love people had for that IP played a big part in the ROI it delivered.”

Looking towards IP investment for the next few years, Iger said he was excited about several attractions coming to Disney Parks, including the likes of Frozen, Avatar and Star Wars.

“We have a fair amount invested coming up, some of which was fairly modest in terms of cost,” he said. “Our Frozen ride for example will be gaining an attraction at Epcot this summer.

“In terms of larger investment, we licensed Avatar from James Cameron and that's enabling us to expand Animal Kingdom in Florida with Avatar Land opening in 2017. Ahead of that we’re planning a night-time safari and show which will include Avatar themes in them.

“We are also building our two big Star Wars lands – one for Disneyland in California and one for Disney World in Florida. These are two really big projects which we’ve just broken ground on.

“Those are the big capital investments on the domestic front then internationally, we have an Ironman attraction opening up in Hong Kong and we’re looking at the possibility of other further expansion there.”

The importance of IPs to Disney were demonstrated in a recent survey, with the annual Global 500 study by Brand Finance, ranking the company number one for brand strength, with the out-of-this-world performance of Star Wars: The Force Awakens driving Disney to that position.

As its own IP, Disney is preparing to take the China market by storm with the June debut of Disneyland Shanghai.

“I feel very confident about what we are building, what the reaction will be, it’s an extremely unique product,” said Iger. “There are a lot of theme parks in China now. Some of them actually are very impressive, but none of them have Disney’s IPs and none of them are built at this scale, with this quality, and with this attention to detail. It’s quite amazing, very exciting and we look forward to sharing it with everybody.”

Disney  Bob Iger  Avatar  Cars  Frozen  Animal Kingdom  IPs 
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Disney chair Bob Iger has said that the company’s acquired IPs play a big role in delivering large returns on investments into its theme parks. Speaking during the Deutsche Bank 2016 Media, Internet and Telecom Conference, Iger said that some of Disney’s most significant investments in recent years have been pumped into its acquired IPs, including the likes of Pixar, Marvel and Avatar. “We measure our growth outlook on a
TAW,VAT
Disney acquired a superhero stable including the likes of Iron Man when it bought Marvel Entertainment in a US$4bn deal in 2009 / Marvel
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