In March 2009, we expected the first episode of West Africa’s Next Top Model. The option rights was obtained by Stats Media and Supermodel Oluchi was to be the host. As with these things, having an option right/option contract to recreate a famous show does not necessarily guarantee that show will be produced. Over three years later, in October of 2012, Ladybrille informed you Nigerian/West African Supermodel Oluchi Onweagba-Orlandi would be the new host of Africa’s Next Top Model, this time the option was purchased by Oluchi.
Fast-forward six months later after all the necessary deal making has been closed, Tyra Banks and CBS International confirm the first West African Supermodel will host a version of the reality television show in Africa. Onweagba-Orlandi will produce the show through her production company Lulu Productions.
I wrote on the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing a Franchise in 2007 using ANTM as an example. That article is republished right after the release by CBS on the new deal.
Note also as to the deal:
1. Oluchi will need a Producer-Network agreement with the network that will distribute the show
2. Oluchi, since she is also a producer, will need a Producer-Talent agreement for the talents that will appear in the show. Depending on how Africa’s networks work, there may also be an agreement with the Talent, Producer and Networks.
3. Oluchi has a model agency O Models, I believe it is still in operation. So, it makes sense she secured option rights to produce the show because the prize associated with winning for the competitors usually includes signing to a modeling agency. She gets to amplify her agency brand, her personal brand and her production company’s brand.
4. There is a question of what law should govern if a dispute arises among all participants. Tyra Banks is located in the USA, so there is a high probability any dispute between Oluchi and Tyra will be in the USA. Lulu Productions is located in New York but the show is to be produced in South Africa and distributed on African TV. There is a high probability South Africa might be the controlling jurisdiction for disputes among other talents, third parties and Oluchi, if there is a dispute and depending on the facts.
Check on the story and my write up from 2007 below.
“AFRICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL” TO STRUT THE RUNWAY IN 2013
Published on: 04/26/2013 | All 2013 Press Releases
Supermodel Oluchi Orlandi to Host African Franchise of Hit Model Search Reality Series
Los Angeles, Calif. – April 26, 2013 – CBS Studios International has licensed the African format rights for the reality competition series AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL to New York-based LuLu Productions. AFRICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL will be produced by Lulu Productions along with Never Machine Productions and will air pan-regionally throughout Africa in 2013 on MNET Africa Magic channels. Nigerian supermodel Oluchi Orlandi will serve as Executive Producer and Host.
AFRICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL will begin production in August in Cape Town and the English-language series will be shot primarily on location in South Africa and sponsored by South African Tourism. Aspiring models will be selected from casting calls in eight countries throughout Africa, including Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Angola and Tanzania.
AFRICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL Host and Executive Producer Oluchi Orlandi is an internationally renowned supermodel who has graced the covers of Elle magazine and Italian Vogue, and has been featured in Victoria’s Secret, Sports Illustrated and countless fashion and beauty magazines, ad campaigns and runway shows worldwide. She was discovered at the age of 17 when she won M-Net’s “Face of Africa” modeling competition.
“AFRICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL is sure to be an entertaining celebration of the great beauty, fashion and unique stories of aspiring models from across the African continent,” said Roxanne Pompa, Vice President of International Formats Sales and Production, CBS Studios International. “This is a testament to the universal popularity of the ever-growing AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL franchise.”
“I am excited to be hosting AFRICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL and it is great to be part of the successful AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL franchise that Tyra Banks created and has hosted for an impressive 20 cycles thus far in the U.S.,” said Oluchi. “The African version of the franchise is long overdue and I expect the show to be a smashing success across the continent. My company, LuLu Productions, will be partnering with Never Machine productions with Gavin Wratten as Co-Executive Producer and also one of the giant media houses to help make this show a big success.”
Thulani Nzima, Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism, said, “South Africa is proud and delighted to be the host destination of AFRICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL. We welcome the AFRICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL contestants, crew and eager African viewers to South Africa. We know they are going to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of our land, the warmth of our welcoming people who call it home, the sophistication and capability of our cities and the abundance of beautiful experiences that await them in South Africa. We wish them a memorable visit!”
About the “America’s Next Top Model” Format:
AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL is produced by 10 by 10 Entertainment in association with The Tyra Banks Company. The executive producers are Ken Mok (“Making the Band”), Tyra Banks and Laura Fuest Silva. The series was created by Tyra Banks and developed by Mok and Kenya Barris. Tyra Banks also hosts the series, which will soon begin airing its 20th cycle in the United States. Currently, AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL is under license in over 100 markets around the world and has 20 international versions in production. AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL and the AMERICA’S NEXT TOP MODEL format are licensed internationally by CBS Studios International.
Should I Create a New Business, Buy an Existing One or Buy a Franchise?
Last time in our “How to Start Your Own Fashion Business Series,”we talked about the idea of being an entrepreneur and starting your own fashion business. I also gave you an assignment. Specifically, you were to: 1) determine if and why you wanted a fashion business; 2) determine what kind of fashion business you wanted; and 3) assess your strength and weaknesses in relation to the business you chose. I trust you completed your assignment. Today, we address an aspect of starting your own business that people do not really think about. For the most part, at this junction, most want to run off to start writing the business plan. That is something you have to do and we will address in detail in our ongoing fashion business series. For the moment, it helps for you to consider whether you want to create your own business from scratch, buy an existing one or buy a franchise. There are advantages and disadvantages to each option. Let’s address each and equip you with some information for you to make an informed decision.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Starting you Own Business From Scratch.I will use Ladybrille as an illustration. I love projects where I work from ground up. The Ladybrille name is unique, the concept is fresh, I don’t have to worry about liabilities, creditors or other debts incurred on behalf of the business because I have none. I get to figure out my own rules and regulations and what direction I want the brand to go etc.
Disadvantages. Since I am starting from scratch, I have had to draw up a business plan, register the business, get a fictitious business name license, trademark it, choose a legal structure, draw up and write contracts for third parties that help me execute my vision i.e. website builders, grow the customer/reader base and so much more. What about you? Do you like to work from ground up? Are the concepts you have for your business unique where no one has done it before? Even if you have many doing the same thing, do you have something that sets you apart from your competitors? If the answers are yes to the above questions, then you should most likely consider starting your business from scratch.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying an Existing Business.
Advantages: An option you might want to consider is to buy an existing business. The business has already been established and has fulfilled all of the preliminary steps I mentioned above. It, most likely, has a customer base that will remain loyal to you if you do your research and respond to their needs and desires.
Disadvantages:The monies to buy an existing business with is usually a problem. Also, you might end up buying a business with debts and liabilities to last a lifetime, with no way out of the mess. A caveat here, DO NOT let impulse and excitement guide your decision. Do your homework to see if it is worth the investment. Otherwise, it is like trying to flip a house you purchased for real cheap only to find out that you have lots of work to put into it and the expenses you put into fixing the house so you can sell it, far exceeds the purchase price. Not worth it!
Similarly, when you buy a business, ask some of these questions and more and be sure to request actual documentation. Hint, if the buyer says, “don’t you believe me?” Move on to the next buyer. Ask about the business assets, liabilities, and creditors. Research and ask how the business was managed, how many prior owners before the current one who seeks to sell it to you? What is the reputation of the business? Does the location generate traffic i.e. is it prime location with other fashion boutiques like a galleria, mall or plaza? Do your research. Who are the target audience of the business? What are you purchasing? What is the value of the business? Ask the tough questions and do not bat an eye. I will also add that you get an appraisal on the business just like you would if you were buying a home.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying a Franchise
Advantages:Usually when we talk about franchises, most think food franchises such as McDonald or Subway. But, fashion/entertainment franchises also exist and are making millions from their loyal customers, readers and viewers. “American Idols,” “Deal or No Deal,” “The Apprentice,” “Big Brother” and “America’s Next Top Model” are sample fashion/entertainment franchises that are successful and are expanding across Africa and raking in millions. To make sure we are on the same page, click here for Wikepedia’s definition of a franchise. I think it works for our purposes.
To better understand franchise and purchasing one, I will use a popular franchise, America’s Next Top Model [ANTM], as an illustration. There are 31 ANTM franchises across the globe. For our purposes, Ghana’s Next Top Model [GNTM] was the first country in Africa to purchase an ANTM franchise. What this means is that Tyra Banks and her company Bankable Productions licensed [gave limited permission] to the 702 Ltd. Productions [producer of GNTM] to use ANTM’s trade name, trademarks, reputation and overall stylistic way of doing business. If they negotiated well, probability is that 702 Ltd has an exlcusive license for GNTM in Ghana.
That means no one else can have a GNTM in Ghana. The benefits for GNTM is that the ANTM name is established, ANTM’s trademarks, reputation and so forth will help GNTM realize some profits. Like buying an existing business, 702 Ltd need not worry about doing things from scratch. Also, with a franchise, ANTM most likely would train as well as provide GNTM with some of the basic equipment for its operations of GNTM to fit ANTM’s standard formula.
Disadvantages: First, GNTM, for example, can not guarantee that it will make a profit. ANTM is successful in America but can it be successful in Ghana even with having a name like Tyra affiliated with it? Second, for most, the capital to purchase a franchise which usually requires high start up costs is simply not available.Third, even if you have the money to purchase, if you do not negotiate wisely you might find that all you got was a non-exclusive license which means another person can open up a fashion business under the umbrella of the franchisor right around the corner from you effectively making you lose your customers. Fourth, the balance of power is not even.
For the most part, the Fanchisor has the say so. That and other things such as required reporting practices, royalty fees, lack of flexibility to incorporate different styles or concept distinct from the standardized franchisor formula negate buying a franchise. Also, back to the GNTM example, if trouble comes knocking,for example, GNTM not ANTM would be the one to carry the weight of any and all liabilities or problems as a result of its business operations.
Your Assignment: Figure out if you want to create your own new business from scratch, buy an existing business or a franchise. The resources below should help you make an informed decision. Until next time, have a brilliant day!
~by Uduak Oduok
Ms. Uduak Oduok is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Ladybrille® Magazine. She is also a Practicing Attorney and Partner at Ebitu Law Group, P.C, ebitulawgrp.com where her practice areas include Business Litigation and Fashion & Entertainment Law. She has counseled a range of clients from musicians, models, actors and actresses to designers on numerous areas of the law including contracts, business law, fashion and entertainment law, copyright, trademark i.e. intellectual property law. She can be reached at (email@example.com) to share/pitch your fashion law related stories for a feature on Ladybrille. All other inquiries, please visit the www.ladybrillemag.com/contact page for appropriate contact email.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing herein forms an attorney-client relationship. The legal commentary& analysis provided on Ladybrille is for informational purposes only and is not meant nor should be construed to be legal advice.