Nobody gets to be just a celebrity anymore. Whether you make movies, star in a reality television series, top the music charts or choose to share your passions via video platforms or in some other way, you have to be something of a Jack (or Jill) of multiple trades if you want real industry staying power.

In other words, to hit that upper echelon, you may just have to be about the Business of Self, which in today’s media climate involves building a brand by capitalizing on the image your career has cultivated.

“Celebrity Licensing,” the new 16-page special report by Variety Intelligence Platform, presented by City National Bank, explores three case studies of stars of varying stripes (including one who died in 1980) who tackled the modern world of self-salesmanship.

Celebrity licensing deals are only a tiny fraction of the overall worldwide licensing pie, but they are some of the most versatile and potent campaigns in existence: Stars always seem to find ways to seamlessly blend what they do with what they sell, and the dividing line between advertisement and advertiser is often virtually nonexistent.

A well-executed licensing deal is a kind of dance: Celebrities are promoting products they both use and wholeheartedly support, trading on authenticity for a bigger share of the marketplace.

If they succeed, their star shines ever brighter and that wider berth becomes a part of their legacy, because in the end, regardless of the salad dressing, leather jacket or onesie being hawked, the real products are celebrity reputations — and themselves.

And that is a whole different kind of entertainment.

Read the free VIP special report below to learn:

  • How licensing became a holy grail of celebrity, sprouting trade organizations to track it and reeling in once unforeseen fortunes
  • Why not all stars can pull off the shift from consumer commodity to business leader — and what it takes to make the leap
  • How Bethenny Frankel, Lauren Riihimaki and even the late Steve McQueen traveled different paths to the same destination: licensing success

Read the full special report