Next time you see Iron Man on a lunch box or Thor on a t-shirt, you should think of Kira Karlstrom; as Global Manager of Live Events at Marvel Entertainment, the Full Sail Entertainment Business Master’s grad probably had something to do with it.
Kira’s role at Marvel is this: she seeks out third-party vendors looking to license Marvel’s intellectual property for everything from roller coasters and Broadway shows to statues in Madame Tussauds’ wax museum. At her office in Manhattan, Kira and her team manage the entire process, including handling proposals, working with legal/finance, brand management, and project management.
“When Iron Man 3 comes out in May, we will have worked on producing the style guide, requesting all the assets including the trailers and posters, media of what Iron Man’s suit look like, and will have created layouts for apparel and toy boxes,” says Kira, who worked at ESPN as a producer for five years before joining Marvel. “In essence, I am basically the liaison between our studio and consumer products. Once the deals are done, they come to me and I have a team to manage all the details from fruition to implementation.”
Kira’s team is also focused on realizing more opportunities for Marvel’s intellectual property. “It’s important to get the brand out there and to grow the fan base,” she says. When she started just a few months ago there were just six projects; today there are 17. “Now that we have dedicated individuals, it’s really moving forward.”
In just a few short months, she’s become a huge fan of the company and loves the work she does. “My favorite part of the job is the people that I work with; they’re amazing and they are so dedicated to the brand and so genuinely invested in what they are doing,” Kira says. “From learning style guides to doing photo shoots with the actors in the movies, there are so many different things that I get to be involved in. It’s been really challenging and exciting. I’m a movie fan and I’m such a fan of what our studio side has done with our characters. It’s inspiring to work on our brand alongside such talented people.”