THE BUSINESS OF BOB MARLEY

30 years after he died of cancer, it is hard to imagine that the larger than life image of Bob Marley is actually the spirit of a boy who grew up from the ghettos of Trench Town in Kingston Jamaica.

A country of under 10 million people, it is interesting how this tiny nation continues to influence the world in such disproportionate ways. In London for example, cool is partly defined as Jamaican with many British kids copping Jamaican lingo and accents in a cocktail with their queen's twangs.

But Marley's is not just a fad, it's a serious business. The late reggae legend’s music is still listened to by the thousands until today in all corners of the world.

As his family celebrated what would have been his 66th birthday today, his wife Rita who now resides in Accra in Ghana says she just bought a bootleg copy of his music which are selling like peanuts in the West African capital. Some estimates claim that the Marley estate loses up to $600 million annually in unauthorized sales of his merchandise.

But his large family is smarting up commercially and recently they won a case in Nevada which awarded the family $300,000 from a company that had been infringing on the late singer's trade mark. The family has now expanded its interests beyond music to tourism resorts, sportswear, beverages and most recently electronics, with Bob Marley head phones set to give Beats By Dre (Dr. Dre's head phone line) a run for its money.

 The family however quips that at the end of the day, the focus will always be music first. Last year, the estate raked in 4 million, a figure their current business partners say is too low given Marley's popularity, but they now plan to aggressively market the brand until it rivals those of other deceased celebrities like Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley whose annual earnings are in the 100s of millions.

Comments (2)

 

  1. Well i`m a fan o bob marley for a long time. His quotes was an inspiration for me for a long ti me.

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