WORK HARD. PLAY HARDER.

I'm Billy Hennessey. I own two distinct, Toronto-area businesses: Qwatro RoyalPak and Oxford Marketing. Qwatro RoyalPak manufacturers and packages for distributors of specialty, janitorial, industrial and automotive industries. Oxford Marketing partners with national brands to create and produce a variety of strategic activations. Its sister company, Oxford Beach, creates, markets and produces event properties. I was named one of 20 winners of the 2012 FuEL Awards, celebrating Canada's best young entrepreneurs. And I have been nominated for BizBash 2012 Toronto Event Producer of the Year.

How to achieve rapid growth through licensing

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Photo: From the St. Party’s Day Facebook page.

I’d love to bid a fond farewell to the name St. Patrick’s Day. My goal is to see the next generation refer to March 17 as St. Party’s Day.

Oxford Beach aimed to expand the brand as fast as possible in 2013. To make it happen, we decided to seek out a strategic partner with deeper pockets than us, and a significantly bigger team.

The name was licensed to the largest beer brand in North America. Budweiser St. Party’s Day is forecasting more than 100 events and 100,000 attendees across the country, and upwards of 40,000 unique visitors to the website. Check out the promo video on YouTube.

Here’s why we chose a licensing route over corporate ownership:

  • There’s equity in the name Budweiser.
  • We have St. Party’s Day trademarks in Canada and the United States, where the Budweiser brand is particularly strong.
  • Oxford Beach did not have sufficient cash flow to finance more than 100 events. 
  • Labatt, part of the Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev family, has staff and other infrastructure across Canada that we can leverage.
  • Our relationship with Labatt will likely lead to other partnership opportunities.