Ross Flags Inks Deal to Distribute MLK Flags
Dwayne and Maria Ross have successfully accomplished a task few businesses have been able to do: The couple has inked a deal with Intellectual Properties Management Inc., the exclusive licensor of the Martin Luther King Jr. estate, to manufacture and distribute a flag that carries the slain civil rights leaderâ€™s image.
â€śWeâ€™re only a handful of organizations licensed to use Kingâ€™s image,â€ť said Lori Ross, the couple’s sister-in-law and chief operations officer at Ross Flags and Design L.L.C.
The company initially applied for and was granted a temporary license in 2008, after being rejected years earlier. Having generated $63,000 in revenue after selling 2,000 flags, â€śIPM extended the licensing agreement for five years because we exceeded expectations,â€ť Lori said.
The company projects revenue to reach $179,000 for its 2009-2010 fiscal year. Flag prices range between $34.99 and $139.99.
While the Rosses are working to get the flags distributed in retailers nationwide, theyâ€™ve found success selling the product at African American museums, and historically black colleges and universities, including Howard University and Florida A&M University.
â€śThis flag is a constant visual reminder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.â€™s vision,â€ť said company president, Maria Ross.Â If we are to continue moving forward, we must go back and rediscover that Dr. Kingâ€™s dedication to justice, peace, and brotherhood lies within each of us.â€ť
The company is also looking into inking licensing deals to distribute flags with civil rights leaders of different ethnicities.
— Renita Burns