Authentic Brands Group said Tuesday it has purchased the rights to Elvis Presley from CORE Media Group, the company that owns the majority of rights to “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance.” The financial terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed, but the deal involves a partnership with Joel Weinshanker and his National Entertainment Collectibles Association, a distributor of licensed entertainment products. ABG describes itself as “an intellectual property corporation” that also has rights to Marilyn Monroe and Muhammad Ali, also acquired from CORE Media, formerly known as CKx Inc. The partnership has Weinshanker acquiring the management rights to Graceland, the Memphis, TN mansion where Presley lived and is now visited by about 500,000 tourists each year.
“While I will continue to own Graceland and the original artifacts, we are looking forward to working with our new partners to continue the growth and expansion we have been working towards,” said Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis Presley’s daughter. “The licensing and merchandising aspect of this business is not to be confused with the fact that the property will always remain with me and my family.” Last month, Forbes listed Elvis Presley as the second highest-earning dead celebrity, behind Michael Jackson. Elvis Presley earned $55 million in the past 12 months compared to $160 million for Jackson. Monroe was No. 6 on the list with $15 million.