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Smith & Wesson looks for new branding opportunities

NEW YORK - Smith & Wesson, one of the world's most famous handgun makers, is looking to extend its brand into other areas and has hired a brand licensing agency to find new products to bear its name.

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The 150-year-old company has appointed Leveraged Marketing Corporation of America to help expand the Smith & Wesson brand into new areas. LMCA already managed sales of licensed products worth than $3bn (£2bn) globally, for clients including Kodak and Mack Trucks.

Mitchell Saltz, chairman and CEO of Smith & Wesson, said: "The addition of LMCA will significantly enhance our current licensing efforts. We are actively looking to LMCA to attract new licensing partners in the industrial-based product and service categories."

Since 1996 the company has granted 30 licences in seven categories ranging from obvious product extensions such as personal security and safes, to golf clubs, bicycles and children's footwear.

The brand is well known across the world and has 87% brand recognition in the United States. Among its best-known models are the Magnum, made famous by Clint Eastwood in the 'Dirty Harry' movies, and the .38 Special.

Allan Feldman, president of LMCA, said: "The Smith & Wesson brand has a history of success in selling quality products. The reputation and recognisable brand name can now be expanded to fuel new relationships in new industries."

Brand licensing has been a popular way for niche brands to raise their profiles. Tobacco companies, for example, have looked towards other products as their ability to market their brands has been curbed.

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