The spirit of Michael Jackson made a surprise appearance Monday in Baltimore, when a lone male dancer tried to ease tensions during the protests with some moonwalking and other signature Jackson moves to the aptly selected tune, Beat It—a spontaneous tribute to an artist who fought for racial equality throughout his life. The moment wasn’t lost on the social media manager behind Jackson’s Twitter handle.
The influence of MJ’s message and music is everywhere, nowhere more important than with the people in Baltimore. https://t.co/tG18dKPYdZ
— Michael Jackson (@michaeljackson) April 29, 2015
Although the King of Pop has been dead since 2009, he clearly still packs a cultural punch. A new deal between Jackson’s estate and Authentic Brands Group shows that there is still a lot of upside for his brand, which has been one of the most enduring among deceased celebrities.
No doubt inspired by the interest around the 25th anniversary of Bad, which saw Pepsi pay tribute to its longstanding association with the legendary performer, the licensing partnership plans to “further grow the Michael Jackson brand in the areas of endorsements and consumer products,” according to a press release. ABG, which also manages the brands of Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Muhammad Ali, among others, will seek out strategic global licensing and retail partnerships with the blessing of the executors of Jackson’s estate.
“With a proven track record in transforming icons into global entities, we are confident that ABG will help us take the Michael Jackson brand to the next level,” stated John Branca and John McClain, co-executors of the Estate of Michael Jackson.
It remains unclear if the world will soon see a full Michael Jackson hologram concert tour or what else ABG has in store for Jackson’s fans.
Too bad Jackson isn’t around to help engage new fans and platforms. He was notoriously press- and publicity-shy, but according to Russell Crowe, Jackson sure knew how to use the phone and apparently made prank calls on occasion to the actor, a man he’d never met.