How much does the Trump brand pay?

Federal filings show the GOP frontrunner made between $9 million to $36 million in licensing income over 18 months

Apr.April 01, 2016 01:00 PM
Products using the Trump brand

Products using the Trump brand

Donald Trump has famously plastered his name on everything from skyscrapers to wines, steaks, dress shirts and even mattresses.

So exactly how much does Trump make from such licensing agreements? The Real Deal set out to answer that question by looking at federal conflict-of-interest reports, which all presidential candidates are required to file. The disclosures — which cover the period from January 2014 to June 2015 — only require candidates to provide income ranges as opposed to specific amounts. Nevertheless, they provide an interesting glimpse into how Trump profits from his brand.

During the 18-month period, Trump raked in somewhere between $9 million and $36 million in licensing income. While that’s nothing to sneeze at, the range represents only a fraction of his overall income, which he stated in the filing as being at least $385 million.

All told, he owns 561 business entities, according to the filings.

The most lucrative licensing agreement Trump listed in disclosures was connected to Central America’s tallest building, the 70-story, 2.5-million-square-foot Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama City. Trump listed his licensing income from the tower — which the Trump Organization also co-developed and currently manages — at over $5 million. It was the only entity to appear in that income range during the 18-month period.

Trump listed three entities as producing licensing income in the $1 million to $5 million range: the Trump Towers Istanbul in Turkey, two conjoined skyscrapers (which Trump didn’t build and doesn’t own); the Donald J. Trump Signature Collection, a middle-market menswear brand, which, in addition to the above-mentioned dress shirts, carries ties, suits, polo shirts, wallets and eyeglass frames; and the Serta Trump Home Collection, a line of mattresses.

trump-worth-pull-quoteMost of the remaining licensing income streams — including those from the Trump International Hotel in Waikiki, the Trump Parc Stamford condominium building and Trump Home Furnishings — each produced anywhere between $100,001 and $1 million over the period.

Trump Fine Foods, presumably the entity behind Trump steaks, netted the mogul between $5,000 and $15,000 over the 18-month time frame.

The Trump Organization did not respond to a request for comment.

All of the filings are audited by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics. Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist at the nonprofit Public Citizen, said candidates are expected to “provide a reasonable estimate of the value [of their assets] and the source of that value.”

Value, of course, can fluctuate. As Trump-the-candidate gets more airtime, some of Trump-the-businessman’s deals have gone by the wayside.

In July, Serta announced it would stop selling Trump-branded mattresses following the GOP frontrunner’s comments denigrating Mexican immigrants. Prior to that, Univision, which had been licensing Trump’s Miss USA pageant, also dropped Trump.

And as for Trump’s fashion line? Don’t bother looking for it at Macy’s. The department store last summer ended its 11-year partnership with the menswear line, saying that, as a rule, it would no longer carry products by politicians.


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