Richard Simmons has been a hot topic in recent months as many of his fans have wondered why he went missing. A podcast center around him, calle “Missing Richard Simmons” just had its last episode recently.
His family and close friends insist that he’s okay and is just out of the public eye so that he can focus on himself. It’s been a few years of being out of the public eye, since 2014, so it’s only natural that fans have wondered when he would be re-emerging.
Maybe he’s close to doing that as it was just revealed that the former fitness maven has signed a new deal with Prominent Brand + Talent. The company will handle all his licensing, merchandising, and endorsements as well as launch a line of “motivation” and “inspiration” products.
License Global, a trade site, was the first to break the news on Wednesday. Prominent Brand + Talent includes Simmon’s manager Michael Catalano as an executive.
Fans being so concerned about Simmons is what led to the new deal according to Catalano.
He told CNBC on Wednesday that the new deal came about partly because of “the podcast” as well as explained that a recent People magazine article “created an outpouring of interest.”
“And a lot of that has been in the the licensing group area,” Catalano said.
Catalano doesn’t know if Simmons will do any promoting, but he did say “he certainly will be involved in the creation and the direction of the product, that’s for sure.”
“Richard really hasn’t decided what, if anything, he’s going to do to promote it in a public way. So it’s really undetermined, at this point,” Catalano said.
Catalano said decision has been made yet as to what those new products will be.
“It will all be in keeping with Richard’s messaging. … Richard’s always been about helping people feel better about themselves,” Catalano said. “We’re certainly not going to do tires and party hats. We really want it to be meaningful.”
“He’s not talking to anybody right now,” Catalano further said, so I don’t think we will be seeing any interviews soon.
License Global also revealed that Simmons-related merchandise has sold more than $1.5 billion over the years through retailers that include Wal-Mart, Payless, QVC and Amazon.
Dan Levin, a managing member of Prominent Brand + Talent, was quoted in the License Global story and commented that Simmons “has plans to launch a global line of thoughtful motivation and inspiration-based products that that will achieve the tenet Richard has always espoused — love yourself no matter what you weigh, make time to do good for others and laugh a little.”