Payless Acquisition to Strengthen Athletic Brand Model
Payless ShoeSource will acquire longtime licensee Collective International as a way of building its youth lifestyle and fashion athletic brand model. Under the agreement, Collective will continue to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Payless under the leadership of CEO and President Bruce Pettet. Payless has been a licensee of the Airwalk brand since 2003 and features the brand on a range of footwear and accessories. Other brands under the Collective International umbrella include: Vision Street Wear, Sims, Lamar, LTD, genetic, Dukes, Rage, Ultra-Wheels, and Skate Attack.
TIA Moves Fall Show to Dallas
The Toy Industry Association plans to move its 2007 Fall Toy Show to Dallas, TX, following a meeting of the Executive Committee. The show, slated for October 8 to 11 at the Dallas Market Center, will continue to be an appointment-only fourth-quarter preview trade event for vendors that sell product to long-lead buyers, typically mass merchants. TIA will send detailed information about the new show location, including floor plans, hotel options, and other details, to companies that already have signed up for the 2007 event, as well as to all other prospects. Buyer registration materials will be distributed later in the spring. The decision will not affect the February Toy Fair for which the TIA has a contract at the Javits Center through 2010.
Teletubbies Bag Pop-Up Shop to Celebrate 10th Anniversary
Ragdoll Ltd. sealed an exclusive deal with Isaac Mizrahi for a line of limited-edition designer “it” bags inspired by the Teletubbies to be sold at a pop-up shop in New York’s West Village at 350 Bleeker Street. Signed sketches will be unveiled at a star-studded, invitation-only launch party at the store Tuesday, March 27. The Teletubbies-inspired shop opens to the public March 28 through April 7, and will be filled with Mizrahi’s hand-sketched and signed designs, alongside new fashions and accessories. The bags also will be auctioned online starting March 19 at www.TakeTheTeletubbiesTest.com, with all proceeds to benefit Cure Autism Now and Autism Speaks.
Cartoon Network Leaps at New Software Opportunity
Cartoon Network will partner with LeapFrog Enterprises on the creation of a software title based on Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends for the Leapster Learning Game System. The game will reinforce spelling and phonics skills for children from kindergarten through second grade.
Smithfield Foods to Test Subway-Branded Deli Items
Smithfield Deli Group, a division of Smithfield Foods, is launching a one-year test of Subway Restaurants-branded premium deli meats and cheeses at deli counters at mass retailers and grocery stores. The selection includes bologna; Virginia ham; Genoa salami;
pepperoni; oven roasted turkey; roast beef; Swiss, provolone, and white American cheese already at Pathmark stores in New York and New Jersey. The program will expand to other stores throughout the first half of the year.
Pure Fishing Casts Growing Presence in Licensing
IMC Licensing negotiated multiple new licensing agreements for fishing tackle company Pure Fishing. A line of sport fishing gear and accessories, including technical fishing apparel, will be produced by The Outdoor Recreation Group with on-shelf presence due in February 2008. Outdoor Cap also will create casual and technical headwear for youth, men, and women, while MjC will come to market with men’s loungewear under the Abu Garcia brand.
Charity to Scare Up Interest Through Licensing
The U.S. Fund for UNICEF, a fundraising and advocacy arm of UNICEF, is exploring brand licensing programs around its Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF brand, tapping licensing agency Marketing on Demand to lead the search for partners in the Halloween costume, candy, beverage, and apparel areas. Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF supporters have collected more than $132 million since its first night in 1950.
FUNimation Gets Animated About iTunes Deal
FUNimation Entertainment will make anime series such as Desert Punk, Speed Grapher, and Akira Kurosawa’s Samurai 7 available for download on the iTunes Store (www.itunes.com) for $1.99 per episode.
Beer Brand Taps NJ Agency
Pabst Blue Ribbon selected The Sawtooth Group as its agency of record. The initial campaign is slated for late spring in test markets around the country with a goal of increasing consumer awareness of the beer brand by playing off its cultural attributes while attracting new consumers to the brand. This is the first time in more than five years that Pabst Blue Ribbon will be implementing a substantial advertising campaign.
TV Series Enrolls List of Licensees
Mark Burnett Productions, Inc., expanded its agency relationship with Brand Central LLC to manage the licensing program for its new game show, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?, on Fox. Licensees already enrolled, include Hasbro for board and plug ’n play games; Imagination Games for DVD games; Techno Source for electronic handheld and tabletop games; THQ for PC, Xbox Live Arcade, and mobile games; and Cardinal Games for card and travel games.
ToyQuest Is Just “Mad” About Latest Partnership
ToyQuest signed on with The Mad Science Group for a line of science-related toys and activities. The new fall line will include the Bubble Experimentation Lab, Dinosaur Curator Set, Goo Maker, Hydraulic Robotic Arm, and the Egg Drop Challenge.
HIT Entertainment Says Hola to Digital Network
HIT Entertainment signed its first major Spanish language television deal in the U.S. with V-me, a new national Spanish language 24-hour digital broadcast network presented by public television stations in markets across America. The deal brings more than five of HIT’s preschool programs—including Brambley Hedge, Kipper, Percy the Park Keeper, Rubbadubbers, and The Hoobs—into approximately 60 percent of Spanish-speaking households in the U.S., reaching more than 28 million homes.
New License in the Cards for Bandai Collectible Games
Bandai Collectible Games, a division of Bandai America Inc., secured the collectible card game license for Cartoon Network’s Ben 10 TV series. Bandai America currently serves as the brand’s master toy licensee and offers action figures, vehicles, playsets, and role-play products. Starter decks and booster packs, priced at $9.99 and $3.49, respectively, already are headed to shelves.
Execs on the Move
Sanrio, Inc., appointed Andrea Sobel vice president of marketing. Cookie Jar Entertainment named Brook Hefner public relations manager. Nancy Bailey & Associates, Inc., hired Frances Alvarez as vice president.
Licensing University Conference Registration Is Now Open
In addition to the best introductory workshops you’ll find on the strategies, trends, best practices, and legalities of the licensing business, Licensing International offers many targeted and advanced sessions for current professionals seeking the competitive edge they need now. This year’s program features 20 new sessions addressing vertical trends including “Mobile Licensing 101” and “3 Steps to Building a Successful Food & Beverage Licensing Program.” Flexible Package options can save you hundreds of dollars. Click here for package details, then register here today. Our new housing partner, Travel Planners, has put together a list of hotels to meet every budget. If you don’t see a property of interest, contact Travel Planners at 800.221.3531 (domestic) or 212.532.1660 (international). To book now, click here.
Licensing Poker Tournament at MAGIC
The Licensing Group’s inaugural Licensing Poker Tournament attracted retailers and other licensing industry professionals to the Mirage Poker Room during February’s MAGIC. Advanstar’s Global Licensing Group, World Poker Tour, and K.I.D.S. (Kids in Distressed Situations) would like to thank all players for their participation. The Grand Prize Winner was Jim Hooks, DVP, GMM of Beall’s Outlet Stores. He’ll enjoy a spot on WPT’s World Poker Challenge in Reno, NV. All proceeds from this event were donated to K.I.D.S. Click here to see event photos.
License! Global’s Monthly Survey Question
Give us your opinion! Each month, we’ll feature a different survey question—on subjects ranging from product growth categories and international expansion to retail trends and consumer preferences—on our Website. Then, we’ll feature the final results in the following month’s issue of License! Global. March’s question: How important do you believe retail exclusives are when it comes to launching a property or brand? Let us know at www.licensemag.com.
Submit Licenses Granted & Available Now Online
The License! Finder allows you to submit licenses granted and available now online, which will be published on the License! Global Website (http://www.licensemag.com/) on a weekly basis once approved by an editor. Go to http://www.finder.licensemag.com/ to fill out the verification form and submit your licenses granted or available now. Highlights from each month’s online submissions will be published in License! Global. Any questions, contact Alyson Grala at 212.951.6743 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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