Weekly E-news, Issue #244, December 24, 2007

Rayovac Partners with Disney CharactersA slew of Disney characters, from Cars to The Little Mermaid—and the franchise mascot himself, Mickey Mouse—will beat the drum for Rayovac batteries as part of a wide-ranging deal between Spectrum Brands,

April 6, 2018

Rayovac Partners with Disney Characters

A slew of Disney characters, from Cars to The Little Mermaid—and the franchise mascot himself, Mickey Mouse—will beat the drum for Rayovac batteries as part of a wide-ranging deal between Spectrum Brands, Rayovac’s parent, and the Walt Disney Company. The agreement was negotiated for Disney by a unit named Disney/ABC Unlimited, which woos advertisers across 130 Disney-owned properties.

As part of the deal, Disney will buy from Spectrum millions of packages of Rayovac batteries, which will become the only battery brand that can be bought by visitors at the six Disney theme parks and water parks in the United States.

Spectrum in turn will license from Disney the rights to use the animated characters on packages of Rayovac batteries sold at the Disney parks, as well as at retail chains like Target and Wal-Mart.

Viacom, Microsoft Ink Mega Deal

Viacom and Microsoft Corp. announced a strategic alliance to collaborate on advertising, content distribution, event

promotions, and games over the next five years. Among the agreement’s numerous components, Microsoft will non-exclusively license long- and short-form television and theatrical content from Viacom’s cable TV and motion picture business for use on Microsoft properties, including MSN and Xbox 360. Details of the financial agreement were not disclosed, but the companies project the base value of the deal at $500 million in financial considerations and business services over the agreement's five-year length, including revenue sharing, guarantees, and licensing agreements.

Phillips-Van Heusen to Market DKNY Dress Shirts

Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. has entered into a licensing arrangement with Donna Karan Studio LLC to design, source, and market men’s dress shirts under the DKNY brand in North America. The product will begin appearing in stores in early 2008 with the start of the Spring selling season. The PVH Neckwear Group already markets DKNY ties.

Distribution for the shirts will be principally through better department and specialty stores, as well as through luxury department and specialty stores. It is estimated that the dress shirts will be available in approximately 300 doors by the end of 2008.

It’s Happy Bunny Goes Globe Hopping

CopCorp Licensing continues to grow the It’s Happy Bunny global licensing program with the announcements of a major publishing launch and a significant apparel deal in the Nordic countries.

Egmont has announced plans to roll out two It’s Happy Bunny books—Love Bites and Life. Get One (originally developed by Scholastic)—in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway in 2008, while FipoGroup A/S has been granted the right to make and market It’s Happy Bunny T-shirts, underwear, socks, and nightwear throughout Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland.

Sakar Moves Fast with Speed Racer

Sakar International Inc. has been awarded a license by Warner Bros. Consumer Products to design and develop a full range of consumer electronics based on the upcoming live-action film,

Speed Racer


Sakar will debut its Speed Racer consumer electronics collection to the trade at the International Toy Fair in February 2008. The collection will include digital still and video cameras, alarm clock radios, walkie-talkies, flashlights, MP3 players, text messengers and more. Prices will range from $5-80. Product will launch across all retail channels including mass and specialty to coincide with the May 9 movie release date.

In addition, Sakar was granted the rights to design and develop a full range of consumer electronics for Marvel Entertainment’s Hulk and Iron Man movies, also to be unveiled at International Toy Fair. The collections will include digital cameras, flashlights, spy gear, CD players, MP3 players, and digital video cameras.

“Hollywood Reporter” Series Spans the Globe

Sandra Carter Global has finalized broadcast licensing agreements with a number of leading international broadcasters for its popular, entertainment news-driven series, “The Hollywood Reporter.” New episodes of the series are scheduled to launch in January on SABC (South Africa), HBO (Latin America), TV2 (Bulgaria), CET 21 (Czech Republic), and Canal + (Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway).

The global broadcast lineup for “The Hollywood Reporter” currently includes CHUM TV (Canada), Art Alliance Media (UK), TVM (Russia), Power Sports (Middle East), Broadband TV (Iran), Vanguard Management (Sri Lanka), Loft TV Ipercast (Scandinavia, Canada, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Spain), GrupaOnet (Poland), Asia Today (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives), and Imaj Medya (Turkey), among others.

Mike Ashley in Talks with Nike

UK-based sports retailer and brand owner Sports Direct, headed up by maverick Mike Ashley, is reported to be in talks with Nike about the brand’s acquisition of UK football brand Umbro. Sports Direct owns 29.9 percent of Umbro and could block the deal. The UK’s second largest sports retailer JJB also owns a 10 percent stake in Umbro.

Meanwhile, the UK’s Office of Fair Trading is looking at the Nike-Umbro deal to see if there is potential to refer it to the Competition Commission.

Sports Direct, which floated on the London Stock Exchange in February this year, reported first-half profit before tax down 35 percent to $52 million on sales down 7 percent to £668 million. It issued a profits warning for next year after the England football team was knocked out of the 2008 European Cup last month.

Debenhams in Takeover Speculation

Reports that the UK department store chain Debenhams may be subject to a takeover bid have been circulating after the Dubai-based Landmark Group, through Milestone Resources Group, upped its stake in the business to 7 percent. In July, the Icelandic investment group Baugur, which owns the House of Fraser stores, ruled itself out of any bid for Debenahms for six months following speculation that it was preparing a takeover bid for the business. Landmark and Baugur have been putting together a possible joint bid for U.S. store group Saks Fifth Avenue.

JTMG Gears Up for “Big Brother” Licensing Partners

Joy Tashjian Marketing Group (JTMG), exclusive licensing and merchandising agency for Endemol USA and its hit CBS series “Big Brother,” has launched a comprehensive licensing program to coincide with the debut of the reality show’s 9th season. JTMG has earmarked such categories as games (board games, card games, computer and video games), publishing (‘Best of’ book series), apparel, stationery and paper products, and an extensive array of fan-based merchandise.

Pacific Wheels and Deals with Champion

Pacific Cycle Inc. of Madison, the U.S. supplier of Schwinn, Mongoose, and GT brand bicycles, signed a licensing agreement with Champion System Ltd., a manufacturer of customized performance apparel. Under the multi-tiered sponsorship and licensing agreement, Champion System will become an official licensee for Schwinn, GT Bicycles, and Mongoose cycling apparel and the exclusive technical apparel provider for the GT and Mongoose Pro Mountain and BMX Teams, excluding BMX and mountain bike race pants.

As part of this strategic alliance, GT Bicycles is also joining Champion System as a sponsor of the Jelly Belly Pro Cycling team.

NCircle Spreading the Word

NCircle Entertainment announced that two new WordWorld titles, “Welcome to WordWorld” and “Rocket to the Moon,” will be released for the first time to major mass market and specialty channels on January 15 as part of a multiyear North American content distribution deal with Word World LLC. The 3D CGI animated children’s series will be available at the suggested retail price of $14.99.

Each DVD includes comic and educational adventures totaling 60 minutes of running time combined with four engaging episodes. Each disc contains eight Build-A-Word songs and a music video bonus feature.

Briarpatch Books on Fancy Nancy

Fans of Jane O’Connor’s Fancy Nancy book series will soon be able to enjoy Briarpatch’s newest line of board, puzzle, and card games featuring young Nancy surrounded by très chic clothes and accessories.

The following products will be on store shelves in spring 2008: Fancy Nancy Posh Bedroom Board Game; Fancy Nancy Puzzle Assortment; and Fancy Nancy Card Game.

Brandolution Signs “Sid the Science Kid”

The Jim Henson Co. has designated Los Angeles-based licensing and marketing agency Brandolution to handle all U.S. and Canadian licensing for its newest animated preschool science-readiness series “Sid the Science Kid” (formerly “What’s the Big Idea?”). Brandolution will work with Henson to develop a licensing program across all relevant preschool consumer product categories including toys, books, activities, party, apparel, and home furnishings, with the goal of introducing a tight assortment of key drivers for the 2008 holiday season followed by full product assortment rolling out in 2009.

“Dive Olly Dive!” Swims to New Shores

France-based Taffy Entertainment has signed up “Dive Olly Dive!” (52 x 11’) with broadcasters in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Among the deals, the UK’s GMTV will show “Dive Olly Dive!” on its preschool children’s strand Wakey Wakey, which airs on ITV1 and CiTV channel, and also shows Taffy’s “Fantastic Four” and “Tootuff” (Titeuf).

In Spain, TVE has picked up the series for both terrestrial TV as well as its digital kids’ channel Clan. Further deals for the show include Cartoon Network Latin America, MTV3 in Finland, Cineplex Thailand, and TPI in Indonesia. Local distributors in Poland, South Africa, and English-speaking African territories have also picked up the show.

In Europe, the series currently airs on France 5 and Disney 5, KI.KA in Germany, and Scandinavian public broadcast channels SVT, DR, and NRK. It is also aired on TVO in Canada.

Granada Scores Sponsorship Deal with Heart of Midlothian

Heart of Midlothian Football Club (Hearts) have appointed Granada Ventures Sports Services Division, part of ITV, to market and sell its shirt sponsorship rights for the 2008–09 season. The commercial agent agreement also includes licensing rights to the club, as well DVD publishing.

The Granada Ventures licensing team will be responsible for establishing and managing a licensing program for the club, and ITV DVD, the DVD publishing arm of Granada Ventures, will look after all DVD releases. The deal with Hearts is part of Ventures’ strategy to develop relationships with major regional clubs and to build on sponsorship, licensing, DVD, and Web commercialization opportunities.

Entara Signs New Deals for Dynamic Domo

Multiformat poster company GB Eye and music and entertainment merchandiser Bravado are the two latest licensees signed for Entara’s Dynamic Domo in the UK.

Domo joins GB Eye’s portfolio of brands including The Simpsons, Heroes, High School Musical, SpongeBob SquarePants, WWE, Football, and the new release, Kung Fu Panda, and will retail online from immediate effect.

Bravado’s range of Domo T-shirts and hooded sweatshirts aimed at teens and adults will retail in store and online for rollout scheduled for the beginning of 2008. Domo joins the portfolio including brands such as 24, Prison Break, Dallas, and Sesame Street.

IMC to Represent Bruce Foods

IMC Licensing has entered into a representation agreement with Louisiana-based Bruce Foods, a leading manufacturer of canned Southern vegetables, hot sauces, and Tex-Mex food products for more than half a century. IMC will develop a strategic licensing plan and a portfolio of new brand-building licensed products to support the Bruce Foods and Bruce’s Yams brands.

Zippo Signs Third-Party Licensing Agreement with Leed’s

Leed’s has become the exclusive supplier of Zippo brand products to the promotional products industry. Zippo Manufacturing Co., since its founding in 1932, has produced more than 450 million lighters.

Through Leed’s, customers will have access to Zippo’s line of classic Zippo windproof lighters; Zippo non-flame products in a variety of categories; and multi-purpose lighters, which are sold in retail at Bed, Bath & Beyond; Target; and other retailers.

Zippo has had a presence in the promotional products industry since 1935 through its own promotional products department. Greg Booth, president and CEO of Zippo, explains “this agreement is a great opportunity for Zippo. Strategically it makes sense. We continue to do what we do best—design and produce high-quality lighters—and Leed’s brings its promotional product expertise to the equation.”

The partnership marks Leed’s 15th retail brand relationship.

Iconix Closes Starter Acquisition

Iconix Brand Group Inc. has completed the acquisition of the brand Starter. The purchase price for the transaction was $60 million in cash.

Founded in 1971, Starter pioneered the league licensed apparel business and is currently licensed to several manufacturer/wholesalers selling primarily to Wal-Mart in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Iconix is forecasting 2008 royalty revenue from Starter of approximately $18 million worldwide.

Game Group Keeps Growing

Gaming retailer Game Group, which has over 1,000 branches, has reported that total group sales (including Gamestation from May 2007) were up by 89.1 percent and same-store sales for the same period were up by 44.1 percent for the 45 weeks to Dec. 8.

In the UK and Ireland, total sales were up by 92.3 percent and same-store sales were up by 46.1 percent. In the international business, total sales and same-store sales were up by 80.0 percent and 38.2 percent, respectively. The increase in sales was driven by demand for the Nintendo DS Lite and Wii console.

Earlier this month, the UK Competition Commission gave Game Group’s acquisition of Gamestation a provisional go-ahead. A full decision is scheduled for the end of January 2008.

MTVNI Signs Licensing Deal for Romania

Viacom-owned MTV Networks International’s (MTVNI) emerging markets group and television broadcaster Central European Media Enterprises (CME) have entered into a multiyear licensing agreement granting rights to CME subsidiary PRO TV to operate MTV’s localized channel in Romania.

MTV Romania will join PRO TV’s family of terrestrial and cable entertainment and thematic channels, which reach 82 percent of Romania’s 21.6 million people.

MTVNI’s emerging markets group is the fastest-growing region in the company’s portfolio of multi-platform businesses. It manages 22 television channels, 20 Web sites, two broadband channels, and three mobile TV channels encompassing the MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, VIVA, and Comedy Central brands in Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East.

Lotto Inks Licensing Deal for Eyewear

Surf brand Lotto Sport Italia and Yuka have signed a licensing agreement for the production, marketing, and distribution of prescription glasses and sunglasses for the Lotto brand aimed at active sportsmen and enthusiasts.

The two-year agreement runs until December 2009. Yuka will manage all the design and production of the eyewear, client services, distribution, and post-sales assistance. The Lotto collections will be available at opticians as well as in international Lotto branded stores.

Lotto already has licensed product deals in cosmetics, stationery, underwear, and watches.

H&M Launches Fashion Against AIDS Campaign

Fashion retailer H&M and Designers Against AIDS (DAA) have joined forces to launch a collection for men and women in conjunction with Rihanna, Jade Jagger, Katharine Hamnett, My Chemical Romance, Rufus Wainwright, Scissor Sisters, Timbaland, and other designers, musicians, and artists to spread awareness of HIV/AIDS.

The collection, called Fashion Against AIDS, will move into H&M Divided departments in February 2008. The designers and artists are not taking fees on the collection and 25 percent of the proceeds from the collection will go to HIV/AIDS-prevention projects around the world.

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