NBA Inks Major Equipment Deal
The National Basketball Association entered into a new eight-year global partnership with Russell Corporation. The $125 million deal marks one of the largest equipment deals in sports and demonstrates the synergy of Russell’s acquisition of Spalding and Huffy Sports. The Spalding NBA GameBall will continue to be the only basketball used during all NBA practices, exhibitions, games, and international competitions. Spalding maintains the exclusive rights to produce and sell NBA and team-identified basketballs in all sizes. Huffy Sports will manufacture NBA backboards featuring the Spalding and Huffy Sports brand names for both recreational and competitive play.
Genius Products Retains The Joester Loria Group
Genius Products, Inc., named The Joester Loria Group exclusive licensing agency for its Baby Genius and Kid Genius brands with the goal of creating strategic marketing and merchandising initiatives to support the retail launch of Baby Genius and Kid Genius products. Baby Genius currently includes more than 25 music CDs and seven animated titles available on DVD and VHS. Targeting a slightly older audience, the Kid Genius brand features two CD collections of children’s music designed to capture kids’ attention, teach them rhymes and rhythms, and appeal to their imagination.
Bob the Builder Joins PBS Kids Lineup
Bob the Builder kicks off the New Year with a new broadcast home at PBS Kids. In January 2005, PBS KIDS will host the broadcast premiere of never-before-seen-on-TV Bob the Builder episodes. The series is produced by animation studio HOT Animation and presented by Connecticut Public Television (CPTV).
Alaska Momma Partners with Big Tent Entertainment
Alaska Momma tapped Big Tent Entertainment as its worldwide management agency. Under the new deal, Big Tent will assume the day-to-day management responsibilities for the company’s portfolio and maximize the retail potential of Alaska Momma’s stable of artists, photographers, and designers through strategic licensing and promotional programs. Shirley Henschel will continue in her role as CEO of Alaska Momma.
The Muppets Re-Emerge After Hiatus
The Muppets are back in the spotlight again with an official Website debuting at
In development since The Walt Disney Co. acquired the brand earlier this year, the site will serve as a marquee entertainment and promotional platform for the brand’s integrated revitalization strategy. As part of the strategy, the Muppets Holding Company is focusing on bringing new content to life across a variety of platforms including television, film, live entertainment, and synergistic endeavors within the Disney family. Additionally, MHC will launch new licensed products into the market.
Bratz Get Musical
Universal Music Enterprises will create the first ever CD music project featuring the Bratz fashion dolls in a new deal with MGA Entertainment. Some of the top producers and songwriters in the music industry currently are preparing a Bratz album, set for release next year.
Snapple Signs Cool Deals
CoolBrands International steps up its licensing efforts, signing two deals. The first will bring a line of Snapple ice pops and frozen novelties in a multi-year license deal with Snapple. Snapple ice pops will feature flagship flavors and Snapple Real Facts on every stick and will be available in grocery and convenience stores in spring 2005. CoolBrands also partnered with American Greetings on a line of Care Bears frozen snacks in single-serve and multi-packs. The first product line will be launched in early 2005 with Care Bears Low Fat Ice Cream Sandwiches.
Fab/Starpoint Signs Deal with Benetton
Fab/Starpoint will manufacture and distribute a Benetton-branded line of coordinated accessories, school supplies, and room décor for kids, teens, and young adults. The line will launch to mid-tier and department stores and better specialty stores for back-to-school 2005. Benetton teamed up with The Licensing Company NA to deliver its long-term licensing vision in the North American market.
PorchLight to Develop New Preschool Property
PorchLight Entertainment adds Baxter to its 2005 animation development slate. The half-hour series will be produced with two 11-minute interchangeable segments. Always curious and bounding with energy, Baxter interacts with nature like a child, in environments that are readily accessible to children—for example, backyards and parks. Baxter was created by Gerry Renert, co-creator and executive producer of ToddWorld, and illustrated by Barry Gott. The series will utilize a curriculum developed by Laurine DiRocco and Linda Rosenblatt (UCLA School of Education) in association with PorchLight.
Kinkade’s Home Décor Presence Expands
The Thomas Kinkade Co. signed deals with Spode and Franco Manufacturing as the company looks to expand its presence in the home category. Spode will create three themed collections of dinnerware and giftware for the specialty store channel and a collection of limited-edition home décor for the Thomas Kinkade Signature and Showcase galleries. Franco will create three lifestyle collections of fashion bedding under the themes of Cabins, Cottages, and Citiscapes inspired by Kinkade’s paintings and the message of home, comfort, tradition, and family.
License!’s Weekly E-News will be on hiatus the week of December 28 and will return January 4. Best wishes for a Happy, Healthy 2005!
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