Brands with Influence has signed on to manage the brand licensing of BBC Worldwide's tween/teen show "The Next Step," produced by Temple Street Productions in Canada.
BWI will represent the brand worldwide except in North and South America.
Described as "Glee" meets "Strictly Come Dancing," "The Next Step" follows a group of dancers who have to put their difficulties behind them in order to compete at the highest level of dance championships.
The show has been a success in Canada, Australia and now in the U.K., where a second season is about to hit screens.
In Canada, where the series is currently in its third season, the stars of the show are gearing up for a concert tour in 2015. The brand's licensing program in the country is managed by Segal Licensing, which has recently closed an exclusive direct-to-retail partnership for the brand at Walmart.
“The Next Step offers great entertainment for tweens and teens and we’ve seen the fan base grow rapidly," says Henrietta Hurford-Jones, director of children’s content, BBC Worldwide. "In the UK, for example, audience numbers have increased to an average of 97,000. We are thrilled to be working with BWI to extend the reach of this popular brand and bring the show to life with some truly great licensed product.”
BWI will initial look for licensees in the U.K., Australia, Germany and France, with plans to add additional international territories in the next few months. The company will present the series to licensees for the first time at Brand Licensing Europe Oct. 7-9 and then at MIPCOM the following week.
“Coming on the back of such high demand in other markets, we are delighted to be presenting 'The Next Step' at this year’s BLE," says Henrietta Hurford-Jones, director of children’s content, BBC Worldwide. "This high-energy and original scripted reality drama works on many levels, appealing to boys and girls, as well as parents. We are also seeing how 'The Next Step' works well across multiple platforms including a really engaged social media following and presence online. The website alone receives over 62,000 unique browsers a week.”