Activision Blizzard is upping its game. Steve Young, former executive vice president and chief revenue officer, Activision, will step into the role of president, Activision Blizzard Consumer Products Group.
Tim Kilpin, current president and chief executive officer of the group since 2017, will pass on the title in a transition that will become fully effective as of next month. Kilpin will be retiring.
“I am excited to be taking on the role of president of our consumer products group at Activision Blizzard,” says Young. “The team has delivered some unbelievable accomplishments over the past two years, and I am really excited to be a part of the next chapter in the growth of our consumer products business.”
Young has a deep history with Activision, having joined the organization 14 years ago. Over his tenure, Young has held various senior-level positions, most recently acting as chief revenue officer for the company’s games business.
“When I look at the last couple of years, the Consumer Products team’s accomplishments are pretty remarkable in terms of upgrading our partnerships with some very important licensees, expanding our retail footprint across the world with our retail partners and elevating our esports licensing and merchandising programs, for the ‘Overwatch League’ program in particular. It’s a very talented and successful team and I am thrilled to be taking the helm and working with the group moving forward to drive the growth story.”
Activision Blizzard, which ranked at No. 98 on License Global’s annual Top 150 Global Licensors report in 2018, reporting $262 million in retail sales, has long been a trailblazer among gaming companies and has quickly become a leader in the esports space, with bullish growth in products and merchandise with best-in-class partners across all channels.
Major partnerships and product ranges on the horizon and at market now for the ‘Overwatch’ brand include LEGO building sets, a line of NERF blasters and a figure assortment from Hasbro and the recent first-of-its-kind, multi-year deal with Fanatics, which brings the gaming franchise to omnichannel and includes an expanded assortment of products. The Overwatch League, the professional gaming side of the brand, is heading into its second season on Feb. 14 and has expanded this year to now include 20 teams, up from 12.
“What we are looking to do is elevate our consumer products business and continue to extend with top tier partners who can grow our brands and offer great experiences across a lot of different product categories, expand our business around the world as we globalize our approach and enter new markets and bring our games and franchises into new territories, and then continue to drive our ‘Overwatch League’ business as we evolve esports to competitive entertainment.”