Warnaco Buys Op
The Warnaco Group Inc. is buying Ocean Pacific, with the acquisition expected to close during the third quarter. Warnaco also reported that it returned to the black in the second quarter. For the three months ended July 3, the company posted income of $4.4 million versus a $9 million loss in the same year-ago quarter. Revenues rose 4 percent to $332.1 million from $319.3 million. Warnaco said in a statement that it is acquiring Ocean Pacific, or Op, for $40 million in cash and the assumption of $1 million in debt. The agreement provides for future performance-based payments if certain business targets are met. Dick Baker, president of Op, will join Warnaco and remain president of the operation while reporting primarily to Roger Williams, president of Warnaco’s swimwear group. Baker also will co-report to Joe Gromek, Warnaco’s president and CEO.
Children’s Place Eyes Disney Stores
Children’s Place signed a non-binding letter of intent to acquire the retail division of The Walt Disney Co. The discussions also involve operating the Disney Store chain under a license agreement, according to published reports.
More “STUFF” Headed to Retail Shelves
The STUFF by Hilary Duff fashion brand will expand into new international territories and into new retail tiers in the U.S. Kmart stores in Australia (Coles-Myer Group) and New Zealand take on the line in August as do Pimkie-Orsay stores throughout Europe, excluding the UK. The expectation is that Hudson’s Bay Company will renew its exclusive partnership and continue to support the line at Zellers stores across Canada.
Due for holiday are plush wish puppies and adopt-a-pony programs at an exclusive retailer. The brand, managed by Bravado International Group (Sanctuary Music Group), will roll out select mid-tier, department, specialty, and mass-market destinations throughout the U.S. in 2005.
Licensing Program Underway for The Fantastic Four
The licensing wheels are already in motion for The Fantastic Four, co-produced by 20th Century Fox and Marvel Studios due July 1, 2005. On the merchandising and licensing end, Marvel Enterprises has assembled more than 25 licensees worldwide including Toy Biz Worldwide (master toy licensee), Activision (interactive video games), Russ Berrie (plush), Mega Bloks (construction toys), Jakks Pacific (plug-and-play games), Jay Franco (domestics), Meredith Books (sound storybooks), and Sara Lee (underwear). Several additional deals currently are in the final stages of negotiation. Initial merchandise will be on shelf spring 2005.
Springs Supports Mattel Licenses
Springs Industries signed a multi-license deal with Mattel to create home collections for My Scene, Polly Pocket, Barbie, Hot Wheels, and Matchbox. First products will ship in January after previews by retailers in the third quarter. The new collections will target different demographics with My Scene bedding, bath, and fabric aimed at ’tweens. For the Barbie and Polly Pocket brands, the company will create bedding, crafts, and fabrics, and bath for Barbie only. For boys, a bed and bath program is on tap, while Matchbox toddler bedding, fabrics, and crafts will be skewed to toddlers.
Baby Einstein Expands Product Portfolio
The Baby Einstein Co. is extending into baby gear, party supplies, and soft bath products through deals with Graco, Hallmark, and Hamco, respectively. The new product lines will incorporate the themes—such as music, language, art, nature, science, colors, and shapes—captured in the brand’s videos, books, playthings, and toys. They also will feature iconic Baby Einstein characters, real world images, and classical music as appropriate.
HarperCollins Retains New Agency
HarperCollins Children’s Books retained The Gotham Group to represent its children’s and young adult titles for film, television, video, and allied rights. Among the titles to be represented are “Olive’s Ocean” by Kevin Henkes, “Septimus Heap” by Angie Sage, and “The Riddles of Epsilon” by Christine Morton-Shaw, as well as works by children’s authors including William Steig, Katherine Paterson, Beverly Cleary, Margaret Wise Brown, Jack Prelutsky, Sarah Weeks, and Aliki.
Amy Coe Designs Ripe for Expansion
Designer Amy Coe will extend the scope and reach of her business with the help of agent Ripe Ideas via an exclusive multi-year deal. Known primarily for children’s bedding and accessories, Coe will create products for children’s clothing and layette, accessories, health and beauty care, books, and paper goods.
Primedia Extends Content to New Level
Primedia Enterprises will bring its content to wireless devices via a deal with MFORMA Group. The deal provides consumers with content fromAbout.com an online source for food, health, movies, soaps, and other topics, and IntelliChoice.com, an online automotive information provider. MFORMA’s applications pull content from Primedia’s Websites and tailor it to fit the screens of most wireless devices. Verizon Wireless customers with Mobile Web 2.0-capable handsets can access this new service by going to “News & Info” on the new Mobile Web 2.0 home screen.
Everlast Worldwide Supports New Reality Series
Everlast Worldwide Inc. is giving its brand the one-two punch as the exclusive supplier of equipment, activewear, T-shirts, and shoes for upcoming reality TV series The Contender. As part of its deal with Contender Partners LLC, formed by Mark Burnett Productions, DreamWorks LLC, and Foot Locker, Everlast will unveil a “Contender” hangtag branding campaign exclusively in Foot Locker stores in October. The Contender is a new unscripted drama due in November about the lives of 16 promising boxers. Sylvester Stallone and Sugar Ray Leonard will mentor these young boxers as they compete for a million dollar prize. Going forward, Everlast also will explore additional licensing opportunities with Contender Partners LLC.
TIA Courts Speakers for Conference Program
Toy Industry Association, Inc., is accepting speaker presentation proposals from qualified experts and/or companies that can provide case studies on toy industry topics for next year’s Toy Fair. The theme for the conference program (February 21-22) at the Javits Center is “Play Meets Profit,” with seminars reflecting timely, market-driven insights that can be immediately applied to real world challenges. Topics of interest to the independent retailer are also of paramount interest. For more information, contact Beth-Ellen Keyes at [email protected]
Enter the MIPCOM Jr. Licensing Challenge
Organized in partnership with License! magazine, the MIPCOM Jr. Licensing Challenge will take place during MIPCOM Jr., October 2-3 in Cannes, France. If you are a producer or creator of children’s entertainment, we invite you to submit and pitch new properties. Entries must be received by License! and/or MIPCOM Jr. no later than August 31. For more information, guidelines, and an application, visit www.mipcomjunior.com or www.licensemag.com Following preselection (executed by License! editors), five properties will move to the next stage of the challenge. At MIPCOM Jr., in front of a live audience, finalists will have the opportunity to “pitch” their properties (and ultimately learn the potential for their property) to an international jury, chaired by Warren Kornblum, chief marketing officer, Toys “R” Us.
Link—Licensing International Networking Conference, November 2-4, 2004, Miami, FL
The complete Link conference program now is available online at www.linkconference.com. Conference sessions discuss Promotions & Co-Branding, State of Retail, Marketing to Demographics, Financial & Legal Issues, and European and Latin American Licensing. Conference speaker highlights include keynote speaker Todd Kahn, EVP & COO of Sean John; Tom Miller, global managing director of research firm NOP World; Simon Brown, Woolworths (UK); and the Link Entertainment Roundtable, which includes panelists from Disney Consumer Products Worldwide, MGM, Sony Consumer Products, Universal Studios Consumer Products, and Warner Bros. Consumer Products Worldwide. If you’re thinking about expanding your licensing business, think Link. Register now at www.linkconference.com
In September, License!’s automotive feature transports you to the lap of luxury. In addition, September focuses on back-to-school/SHOPA, celebrity chefs, and entertainment/broadcasting trends in advance of MIPCOM—a perfect editorial environment for character, brand, and entertainment properties. Contact your account managers, Ben Zachariah at (212) 951-6705 or Pauline Ng at (212) 951-6698, for more information.
For more licensing news and features, visit www.licensemag.com For more information on DIC Entertainment’s latest licensing efforts, visit www.dicentertainment.com