Veteran licensing executive, Kevin Suh is working with WildBrain CPLG to build out the global LBE strategy. Based in Los Angeles, Suh’s remit includes driving key opportunities across territories worldwide. Additionally, highly experienced executive Evi Sari joins the WildBrain CPLG senior leadership team in China as vice president, location-based entertainment, to spearhead the agency’s LBE strategy in APAC and the GCC. Based in Shanghai, she will drive regional opportunities for WildBrain’s franchise brands, including “
,” “Inspector Gadget” and “
,” as well as for third-party brands, such as Peanuts and PLAYMOBIL. She reports to Maarten Weck, executive vice president, managing director, WildBrain CPLG.
Additionally, major new LBE deals brokered in China for Peanuts, “Teletubbies” and “In the Night Garden,” with Max-Matching Entertainments, a developer, investor and operator of international cultural and IP visitor attractions. The new deals include opening Family Entertainment Centres (FECs) and IP-themed hotel rooms for each brand in Beijing, Zhongshan City, Guangdong and a city yet to be announced.
Set to roll out over the next five years, the IP activations will be part of new retail, leisure and entertainment destinations in Beijing and Zhongshan. These projects will feature IP experiences in large-scale mixed-use commercial complexes developed for Chinese families to engage with beloved entertainment brands. With a deep understanding of Chinese consumers and insights into the Chinese market, Max-Matching continues to leverage data and innovative solutions to ensure seamless product adaptation, curation, development and implementation to ensure long-term success in the market. The new projects will breathe new life into the vital regions. In Beijing, the FECs will be part of the planned Beijing Municipal Administrative Center Cultural Tourism Area, where a new 100-hectare retail and entertainment complex will be developed next to the Universal Beijing Resort. In Zhongshan, the FEC will be part of the waterfront commercial complex, which includes high-rise towers, a convention center, five-star hotels and high-end residential under development in the Greater Bay Area, a special economic zone in South China linking eleven cities, including Hong Kong, Macao and Shenzhen.
The news comes at a time of accelerating growth for LBE opportunities in the APAC region. According to AECOM’s “2021 China Theme Park Pipeline Update” report, China is now the second largest market for theme parks in the world, and this pace of growth is set to continue with some 80 new theme parks expected to open by 2025, reflecting a combined sector investment of approximately $47 billion.
“We’re delighted to partner with Max-Matching on LBE activations in China for Peanuts, ‘Teletubbies’ and ‘In the Night Garden,’ says Sari. “They are an organization with a deep understanding of international IP and high-quality, location-based entertainment, as well as strong strategic relationships and cooperation agreements with major developers and government stakeholders. Their new projects have premium locations in Beijing and Zhongshan, making them ideal destinations for children and families to visit and enjoy popular entertainment brands. Our new LBE business is off to a great start as we continue to enhance WildBrain CPLG’s offering to brands and partners around the world.”
“Max-Matching is committed to bringing world-level top IP experiences to China,” says Owen Zhao, president, Max-Matching. “We are immensely proud to announce our collaboration with WildBrain CPLG, who bring deep expertise in IP licensing and a strong understanding of what it takes to interpret beloved IPs such as Peanuts, Teletubbies and In the Night Garden into real-world experiences to establish strong emotional connections with guests. With the rapid development of China’s economy and rising demand for high-quality leisure and entertainment experiences, Max-Matching is excited to explore further collaborations with WildBrain CPLG on outdoor theme parks, FECs, themed hotel rooms, themed F&B and retail. We look forward to potentially expanding our partnership in the future to create diverse branded offerings that will be anchor family attractions in urban mixed-use destinations in China.”
Location-based experiences is the theme for this year’s
, which takes place at London’s ExCeL from Oct. 4-6.
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