For this newly promoted executive who now heads a combined commercial group of Endemol and Shine 360° as a result of the merger of these two TV entertainment companies, mastering the art of best practices and sharing ideas in local territories around the globe is the top priority.
|Branco Scherer, managing director, commercial partnerships, Endemol Shine|
Branco Scherer, who joined Endemol more than six years ago, was promoted to managing director, commercial partnerships, in June to lead a team that is focused on growth and development of new international brand partnerships, licensing, merchandising and digital for its existing portfolio and for potential new brands outside the company.
The Endemol Shine global portfolio includes such properties as "MasterChef," "MasterChef Junior," "Bullseye," "Big Brother," "Hell on Wheels," "Kingdom," "The Biggest Loser," "Steve Harvey," "Wipeout, "The Money Drop," "Deal or No Deal" and "Mr. Bean."
"Bringing together the people behind the success of Shine 360° and the Endemol commercial board creates a world-class team of commercial talent with an exceptionally broad range of experience and expertise," explains Scherer. "The key objective is to connect and support all our local commercial talent around the world, whilst exploring opportunities in new areas of business with exciting worldwide potential."
Scherer's team includes Lorraine Burgess, director, commercial and digital development; Frances Adams, director, brand development; Ingrid Akkerman, director, brand relations; and Mark Rosenegk, director, brand partnerships.
While TV production is at the core of the Endemol Shine Group with 358 TV productions across 167 TV channels in 55 territories for the first half of 2015, Scherer says that the company is positioning itself as a premium content company with apps and online video a key growth area.
On the commercial business side, Scherer says Endemol Shine is active in 30 countries, which basically represents 30 different local businesses linked together.
"The local businesses have a high degree of freedom which we really treasure–it is the local businesses that are very much driving the overall business," he says. "The key is to identify a local success and try to replicate it with the snap of a finger.
"This is exactly how properties like 'Big Brother' and 'Wipeout,' for example, started," he adds. "Something happens in a country, the format is created, it's successful and then it's replicated. In two to four weeks we can have it on any TV executive's desk throughout the world."
The role of the commercial group, says Scherer, is not a top-down management business, but it is set up to connect all the commercial activities in all the countries.
"We are able to identify where we are doing something right and how can we leverage that to other countries," he says. "The objective is two-fold–on the one hand, it's an internal coordinating role to commercialize local activities, identify and find successes and share best practices across the group so we can replicate that. On the other hand, because everyone has such a local view about their markets, we need to have an international group to leverage our international skills, do territory deals and bring several markets together."
While there are dozens of examples of local licensing deals from books to kitchenware, textiles and appliances, the key, according to Scherer, is to leverage all aspects of the group's business, including the various sponsorships and co-branding deals.
For example, Endemol Shine recently announced a deal with retail marketing company TCC to develop exclusive loyalty programs for the "MasterChef" franchise. Customers that purchase "MasterChef" products such as bakeware, cookware, cutlery, knives and/or kitchen utensils will receive bonus points that can then be redeemed at participating retailers.
Another example of Scherer's best practices philosophy are pop-up "MasterChef"-branded restaurants across Asia that will be similar to locations in Australia and the U.K. "MasterChef" restaurants are planned in five different pan-Asian territories, with the first one opening in Singapore.
"We created an operations manual that literally describes every aspect of running the restaurant including menu templates, training, safety and security guidelines that can be easily used in various markets," he says. "It also offers additional opportunities for other licensees and sponsors that help us connect different parts of the overall business."
Scherer says he is now in discussion with a European investor to replicate "The Biggest Loser" resort model (which was launched in the U.S. several years ago) into international markets.
Looking to the future, Scherer believes there are significant growth opportunities in the digital business through apps, online gaming and digital content, both as a licensor and licensee. With the ability to develop gaming internally, Endemol Shine has created games for "The Money Drop" and "Deal or No Deal," as well as an online game for Warner Bros.' Austin Powers property.
Scherer says that "Legends of Gaming," which originated in the U.K. and features YouTube gaming stars playing in tournaments, also has potential for brand extensions. Created by Endemol Beyond, a "Legends of Gaming Live" event was held at Alexandra Palace in North London last month and will be launched in Germany soon. There are further plans to introduce it in the U.S. and other markets, as well.
Another growth area, Scherer says, is FlipSide, a social talent agency in the U.K. He believes that there is opportunity to represent the new talent and create content.
In the kids' space, Scherer believes there are additional opportunities for brand extensions and digital products based on the animated version of "Mr. Bean" and the "Simon's Cat" property, in which Endemol Shine U.K. recently acquired a controlling interest. The "Simon's Cat" series, founded in 2008 by illustrator, animator and director Simon Tofield, claims 650 million views and 3.5 million subscribers on YouTube.
With all the brands in the Endemol Shine portfolio and his best practices strategy, Scherer has a long list of projects in development and a clear path to future growth.