31. KATHY IRELAND WORDLWIDE
ROCCO INGEMI, VP, BRAND MANAGEMENT AND RETAIL; CLAUDE ERGAS, INTERNATIONAL MARKETING AND BRANDING CONSULTANT, +1.310.557.2700
kathy ireland Worldwide continues to experience growth, offering designs in better sportswear, fine jewelry, luxury cashmere sweaters/accessories, infant and toddler apparel, socks, footwear, NuGene International, anti-aging skincare for men and women, furniture, flooring, area rugs and hard surfaces, indoor and outdoor lighting, ceiling fans, accessories, window treatments, home office, upholstery, leather and microfiber, top of bed, mattresses, sheets, mattress covers and pillows, candles, hand-painted fine porcelain and decorative shelving. kiWW launched strategic relationships with American Family Insurance, Raymour & Flanigan, Nebraska Furniture Mart, National Business Furniture, Bayes Cleaning solutions, and A&B Home Fashions. kiWW is expanding into several new categories such as fine china and flatware, crystal, organic florals, storage solutions, stationery, towels, sheets, pet products, home remodeling, quick-to-assemble furniture, futons and klik klaks, garden, food, kitchen, bath cabinetry, publishing and children’s educational toys. kathy ireland Designs, ACafé by Chef Andre and Jardin by Nicholas Walker offer casual dining, mattresses, leather and upholstery with Primo International. Design It Yourself Crafting Supplies offers decorative trims, fabrics, stickers, decals and appliques. Other categories include Design it Yourself jewelry, real estate, vacation events, wedding events and planning, wedding program licenses, music and film licenses, publishing and greeting cards. kiWW entered into a multi-year licensing renewal with Pacific Coast Lighting for all indoor/outdoor lighting needs and accessories. A wholly owned kathy ireland Worldwide subsidiary manages licensing and entertainment for Janet Jackson, including her New York Times No. 1 best-selling book True You, which includes 30 recipes for healthy living developed by Chef Andre of ACafé. kiWW also represents global beauty icon José Eber. Key retail partners of kiWW continue to be more than 65,000 independent retail doors, which are located in 50 countries. Fine retailers include Macy’s, and Bed Bath & Beyond. kathy ireland Office can be found at retailers across the country including National Business furniture and Staples. Kathy Ireland philanthropic work supports many non-profits including the Elizabeth Taylor HIV/AIDS Foundation, Feed The Children, Providence Educational Foundation, The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, The Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Defense League and 9-1-1 for Kids.
32. MGA ENTERTAINMENT
BRUCE MORRISON, EVP, GLOBAL SALES AND LICENSING +1.818.894.2525; JULIE BOYLAN, VP, LICENSING +1.818.894.2525
Key franchises include Little Tikes, Lalaloopsy, Moxie Girls, Project MC2 and Bratz. Lalaloopsy continues to be an evergreen preschool property backed by a toy range and has new content on Nickelodeon. MGA has expanded the product categories for Little Tikes to include a newborn range and a preschool fashion program for 2016. Project MC2 entertainment content launches summer 2015 followed by toys and fashion for back-to-school.
$2B (NASDAQ: CMCSA)
AMY TAYLOR, EVP AND GM, STRATEGY, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND OPERATIONS, UNIVERSAL PARTNERSHIPS & LICENSING, +1.818.777.0276
Universal Partnerships & Licensing oversees NBCUniversal’s consumer product and digital licensing for Universal Pictures, NBC Television, Focus Features and Sprout Channel. In 2014, Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s blockbuster franchise Despicable Me saw exponential growth. On the TV side, UP&L saw significant success with The Biggest Loser and Sprout. With $1.5B in box office globally, Despicable Me is bigger than every other animated franchise over its first two films, and even without in-year entertainment, the franchise’s consumer products and promotional programs continued to pick up steam in 2014. Now more than 740 licensees worldwide are developing thousands of SKUs across all categories. Major global retailers across all channels including Walmart, Target, Toys ‘R’ Us, Asda, Liverpool and Big W continue to embrace the brand. To date, retail sales have topped $1 billion. The cornerstone of the Despicable Me franchise licensing program is global master toy partner Thinkway Toys, who won the 2014 Toy Industry Association Boy Toy of the Year with its talking Minion action figure. Hasbro continues to release Minion-themed classic board games and recently unveiled the first-ever Despicable Me Play-Doh products, while Mega Bloks launched construction sets in 2014. In the digital space, Gameloft’s Despicable Me: Minion Rush has over 500 million downloads and won the 2014 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice award for Favorite App, along with the BAFTA Kids’ Vote award for Best Video Game. In 2014, NBC’s The Biggest Loser capped off 10 years and 16 seasons with new partners, including a wearable fitness device, The Biggest Loser vivofit from Garmin; branded publications from Time, Inc.; and two new resort locations. From kids’ network Sprout, the Sprout Channel Cubby kids’ tablet launched at Walmart last August and finished the year as the No. 1 selling children’s tablet, laying the foundation for a strong Sprout merchandising program in the coming years. Furious 7 launched in theaters in April 2015. UP&L developed several noteworthy partnerships, including deals with Xbox which created an original stand-alone experience, Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious; and Kabam who released Fast & Furious: Legacy, the official mobile game of the film series. June 2015 sees the release of the long-awaited next installment in the Jurassic Park film series, Jurassic World. UP&L has signed more than 165 licensees worldwide, including global master toy partner Hasbro and The LEGO Group. In addition, UP&L has developed games across all platforms and age demographics. And in July 2015, Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment will release the prequel, Minions, centering on the iconic Minion characters. Licensees include Thinkway Toys (master toy), Hasbro (games) and Mega Bloks (construction). The property will be supported by significant retail partnerships around the globe. NBC and Esquire Network’s American Ninja Warrior will make its consumer products debut as the show returns for a seventh season in May 2015. Additionally on NBC, Heroes will continue with the miniseries Heroes Reborn. The Biggest Loser franchise will continue expanding with new products from lifestyle partners and retail launches of food and household products. Other TV focuses include The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Battlestar Galactica and The Office. Looking beyond 2015, UP&L is focusing on Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s The Secret Life of Pets, which will release in February 2016. Also in 2016 is an original animated comedy event about courage, competition and carrying a tune, written and directed by Garth Jennings. And in 2017, Despicable Me 3 will release in theaters worldwide and will continue the adventures of Gru, Lucy, their adorable girls and the Minions.
34. THE POKÉMON COMPANY INTERNATIONAL
MONIKA SALAZAR, DIRECTOR, LICENSING, AMERICAS, +1.425.229.6000; MATHIEU GALANTE, SR. MANAGER, MARKET DEVELOPMENT, E.U., +44.20.7381.7000
Pokémon features a wide array of offerings from video games, the Pokémon trading card game, animation and wide variety of licensed lifestyle products, making it one of the most diverse and beloved entertainment franchises in the world. Highly anticipated Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire launched in November and, with only six weeks of sales, became the best-selling set of video games in 2014, adding to the more than 270 million Pokémon video games sold to-date. Excitement for the new titles penetrated the entire brand, leading to Pokémon being top-of-mind among its fan base and beyond. With more than 21.5 billion Pokémon TCG cards shipped globally and nearly 800 episodes currently in its animation library, Pokémon is a long-standing market leader and enjoyed an incredibly strong year at retail in 2014. The popular Pokémon TCG continues to be a leader in the trading card game category at major retail and hobby shop locations around the world. In 2014, four new Pokémon TCG expansions were launched, achieving record sales, and four more sets will launch in 2015, along with various incremental Pokémon TCG products, including collectible tins and box sets. Additionally, an app that enables people to play the Pokémon TCG on Apple devices launched successfully in 2014. The newest Pokémon full-length feature film, Pokémon the Movie: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction, aired on Cartoon Network in the U.S. and other broadcast partners across the globe starting in November 2014, with the launch of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire. For fans of the Pokémon animation series, The Pokémon Company International continued to make available the free Pokémon TV application for Apple and Android devices as well as Roku and Amazon Fire TV. In addition, deals were signed to distribute Pokémon animation on Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, and Amazon, expanding the ways Pokémon fans can access their favorite episodes on demand. Throughout the year, The Pokémon Company International partners with national retailers to distribute Pokémon characters to fans who own the video games. In 2014, Pokémon character distributions were held at different times at GameStop locations in the U.S., EB Games in Canada and other retail partners across Europe. A Pokémon MegaStop debuted at GameStop in-step with the launch of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, offering a one-stop shop for Pokémon product. The Pokémon Company International also supported several key retailers with exclusive items and various other cross-promotions that helped drive retail traffic throughout the year. Building on the breakaway success of numerous Pokémon products like Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire and strong Pokémon TCG sales, the Pokémon brand will enjoy a strong year in 2015. With a newly expanded licensing team at the helm, the department has been restructured for growth. Lifestyle licensing experts have been hired to support three main categories: fashion and home, toy and game and consumer packaged goods. Expanded demographics outside of boys and males now include females 14-plus and adults. By rounding out specialty, expanding mid-tier and introducing new product lines into mass in 2015, the foundation for explosive growth of Pokémon licensed products has been established. The 18th season of Pokémon animation, Pokémon the Series: XY, debuted in February on Cartoon Network in the U.S. and Teletoon in Canada, and launched in April in the U.K. on CITV. The new season will air in other markets around the world throughout 2015. Pokémon’s VOD offerings continue to thrive in 2015, with Pokémon animation available on Netflix, Hulu, iTunes and Amazon. These offerings join Pokémon’s own Pokémon TV app in providing fans hundreds of Pokémon episodes and movies on demand. Pikachu Press, The Pokémon Company International’s publishing arm, features a collection of Pokémon-themed books that include new Pokémon adventures, fun puzzles, sticker collections and more. The Pokémon Company International invests millions of dollars in marketing, advertising and retail promotions in support of Pokémon video games, the Pokémon TCG and the Pokémon brand overall.
35. SEQUENTIAL BRANDS GROUP
$2B (NASDAQ: SQBG)
YEHUDA SHMIDMAN, CEO, +1.646.564.2577
Sequential Brands Group owns, promotes, markets and licenses a portfolio of consumer brands in the fashion, active and lifestyle categories. In 2014, the company closed an acquisition, adding global athletic brands AND1 and Avia to its portfolio, and doubled its annual global retail sales from $1 billion to $2 billion. The acquisition also added new retail partners including Walmart, the Sports Authority and Dick’s Sporting Goods to its distribution platform. With a strong fashion and celebrity portfolio, the company expanded relationships with key retail partners including Nordstrom’s, Lord & Taylor and Macy’s and added movie star Paula Patton as brand ambassador for its fashion brand Ellen Tracy to celebrate its 65th anniversary. 2015 is promising to be Sequential’s best year yet with projected global annual retail sales reaching approximately $3 billion. A significant factor that will drive growth for the company in 2015 includes the recent acquisition of a majority interest in the Jessica Simpson brand. The global fashion brand offers over 31 categories and generates approximately $1 billion in annual retail sales. The company plans to leverage its global activation platform across all brands to further expand into international markets as well as organically grow its brands through e-commerce and new category extensions.
36. BBC WORLDWIDE
CARLA PEYTON, SVP, LICENSED CONSUMER PRODUCTS, +1.212.705.9300
BBC Home Entertainment titles continue to perform solidly at retail, with strong placement at major retailers including Walmart and Target. BBC Earth programming has returned to BBC America and will be showcased on the channel as a premier brand. BBC Worldwide continued its theatrical release schedule in the U.S. with Private Peaceful, Wings 3D and finally the Doctor Who eighth season premiere and theatrical event. BBC Worldwide is also growing its live events business. 2013-14 was a busy year for live events, with shows in the U.K., U.S., Australia, Russia, South Africa, Finland, Hong Kong and China. Walking with Dinosaurs, rated one of the most successful world tours of 2010 (Pollstar), returned from hiatus, roaring into continental Europe in 2012 and returned stateside in June 2014. In the U.K., BBC Worldwide’s live events business continued the Doctor Who Experience in 2013, now a permanent attraction, as well as a Deadly 60-branded area at Longleat Safari Park. This year, CBeebies Land will open at Alton Towers. It has also staged theater and arena tours, concerts, large-scale exhibitions and even themed cruises on Holland America Line in the U.S., titled Dancing with the Stars: At Sea. Doctor Who was once again the No. 1 licensed television brand in specialty retailers including Hot Topic, hitting over $100 million in sales. The brand will be a focal point for growth, adding new product categories and growing consumer products at new and existing retail stores such as Hot Topic, Hastings, Transworld/FYE and more. Sherlock made its North American licensing debut in 2014 with a plethora of licensees ranging from textiles to electronics. Top Gear continues to be a strong broadcast performer with the original U.K. show and local formats. Revenue and growth for BBC Worldwide consumer products is driven by the company’s key core brands: the longest running sci-fi series Doctor Who, Top Gear, natural history division BBC Earth and Dancing with the Stars, with over 40 unique versions currently airing in over 80 countries. Growth over the next year will be driven by the extension of existing licensing properties both in the U.K. and internationally. BBC Worldwide expects to grow revenue with licensing programs around Doctor Who, Top Gear, BBC Earth’s Planet Earth and Frozen Planet, the Walking with Dinosaurs franchise and preschool series such as Sarah and Duck and Dino Paws.