Coca-Cola, Morphe Cheers to Makeup Collection


Morphe has announced a makeup collaboration with Coca-Cola to create a collection of cosmetics accessories and makeup.

This marks the first time The Coca-Cola Company has invested in high-end beauty space. The collection includes an eyeshadow palette, makeup brushes, highlighters, beauty sponges and lip colors, all emblazoned with Coca-Cola branding.

The collection is now available in the U.K., U.S., Canada and Australia on

For Morphe, the collection follows on the company’s recent partnership with Benefit Cosemetics that was announced earlier this year. The two brands joined forces in March to launch a line of makeup brushes.

Crunchyroll Reveals New Slate of Licensing Deals

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Crunchyroll has announced a slate of summer licensing partnerships across various categories and series. 

“We are excited to announce these new licensing partnerships that serve our fans with quality products based on the shows they are passionate about,” says John Leonhardt, consumer products head, Crunchyroll.

Titles including “Bananya,” “Black Clover,” “Food Wars!” and “Mobile Suit Gundam,” were licensed to Bioworld for apparel and accessories and Trends International for posters.

“Given” was licensed to Great Eastern and Bioworld for apparel and accessories. “Welcome to Demon School! Iruma Kun,” “Haikyu!!” “The Quintessential Quintuplets,” “Sarazanmai” and “That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime” were also licensed to Great Eastern for apparel and accessories.

“Cardcaptor Sakura:Clear Card,” “Dr. STONE” “Mob Psycho 100” and “Yuri!!! on ICE” were licensed to Trends International for posters.“The Junji Ito Cat Diary: Yon & Mu” was granted to Ripple Junction for apparel and accessories. “RADIANT” was licensed to Bioworld for apparel and accessories.

Crunchyroll’s new partnerships come following the recent announcement that Jérôme Manceau has been hired as the company’s new marketing director.  

Kraft Heinz Announces new Planters and Kool-Aid Branded Collectibles


The Kraft Heinz Company has announcenced a licensing agreement with ecommerce pop-culture collectible company, Youtooz. 

Youtooz will bring Planters’ Baby Nut and the Kool-Aid Man to life through new collectibles. The deal was brokered by Kraft Heinz’s exclusive licensing agency Brand Central LLC.

The licensed Baby Nut figure will debut this summer online for pre-order on Youtooz’s website. The Kool-Aid Man vinyl figure and plush will also be soon after later this summer.

In addition to Youtooz, Brand Central is continuing to launch a number of new products and driving growth for the Kraft Heinz brands. In April, Brand Central and Kraft Heinz announced licensing partnerships with licensees such as Mad Engine and Zuru.

Chris Urban, vice president, general manager, Mealtime Stories, Kraft Heinz recently outlined the Kraft Heinz brand strategy during a keynote at Licensing Week Virtual. Register for the first-ever Licensing Week Virtual to watch the full keynote on-demand.

Mattel Appoints Head of Sustainability

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Mattel has announced that Pamela Gill-Alabaster is joining Mattel as the head of sustainability.

In her role,  Gill-Alabaster will  lead the company’s sustainability work and further drive Mattel’s purpose-driven efforts. She will report to Richard Dickson, president and chief operating officer.

“Pam is a seasoned leader with a proven track record for identifying key sustainability priorities, building a sustainability strategy with a design-led and brand purpose-driven perspective and driving cross-functional collaboration and outcomes,” says Dickson. “She will play a key role in driving Mattel’s sustainability journey and we are excited to welcome her to the team.”

In her former roles, Gill-Alabaster drove efforts to minimize environmental impact of companies, enhance social and governance practices, develop and publish sustainability metrics and create long-term sustainability and brand purpose strategies. 

Gill-Alabaster has previously led the sustainability work and teams for several Fortune 500 consumer goods companies such as L’Oréal, Estée Lauder Companies and Revlon. Most recently, she worked at Centric Brands who is a licensee for Calvin Klein, Under Armour, Michael Kors and BCBG. 

“I look forward to working with Richard, and in collaboration with our internal teams, to continue to advance Mattel’s leadership in sustainability and support the company’s strategic objective to create stakeholder value,” says Gill-Alabaster. “I am thrilled to be part of an organization with a deeply embedded purpose and to have the opportunity to build on Mattel’s pioneering practices and established goals to lead positive environmental and social change.”

Early this year, Mattel launched a collection of sustainability products as part of its continued commitment to achieve 100 percent recycled, recyclable or bio-based plastic materials in their products and packaging by 2030.

Cultural Institutions: A Guide to the Heritage Brands in Demand

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Carlin West, chief executive officer, The Carlin West Agency, Lauren Sizeland, licensing head and business development, V&A and Julie Newman, chief executive officer and founder, Jewel Branding and Licensing discussed the emergence of cultural institutions in a panel at Licensing Week Virtual. 

Cultural institutions held the smallest market share of brand licensing’s $292.8 billion global revenue in 2019, precisely 0.5 percent, according to the Licensing International Annual Report 2020. 

While the percentage of actual market share may be comparatively small, the category is defined by positive growth in consumer demand, widespread market penetration, endless archives of heritage assets and dedication to quality. 

“The recent Licensing International survey listed non-profit as one of the fastest-growing sectors in the licensing industry, and that’s what we're seeing here in the U.S. market,” says Julie Newman, founder, chief executive officer, Jewel Branding. “What is interesting about cultural institutions is that they have an immense archive, or they support a cause, or are not-for-profit. For example, the New York Botanical Garden, one of our clients, has an archive that dates back to the 12th century and we have developed a slew of licensed products based on that amazing archive.” 

Non-profit was one of the fastest-growing sectors in licensing in 2019 – up 18 percent over 2018 – according to Licensing International, and while the lockdowns of 2020 have placed stress on cultural institutions, the growth of the sector and demand from consumers across the world stood its ground. 

“We don't have any boundaries in terms of reach,” says Lauren Sizeland, head, licensing, V&A. “So, we work with companies in East Asia, U.S. and throughout Europe, and the fact is we have millions of objects but this lockdown is giving us confidence that we can work remotely. It doesn't matter where we are in [or] what we do, because what we're licensing is digitized. We've got imagery [and] digital metadata to accompany our imagery. All of our approvals have been done online over the last five years or so. It's pretty much business as usual.” 

The traditional reasoning behind cultural and heritage licensing – being to fund the institutions themselves – is transforming. Global market activity has fueled the non-profit industry’s dedication to unparalleled quality, authentic partnerships, far-reaching brand awareness and life-enhancing product design across all price points, making licensing a valid new market for heritage brand owners. 

“What makes it compelling is it is very much an evergreen property,” adds Newman. “Archives and artifacts and rare books, these things never go out of style. So, there's always something to draw from. I think that what's cool about cultural institutions is that you can create very compelling stories that consumers want to know about.” 

You can view the full panel Cultural Institutions: The Next Emerging Market for Licensing hosted by Carlin West of The Carlin West Agency by registering for Licensing Week Virtual

Equality in Business: How to Avoid the Don Draper Success Prototype


Creating a culture of equality isn’t just a brand necessity but a proven way to outperform as a brand, according to Michelle King, director, inclusion, Netflix.

King highlighted exactly how to make equality a competitive advantage during Wednesday’s Licensing Week Virtual keynote.

“Very few companies have been able to make equality a competitive advantage because they're not actually clear on what the problem is,” says King. “If we're not clear on the problem we're trying to solve it's very difficult to put solutions in place that are going to meet it. So today, a lot of our diversity and inclusion strategies [are] kind of like throwing mud at a wall.”

During the discussion, King highlighted how many of the initiatives being rolled out today are not getting to the core of the harmful elements at play in society. She spoke about the prevalence of unconscious bias and the damage hardwired underlying success prototypes can have to organizations.

“Research finds on average around 70 percent of all organizations - irrespective of geographies or locations or context - have what we call an underlying success prototype hardwired,” adds King. “A prototype is when you think of what the ideal world would look like in organizations today. Whether you're a man or a woman, you're most likely going to think of what I call the ‘Don Draper-prototype’ right – if you've seen ‘Mad Men’ you'll understand that reference – but it’s the 1950s manager of ideal; a white middle class heterosexual able-bodied male. But importantly it's not just the visual image in terms of demographics, it's the kind of behaviors that a leadership ideal engages in. Someone who is dominant, assertive, aggressive, competitive, exclusionary, willing to make work the number one priority, that is the standard in most organizations for what good looks like.”

By embracing the image of a ‘Don Draper Prototype’ – the pre-conceived perception of what a successful leader looks like or behaves – an organization will set in motion a wide range of psychological, behavioral and cultural obstacles throughout the business. However, by creating a culture that represents the values of a brand, training a leader that can tackle social challenges and nurture a workplace that rewards different behavioral approaches, as well as encouraging values outside of classic prototypes, brands can bolster the entire foundations of its organization.

"A recent McKinsey diversity study shows that, when we look at diverse teams or more gender diversity, they are 25 percent more likely to outperform their peers in terms of profitability, and if you take that and relate it back to race in terms of racial and ethnic minority groups, teams that are more diverse are 36 percent more likely to outperform their peers in terms of profitability,” adds King. “When it comes to productivity, when you have generally more racial, ethnic and gender diverse teams you're looking at a 46 percent higher productivity. But then, when we look at innovation, creativity, the ability to problem solve, collaborate and work together, when people feel like they belong, they feel valued and companies find that employees are six times more likely to have an innovation mindset.”

So, what can brands do internally to address equality openly? From managing moments of inequality to unpacking issues on a company-wide scale, an open culture of equality must be reflected from the foundations of the business right through to the brand.

“It's not just the awareness piece and disrupting denial, but you must have a deep understanding as to how these barriers are showing up in your workplace,” says King. “That means treating inequality like a business problem. It's important for leaders to get teams together to sit down to talk about the issues and to treat it like a business problem, [so they can] put a plan in place that makes sense for some of these issues.”

Equality is a global issue that requires everyone’s involvement to make work, work for you. For more information from Michelle King’s in-depth keynote Creating a Culture of Equality with Jewel Branding, register for Licensing Week Virtual to watch the full video, on-demand.

Sesame Workshop Appoints New Head of Creative


Sesame Workshop has tapped Kay Wilson Stallings as the new head of creative, according to the The Hollywood Reporter.

Wilson Stallings has been promoted to serve as the executive vice president of creative and production for the nonprofit, replacing Brown Johnson, who retired in May after working in the role for five years.

"Kay is the right leader to helm Sesame Workshop’s creative efforts as we embark on our next 50 years,” Jeffrey D Dunn, chief executive officer, Sesame Workshop told The Hollywood Reporter. “Beyond possessing a true wealth of knowledge and experience in creating thoughtful children’s programming, Kay is passionate about our ethos and mission – to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. In her nearly five years at Sesame Workshop, she has been a champion for new and diverse voices in all areas of the creative process, from founding the Sesame Workshop Writers’ Room to the animated screen. The future of our educational programming is in outstanding hands.”

Wilson Stallings will oversee “Sesame Street’s” domestic production, beginning with its 52nd season. She will work with Sesame Workshop’s international teams to expand the program’s global presence and she will oversee all of Sesame Workshop’s current productions with content at HBOMax, PBS and Apple TV+.

In 2015, Wilson Stallings joined Sesame Workshop as senior vice president creative. She has earned 17 Emmy nominations and she founded the “Sesame Street” Writers' Room in 2017, which aims on giving fellowships to new talent from underrepresented racial backgrounds. 

“I am excited and honored by the opportunity to lead the creative team at Sesame Workshop,” says Wilson Stallings. “The television I watched growing up, including ‘Sesame Street,’ greatly influenced the person I am today. The chance to help shape the creative of ‘Sesame Street’ — and all of the current and future beloved programs in the Sesame Workshop family — is a dream come true.”

Wilson Stallings previously worked at Nickelodeon for 16 years, where she held roles such as senior vice president, development.

Doing Good and Learning More: Licensing Week Virtual Day 2


Day two of Licensing Week Virtual kicked off on Tuesday, June 16, providing a breadth of new  online opportunities for the licensing industry. The theme of the day, characters and entertainment, brought out some of the most well-known executives in the licensing industry who shared tips and strategies via online keynotes and various panels. From listening to speakers to networking and “walking” the virtual show floor, there was something for everyone in the industry to enjoy. Here’s your recap of the second day of this inaugural event – and all it had to offer.


The Future of Consumer Products and Retail: Top Execs Share Where We Go from Here

Tuesday’s Licensing Week Virtual keynote – hosted by Pam Kaufman, president, ViacomCBS Consumer Products – brought together a panel of experts from Penguin Random House, Just Play, Family Dollar and Kellogg’s to discuss innovation and leadership in today’s consumer products space. 

The consumer products business has had to innovate, evolve and respond to rapidly changing consumer trends. With lockdowns lifting in certain parts the world as well as social issues coming to light involving diversity and racial equality, the panel looked at how consumerism changed as life, as we knew it, was put on hold.  

To gain in-depth insights into what’s to come and to learn how brands are innovating in the consumer products space – from plushes with facemasks that reduce children’s anxiety to providing comfort through brands and adapting to consumer feedback – watch the full keynote session with ViacomCBS by registering for Licensing Week Virtual. 


What Do Licensees Want?

On day two of the “What Do Licensees Want?” panel at Licensing Week Virtual, licensees from across the spectrum sat down with Marty Malysz, president and founder, Dependable Solutions, to share the new challenges facing them in 2020. Leaders from Picnic Time, P&G and Aquarius Entertainment Merchandising joined the discussion to highlight what licensees are looking for during this “new normal.”

The challenges presented to licensees, and just about every business, have evolved with the COVID-19 pandemic. As retailers have shut down and people have been stuck at home, many licensees have been examining ways that they can redirect their resources to ensure their business can handle these sudden and radical changes.

To hear the full panel discussion on how executives are rising to the challenge and securing licensees, register for Licensing Week Virtual today.


Digital to Physical: Bridging Online Brands to On-Shelf Success!

An informative panel discussion led by Stu Seltzer, president, Seltzer Licensing, broke down the keys to converting a digitally successful brand into on-shelf success. Panelists included Eric Karp, senior vice president, global brand licensing, BuzzFeed/Tasty; Taylor Carlson, vice president, marketing and licensing, Group Nine (Popsugar, The Dodo and Thrillist); and Scott Dunn, talent manager, Walter Geoffrey The Frenchie.

The panelists shared case studies from their own personal experiences building successful programs for brands with roots in digital, spanning publishing, homewares, apparel and more. Each panelist revealed their secrets to these successful brand deals.

To watch the complete session, “Digital to Physical: Bridging Online Brands to On-Shelf Success,” register for Licensing Week Virtual.


Doing Well by Doing Good

Since 1969, “Sesame Street” has found sustained success as a value-driven property that aims to not only entertain but also educate. Classic characters such as Elmo and Cookie Monster have helped guide families during challenging times for more than 50 years. Now, in a time of unprecedented uncertainty, "Sesame Street" feels more vital than ever. The values and mission of the brand are being brought to life to help children understand the world in 2020.

During a fireside chat at Licensing Week Virtual, Scott Chambers, senior vice president and general manager, Sesame Workshop, highlighted how, while the mission of “Sesame” hasn't changed, the work “Sesame” continues to do is still significant and just as successful. It’s a true tale of success amid a world of uncertainty.

To hear more from the fireside chat, register for Licensing Week Virtual to listen to the complete recorded panel discussion.


If you couldn’t attend any of these must-watch discussions, don’t worry. Those who are registered for the event can rewatch all of the panels and presentations for up to one week after the event is over. Other perks come with registration, too, including a Matchmaking Service and the opportunity to walk the virtual show floor to network and more. Register for the first-ever Licensing Week Virtual by clicking here.

WildBrain CPLG Scores New Deals for Emoji in EMEA


WildBrain CPLG has signed a wave of new deals for Emoji- The Iconic Brand in EMEA.

Brokered on behalf of the Emoji Company, the licensee agreements in Europe include Nestlé España S.A in Spain for a sports-cap water bottle with six different label designs; Clementoni in Italy for a puzzle range including 104 and 180-piece puzzles, alongside an Impossible 1000-piece puzzle; and  a renewal in France with La Poste for a second stamp collection featuring emoji icons, in addition to 60 digital stamps which are available to print or collect until the end of 2020.

In the Middle East, new partners include Sun Ce for back-to-school products; Trucare for home and accessories; One2One for shopping mall events and Riva for a direct-to-retail range covering women’s and children’s apparel and accessories. Additionally, Spurt South Africa is developing swim caps for the South African market.

“With Emoji brand icons being instantly relatable and understandable in every language, the Emoji brand has become an intrinsic part of our daily lives all over the world,” says Paul Pascual, vice president southern Europe and managing director, Iberia and MENA, WildBrain CPLG. “These partnerships offer consumers in EMEA exciting new ways to engage with the brand and fun avenues of self-expression.”

Ubisoft Inks Multi-Year Partnership with Funko and Good Smile Company

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Ubisoft has signed multi-year partnerships with Funko and Good Smile Company as part of its ongoing strategy to expand its brands across the collectibles category and bring a range of figures to fans worldwide.

As part of its agreement, Funko will create Pop! Vinyl figures for a range of “Assassin’s Creed titles and “Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege” in North America and Latin America. The company has also agreed to develop Funko art-style apparel and accessories. Consumers will be able to find the items at retail and online beginning in early 2021.

“Partnering with both Funko and Good Smile Company allows us to amplify our immersive worlds our fans love in our games and allow them to experience and collect their favorite characters in highly collectible formats that are high-quality, unique and innovative,” says Sarah Buzby, vice president consumer products, Ubisoft.

Good Smile Company will create “Assassin’s Creed” figures for their Nendoroid line, their most popular collectible vinyl figures featuring multiple points of articulation and “Nendo-fied” stylization. Additionally, the company will extend “Assassin’s Creed to their figma series, their action figure line with smooth joints and full range of motion created by Max Factory.  Both of these offerings will be available globally.

“Ubisoft has been a trusted company in the gaming industry for over 30 years and they continue to bring authenticity and creativity in every game they publish,” says Takanori Aki, chief executive officer and founder, Good Smile Company. “The formation of this partnership between Ubisoft and Good Smile Company creates new avenues for fans to connect with the games they enjoy and to continue to expand the successes of both organizations. We at Good Smile Company are excited to see this partnership come to fruition.”

Ubisoft recently highlighted some of their licensing efforts at this year’s Licensing Week Virtual event. To hear from the company register for the event and visit their booth on the digital exhibition hall.