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Articles from 2020 In September

Red Tank Breweries, Jay and Silent Bob Toast to Beer Deal


Jay and Silent Bob Licensing has partnered with Red Tank Breweries to create a line of beer based on the Jay and Silent Bob brand.   

The first run for Jay and Silent Bob Secret Stash Beer sold out in minutes in conjunction with the sold out Mooby’s Red Bank Pop-Up Restaurant. Red TankBrewing Company is following up with a number of limited-edition Beers that will be available in New Jersey and distribution will grow with the demand for the product.  In addition to Beer, they will also supplement the licensed program with collector glassware and apparel.

“We are ecstatic to be working with the Red Tank Brewing Company,” says Stuart Pollock, Segal Licensing. “Having a partner from Kevin and Jay’s hometown is a perfect fit for our fans.  We look forward to providing our fans with beer based on the Jay and Silent Bob universe.”

Kevin Smith, who plays Bob in “Jay and Silent Bob,” also recently signed an animation deal with WildBrain for a “Green Hornet” series.

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ESL, Dreamhack Announce eSports Merger


Two of the biggest event organizers in esports, ESL and DreamHack, have announced a merger.

According to an ESPN report, the merged company will be named ESL Gaming and Modern Times Group will act as its majority shareholder. DreamHack will continue to be the name of the festival series that spans across North America and Europe but will be operated now by the joint leadership group, led by ESL co-CEOs Ralf Reichert and Craig Levine, with Lindmark staying on for large-scale festival operation.

"DreamHack has always brought communities together and created the ultimate gaming lifestyle experience for our fans all around the world," Marcus Lindmark, chief executive officer, DreamHack told ESPN. "This will not change - but by combining our resources with ESL, we can continue to grow these events into something even more spectacular. Whether first-timers or long-term attendees, we have always offered something for everyone by featuring everything gaming under one roof. With ESL, we will be able to offer a more tailored approach for both our community and our partners across all regions through an array of gaming and esports opportunities, all while creating impactful and memorable experiences. The future of gaming is now and we are excited to create the future together."

Neither company owns exclusive IP rights to any titles, but ESL and DreamHack have hosted events that include “Super Smash Bros.,” “StarCraft II,” “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Street Fighter,” “Rainbow Six: Siege” and “Hearthstone.”

"Through maximum cooperation and collaboration, and the melding of some of the best creative and visionary gaming minds in the industry, we will, together, continue to advance the innovation that drives this space via the most exceptional products and events," says Levine. "For our partners, there will be more opportunities to engage with us through a wider range of activations across all levels of esports, and all aspects of gaming. And for our fans, it means we will offer one of the most expansive esports and gaming lifestyle portfolios available."

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Hyundai Drive into In-Game Collab for ‘KartRider Rush+’


Nexon has entered into a partnership with car manufacturer Hyundai to add a new kart to its mobile racer game “KartRider Rush+.”

Hyundai and Nexon’s in-game collaboration features content modeled after Hyundai's new sport sedan, the Sonata N Line. Nexon’s partnership marks the first in-game collaboration for “KartRider Rush+.” The partnership includes a new in-game kart, called the Sonata N Line, that features its very own kart plate and balloon displaying the logo showcasing the unique kart.  

"Partnering with Hyundai adds immense value to ‘KartRider Rush+,’ giving players the chance to engage with and race in a kart that is modeled after such a well-known and high-performance vehicle," says Kenny Chang, general manager, Nexon America. "Hyundai is among the most creative and forward-thinking manufacturers in the automobile industry and we are thrilled to be able to bring the Sonata N Line to life in our mobile experience.”

In celebration of the partnership, players can participate in limited-time events until Oct.18 to gain Sonata N Line Shards. These shards can be exchanged for exclusive rewards such as N Line Balloons, N Line Plates, a 30-day Sonata N Line kart or a permanent SONATA N Line kart. Players who login during the event period can also collect N Line Shards through item quests.

The deal adds to Nexon’s growing list of partnerships. Earlier this year, the game developer teamed with DXRacer to create a gaming chair based on the MapleStory character Pink Bean.

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Hard Rock International Sips on Seltzer Deal


Hard Rock International has announced a partnership with Stewart’s Enterprises, the exclusive licensee of the original Stewart’s Root Beer brand, to bring Hard Rock Premium Hard Seltzer to fans nationwide later this year. 

Hard Rock Premium Hard Seltzer is crafted to highlight Hard Rock Cafe’s most prominent cocktails and fan favorite flavors with each can featuring the Hard Rock logo and a guitar symbol. The licensing partnership between HRI and Stewart’s Enterprises was negotiated by Broad Street Licensing Group.

“Through our partnership with Stewart’s, we have created truly unique flavor profiles and music-inspired package designs that fans will love,” says Mark Linduski, director, licensing, Hard Rock International. “As we continue our efforts to grow Hard Rock’s licensing platform globally, this collaboration positions us as a premium brand within a surging category.”

In February, HRI announced its partnership with Broad Street Licensing Group to further extend the dining and entertainment brand’s consumer reach through targeted products that emphasize the brand’s core DNA that is deeply rooted in music. In addition, to 

Hard Rock Premium Hard Seltzer, HRI and Broad Street Licensing Group will continue to introduce a variety of new products to fans around the world throughout 2020 and beyond.

“We are thrilled to be working with the licensing team at Hard Rock International and Broad Street Licensing Group to bring a premium hard seltzer to Hard Rock and Stewart’s fans alike,” says Frank Rubba, founder and president, Stewart’s Enterprises. “We look forward to introducing Hard Rock Premium Hard Seltzer to retailers nationwide and all places where hard seltzer is currently sold.” 

Fans eager to bring home Hard Rock Premium Hard Seltzer can visit select beverage retailers and grocery stores nationwide this holiday season. 

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LMA, Bazooka Chew on Licensing Deals


Lisa Marks Associates has been selected as licensing agency to represent the Bazooka bubblegum brand.

LMA will be developing the licensing program across all product categories, including ice cream and ice cream novelties, frozen and ready-to-drink beverages, personal care, toys and games, apparel and accessories, gifts, novelties and collectibles, stationery and party goods, pet products, home décor, digital games and more. The program will focus on North America with planned new partnership launching in 2021.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to work with Bazooka, a treasured brand with lifelong popularity,” says Lisa Marks, president, Lisa Marks Associates. “Bazooka is an iconic consumer brand with a great character in Bazooka Joe. The brand is a natural fit within LMA’s broader portfolio of iconic, leading and timeless brands and we envision a strong and vibrant licensing program with key partners across meaningful product categories.”

Bazooka Bubble Gum is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2022. The brand has returned to its classic roots, selling its original bubble gum flavor, wrapped in red, white and blue packaging. Each piece of gum comes with a collectible Bazooka Joe comic that also includes a fortune, and in a modern twist, a digital code that fans can use to unlock new daily content online.

“We think LMA is an excellent fit for Bazooka,” says Becky Silberfarb, marketing director, Bazooka Candy Brands. “We look forward to our partnership with Lisa and her team and anticipate seeing new interpretations of the classic Bazooka brand via fun, engaging and expansive licensing partnerships.”

Following the deal, the Bazooka brand joins LMA’s portfolio of clients which includes the Smithsonian and Mr. Christmas.

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‘Killing Eve’ Breaks into Licensing


AMC Networks and Sid Gentle Films have appointed IMG as the exclusive worldwide licensing representative for “Killing Eve.” 

IMG is exhibiting at Festival of Licensing, a month-long large-scale digital gathering that unites the global licensing industry to connect, learn, strike deals and do business on an international stage. The event takes place Oct. 6-29. Register for free now!

The announcement will see IMG bring the spy thriller show’s first consumer products to market through selective brand partnerships and collaborations.

“In ‘Killing Eve,’ the sharpness of the dialogue and the quality of the performances has always been matched by a strong aesthetic that informs every aspect of the series from the music to costume and production design,” says Sally Woodward Gentle, executive producer, “Killing Eve,” Sid Gentle Films.  “We look forward collaborating with partners who understand the style and ethos of the series.”

The merchandise and licensing rights for “Killing Eve” are owned by AMC Networks in North America and Sid Gentle Films for the rest of world. IMG aims to build a robust licensing program of products, experiences and collaborations focused around themes fans love most about the show, including fashion, beauty, travel and games. 

“’Killing Eve’ hits on multiple notes and nuances of human behavior that naturally translate into licensing,” says Sherikay Chaffee, vice president, licensing, IMG. “Aside from being one of the most popular and loved shows on TV, it’s also one of the most clever and stylish. The dual aspect and opposing nature between its two lead characters can be used to tell a story about a product. For example, the unconventional and the conventional, the good and the bad and every degree in between.”

Following the multi-year partnership, “Killing Eve” joins IMG’s portfolio including “Rocket League” and “Angry Birds.”

“At AMC Networks, we’re very proud of the stories we tell and the relationships we develop with fans through those stories,” says Dario Di Zanni, franchise head, AMC Networks. “We also believe fan affinity can be served and fostered through consumer end-points, both physical and virtual, that create spaces for personal expression and representation. ‘Killing Eve’ is both a brilliant inspiration and canvas for all types of fan affinity, and we are excited to partner with Sid Gentle Films and IMG to expand the reach and success of such a pop culturally relevant and defining show.”

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Team GB: Preparing for the Future


Team GB is remaining active during lockdown and the months after, staying in touch with their fan base through new deals and activations. Even after the postponement of the Olympic Games, the brand is getting ahead.

Team GB will appear at Festival of Licensing, a month-long large-scale digital gathering that unites the global licensing industry to connect, learn, strike deals and do business on an international stage. They will be a keynote speaker during the first week of the event, which takes place Oct. 6-29. Register for free now!

Working with their partners, the University of Hull, Team GB launched a podcast series which gave insights into the defining moments in the careers of some of their most famous athletes. 

In addition, they continued their commitment with Toyota to try to get the nation active, and instead of a physical I Am TeamGB event, they went digital, working with social media platform TikTok to get people moving. 

Their licensee program is headed by The Point.1888. Partnerships include brands like “Peppa Pig” and more.

The brand is working on a brand new style guide, which will launch in October to show retailers and licensees new assets and design ideas that showcase the breadth of the Team GB brand. 

“When the time comes for the Games to happen next July, and we have every belief the Games will happen, it will be a seminal sporting moment, bringing the world back together to celebrate the best sporting accomplishments and the continuing power of the human race to triumph over adversity,” says Paul Ellis, retail head, Team GB. “Team GB and its athletes will be ready. We will be prepared to compete at our best, in no small part thanks to our commercial partners, licensees and donors who remain our lifeblood, ensuring we can send the best teams to Tokyo next summer, Beijing six months later for the Olympic Winter Games and the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.”

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Jellyfish Originals Appoints Managing Director


Jellyfish Originals, the children’s animation original production division animation and VFX studio, Jellyfish Pictures, has announced the appointment of Natalie Llewellyn to managing director. Llewellyn, who joined the company in 2018 as head of IP development, will take on a broader strategic role within Jellyfish Pictures and head up the company’s originals division.

“Since joining Jellyfish Pictures, Natalie’s eye for creative brilliance and commercial savviness has propelled our Originals brand to new heights,” says Phil Dobree, chief executive officer, Jellyfish Pictures. “Thanks to Natalie and her extensive global network of contacts across the children’s media industry, we have a solid slate of kids’ animation projects with an exciting amount of potential. Partnering us with toy manufacturers,

negotiating rights with international broadcasters and entering us into strategic co-productions has positioned Jellyfish Originals as a leading player in the industry. Now as Managing Director, I have full confidence that Natalie will take us even further as we step into the next phase of our Jellyfish Originals journey.” 

As managing director, Llewellyn will lead the creative and commercial efforts of Jellyfish Originals and drive the development, distribution, rights negotiation, financing and commercial strategy of its originals slate.

Llewellyn’s 10 years’ plus experience in the children’s production and distribution sector has enabled her to build the IP arm of Jellyfish, to extend its commercial remit, raise its international profile and grow and diversify the Original’s slate.

In the spring of 2018, Llewellyn launched an in-house creative scheme named the ‘Jellyfish Creative Bloom’, encouraging Jellyfish talent to present their original ideas for a kid’s animation show. Two successful ideas were taken into active development as part of the Jellyfish Originals slate and have since been picked up by strategic commercial partners. The latest round of Creative Bloom pitches is being launched next month. 

“It’s an exciting time for children’s content creation and I’m delighted to be taking the helm at Jellyfish Originals - boosting our development slate, and further strengthening our commercial efforts in both distribution and rights management,” says Llewellyn. “I’m incredibly proud of the projects we’ve nurtured and the industry partners we’ve collaborated with to date. The future for Jellyfish Originals promises tremendous growth and that’s incredibly exciting for all involved.”

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Pokémon Shirts Repurposes Fabric for Keychains


Pokémon Shirts has started an initiative to repurpose and create keychains from fabric remnants created in the tailoring process. 

The Pokémon Company International is exhibiting at Festival of Licensing, a month-long large-scale digital gathering that unites the global licensing industry to connect, learn, strike deals and do business on an international stage. The event takes place Oct. 6-29. Register for free now!

The first 2,000 customers who purchase a Pokémon Shirt will receive a repurposed acrylic keychain as a gift. The keychains are made from fabric remnants. Pokémon Shirts are made-to-order and are manufactured with the consideration of as little waste is generated as possible.

Original Stitch, makers of Pokémon Shirts, in collaboration with The Pokémon Company, have also announced the release of a documentary film featuring the process of designing, fabric printing

and tailoring of its customizable shirts featuring unique prints of hundreds of Pokémon. Featuring interviews with Pokémon Shirts craftspeople involved in the manufacturing process.

Pokémon Shirts are now available online.

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TAC Studios Launches New Distribution Deals


TAC Studios, the production arm of The Africa Channel, has concluded deals for several of its lifestyle shows to leading broadcast and digital networks around the globe. Networks include Tastemade (USA), SBS Food (Australia), Radio Television Brunei (RTB), Discovery Networks (Middle East and Africa), OSN (Middle East), and SABC (South Africa). These follow previously announced agreements with Urban Movie Channel (USA) and Emirates Airlines. Fred Media is responsible for the deals.

"As a leading content licensing company, we are happy to facilitate the distribution of TAC Studios content to global audiences,” says Roger Vanderspikken, chief operation officer, Fred Media. “With an increasing relevance and demand for premium African and multicultural content, TAC Studios is a great partner in enabling us to fulfill this demand.”

The new deals align with TAC Studios' commitment to presenting contemporary stories, authentic voices, and quality productions reflecting the African experience worldwide. Also, by investing in the development of talent on the African continent, the production company continues to empower African creatives while bridging cultural gaps between Africa and the rest of the world.

“We are delighted by the reception our shows are receiving by leading global networks as the demand for African content continues to increase with international audiences," says Brendan Gabriel, vice-president, production, TAC Studios. “These licensing deals continue to support our mission to develop and produce content, both scripted and unscripted, that bring Africa, its stories and heritage to global audiences."

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