Weekly E-News, Issue #210, May 1, 2007

Maya & Miguel Spark Innovative Marketing Campaign
Scholastic Media created a multi-tiered marketing strategy for Maya & Miguel that focuses on community-centered events and online outreach. The campaign begins with a national sponsorship with U.S. Youth Soccer where the twins will have a presence at 12 Kohl’s American Cup Tournaments across the country through September. Online activities at pbskidsgo.org/mayaandmiguel and www.scholastic.com will complement the tournaments with games and activities to stimulate kids’ love of soccer. Also on tap: Maya & Miguel will serve as official spokes-characters for Día de los Niños (Children’s Day) in celebrations across the country with character appearances, book readings, episode screenings, arts and crafts, and giveaways, as well as at various Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations.

Cartoon Network Fosters New Licensee Relationships
Cartoon Network Enterprises is growing the licensing program for Fosters Home for Imaginary Friends, inking deals with Loungefly, H.E.R., and T.U.K. for a range of categories targeted at juniors and ’tweens. Hot Topic takes a lead role in the program with an exclusive, dedicated boutique shop planned at 700 stores nationwide. Under a multiyear agreement for the U.S., Loungefly will create bags, totes and purses, buttons, stationery, hair accessories, lanyards, and cell-phone charms, while H.E.R. Accessories will come to market with custom jewelry and T.U.K. will design a line of canvas, slip-on footwear known as “skimmers,” due in June. T.U.K. also has a multiyear agreement for distribution in the U.S.

Kim Parker Kids Promotion Springs Up at Barnes & Noble
Scholastic Media and Kim Parker Kids set up shop at all Barnes & Noble stores with a front-of-store promotion showcasing the brand’s new line of puppets, backpacks, and plush from Sidekicks. The promotion runs through May 3 and will also include in-store appearances by Kim Parker, featuring signings and book readings of her first children’s book, Counting in the Garden.

Literary Mouse Readied for Animated Series
Italian-based production company and Geronimo Stilton rights licensor Atlantyca Entertainment has teamed with 9 Story Entertainment and MoonScoop Productions to develop and co-produce a new animated series based on the Geronimo Stilton chapter book series for kids. The trio will collaborate on 26 television episodes, including multiplatform content distribution. In addition, the three companies will share in the international distribution rights with 9 Story Entertainment holding the television and HV rights for all English-speaking territories and Taffy Entertainment, which manages distribution for the MoonScoop properties, nabbing distribution rights for French-speaking territories. Atlantyca Entertainment retains rights in Italy and the rest of the world and will handle the North American distribution along with 9 Story Entertainment.

Sanrio To Sport New Activewear Collection
Sanrio Inc. is racing into the activewear category, signing on Franco Apparel Group for a collection of shorts, leggings, and yoga tops and bottoms to skorts, hoodies, tanks, and Ts in a variety of performance fabrications including nylon and spandex, cotton interlock, jersey, mesh, fleece and French terry. The collection will head to sporting goods stores and sports retailers in spring 2008.
LIMA Creates Exclusive Networking Venue for Licensing Show
The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association partnered with MSL Productions to create “The Loop,” an exclusive, invitation-only VIP pavilion on the show floor for selected members at this year’s Licensing Show. The Loop will allow leading lifestyle personalities and brands (sports, music, film, apparel, etc.) that are new to the licensing industry an exclusive opportunity to gather with top manufacturers, agents, and retailers looking for deals. An exclusive kick-off event for The Loop is being planned at a New York City venue following the Annual LIMA Gala and Awards Ceremony. Select members and exhibitors will be invited to connect with celebrities and agents with marketable, licensable brands and personalities.

Promotion Builds Buzz for Pirates of the Caribbean Premiere
Zizzle is heralding the arrival of the Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End movie (due May 25) with a three-week promotion that hits May 4. “The 21 Days of Pirate Gold” promotion will be featured on Toysrus.com where daily winners can stake a claim on a gold Jack Sparrow action figure. Each figure comes with a certificate of authentication. Details and rules of the promotion are available via banners on toysrus.com, zizzle.com, and Disney sites.

MGM Consumer Products Extends Pink Panther Deal
MGM Consumer Products renewed its relationship with Owens Corning allowing the company to continue to use the Pink Panther in its advertising, marketing, and promotional activities for both trade and consumer purposes. The global licensing deal will extend for an additional 15-year term and is exclusive to the categories of building materials, home and commercial building construction, improvement and repair product and service categories, fiberglass and industrial materials, and thermal and acoustical commercial industrial materials.

Global Icons Partners with Reference Publisher
Global Icons was named exclusive merchandise licensing agent for Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., with a goal of broadening the reference and educational brand. The licensing program will tap into core categories including interactive learning aids, consumer electronics, educational multimedia products, and scientific learning tools.

Rosetti Group, Saramax Sweet on Juniors’ Brand
Angels So Sweet tapped new licensees Rosetti Group and Saramax, bringing the juniors’ brand into handbags, intimates, and sleepwear. As part of the deal brokered by InGroup Licensing, Rosetti Group will be manufacturing handbags, backpacks/messenger bags, small leather goods, and belts, while Saramax will come to market with intimates, sleepwear, and daywear for both juniors and girls.  

Lazarus Consulting Plans Healthy Approach to Licensing
Lazarus Consulting Limited was appointed exclusive global licensing agent for Gillian McKeith, the holistic nutritionist, author, and reporter on the UK’s hit TV series “You Are What You Eat,” now in its fourth season on Channel 4. The agency plans to secure deals in categories where the brand is already well established as well as extending the brand into new areas.

Benton Catalyst for Two Deals
Jim Benton’s properties continue to be strong with CopCorp licensing inking separate deals for “It’s Happy Bunny” and “Just Jimmy.” American Greetings will create a line of humorous greeting cards, stationery, and social expression products for “It’s Happy Bunny,” while Manley Toy will come to market with plush dolls based on “Just Jimmy.” On the agency side, Copyright Promotions France will manage the “Just Jimmy” licensing program in France, and Copyright Promotions Italia will manage the licensing business in Italy.

Execs on the Move
Marvel Entertainment promoted Jamie Kampel to director of licensing.
Robert Langer was named senior vice president and CFO of Disney Consumer Products.
Eric Greenwald joined Whyville.com as executive vice president of advertising sales and business development and all online properties at the parent company, Numedeon Inc.  
Penne Cairoli was named general manager for Laura Ashley Inc.
Cookie Jar Education Inc. promoted Roger Posacki to COO and Tom Purcell to senior vice president, finance.