| br>NBA Inks Major Equipment Deal
The National Basketball Association entered into a new eight-year global
partnership with Russell Corporation. The $125 million deal marks one
of the largest equipment deals in sports and demonstrates the synergy
of Russell’s acquisition of Spalding and Huffy Sports. The Spalding
NBA GameBall will continue to be the only basketball used during all NBA
practices, exhibitions, games, and international competitions. Spalding
maintains the exclusive rights to produce and sell NBA and team-identified
basketballs in all sizes. Huffy Sports will manufacture NBA backboards
featuring the Spalding and Huffy Sports brand names for both recreational
and competitive play.
Genius Products Retains The Joester Loria Group
Genius Products, Inc., named The Joester Loria Group exclusive licensing
agency for its Baby Genius and Kid Genius brands with the goal of creating
strategic marketing and merchandising initiatives to support the retail
launch of Baby Genius and Kid Genius products. Baby Genius currently includes
more than 25 music CDs and seven animated titles available on DVD and
VHS. Targeting a slightly older audience, the Kid Genius brand features
two CD collections of children’s music designed to capture kids’
attention, teach them rhymes and rhythms, and appeal to their imagination.
Bob the Builder Joins PBS Kids Lineup
Bob the Builder kicks off the New Year with a new broadcast home at PBS
Kids. In January 2005, PBS KIDS will host the broadcast premiere of never-before-seen-on-TV
Bob the Builder episodes. The series is produced by animation studio HOT
Animation and presented by Connecticut Public Television (CPTV).
Alaska Momma Partners with Big Tent Entertainment
Alaska Momma tapped Big Tent Entertainment as its worldwide management
agency. Under the new deal, Big Tent will assume the day-to-day management
responsibilities for the company’s portfolio and maximize the retail
potential of Alaska Momma’s stable of artists, photographers, and
designers through strategic licensing and promotional programs. Shirley
Henschel will continue in her role as CEO of Alaska Momma.
The Muppets Re-Emerge After Hiatus
The Muppets are back in the spotlight again with an official Website debuting
at www.Muppets.com In development
since The Walt Disney Co. acquired the brand earlier this year, the site
will serve as a marquee entertainment and promotional platform for the
brand’s integrated revitalization strategy. As part of the strategy,
the Muppets Holding Company is focusing on bringing new content to life
across a variety of platforms including television, film, live entertainment,
and synergistic endeavors within the Disney family. Additionally, MHC
will launch new licensed products into the market.
Bratz Get Musical
Universal Music Enterprises will create the first ever CD music project
featuring the Bratz fashion dolls in a new deal with MGA Entertainment.
Some of the top producers and songwriters in the music industry currently
are preparing a Bratz album, set for release next year.
Snapple Signs Cool Deals
CoolBrands International steps up its licensing efforts, signing two deals.
The first will bring a line of Snapple ice pops and frozen novelties in
a multi-year license deal with Snapple. Snapple ice pops will feature
flagship flavors and Snapple Real Facts on every stick and will be available
in grocery and convenience stores in spring 2005. CoolBrands also partnered
with American Greetings on a line of Care Bears frozen snacks in single-serve
and multi-packs. The first product line will be launched in early 2005
with Care Bears Low Fat Ice Cream Sandwiches.
Fab/Starpoint Signs Deal with Benetton
Fab/Starpoint will manufacture and distribute a Benetton-branded line
of coordinated accessories, school supplies, and room décor for
kids, teens, and young adults. The line will launch to mid-tier and department
stores and better specialty stores for back-to-school 2005. Benetton teamed
up with The Licensing Company NA to deliver its long-term licensing vision
in the North American market.
PorchLight to Develop New Preschool Property
PorchLight Entertainment adds Baxter to its 2005 animation development
slate. The half-hour series will be produced with two 11-minute interchangeable
segments. Always curious and bounding with energy, Baxter interacts with
nature like a child, in environments that are readily accessible to children—for
example, backyards and parks. Baxter was created by Gerry Renert, co-creator
and executive producer of ToddWorld, and illustrated by Barry Gott. The
series will utilize a curriculum developed by Laurine DiRocco and Linda
Rosenblatt (UCLA School of Education) in association with PorchLight.
Kinkade’s Home Décor Presence Expands
The Thomas Kinkade Co. signed deals with Spode and Franco Manufacturing
as the company looks to expand its presence in the home category. Spode
will create three themed collections of dinnerware and giftware for the
specialty store channel and a collection of limited-edition home décor
for the Thomas Kinkade Signature and Showcase galleries. Franco will create
three lifestyle collections of fashion bedding under the themes of Cabins,
Cottages, and Citiscapes inspired by Kinkade’s paintings and the
message of home, comfort, tradition, and family.
License!’s Weekly E-News will be on hiatus the week of December
28 and will return January 4. Best wishes for a Happy, Healthy 2005!
For more licensing news and features, visit www.licensemag.com For more information on Licensing 2005 International Show, visit www.licensingshow.com
Sponsored by: br>NBA Inks Major Equipment Deal The National Basketball Association entered into a new eight-year global partnership with Russell Corporation. The $125 million deal marks one of the largest equipment deals in