Leigh Anne Brodsky returns to the licensing business in a new position helming Peanuts Worldwide, a 60-plus-year-old brand that continues to grow for Iconix Entertainment.
Leigh Anne Brodsky, managing director, Peanuts Worldwide, Iconix Entertainment
Brodsky oversees the global business for the Peanuts property, including the forthcoming 2015 feature film from Twentieth Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios, as well as the Iconix Entertainment division.
Brodsky, who previously worked on the Peanuts property with United Media Enterprises, is a licensing professional for more than 20 years, most recently serving as president of Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products. Previously, Brodsky has worked with entertainment properties such as Saturday Night Live, Lassie and Garfield.
Brodsky has been recognized for her leadership and expertise and in 2011 was inducted into the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association's (LIMA) Hall of Fame.
When you joined Peanuts, what were your first impressions of the iconic property and its potential worldwide?
Peanuts is a gem that is loved by all. It has withstood the test of time, is as relevant as ever and now has a major motion picture in the works.
Now that you have come full circle with Peanuts, explain how the property has evolved over the years in terms of brand licensing.
The property has evolved but still remains consistent with its positive messages, classic and clean graphic style and lovable, cute characters that are fun and full of humor. Now the property finds its audience through a robust social media network, which includes over 1.5 million Facebook followers, nearly 100,000 Twitter fans and strong followings on other networks including Instagram and Pinterest.
From a corporate perspective, what are the benefits and synergy of being part of the Iconix Brand Group, ranked as No. 2 on License! Global's exclusive annual Top 125 Global Licensors report?
Iconix truly has some of the most iconic home and fashion brands in its stable, which lend themselves to potential tie-ins and co-branded Peanuts programs. Iconix also has some of the longest-standing, successful direct-to-retail partnerships around the globe, so there is plenty of synergy there as well.
Describe the core attributes of the Peanuts property and why it still is such a strong growth property worldwide.
Authentic, relevant, timeless, sophisticated, meaningful, fun and funny. People like what Peanuts has to say–the stories resonate with kids, families, teens and adults. Additionally, artists love to work with us to design fantastic products because of the artistry and graphic look of the property.
How has the Peanuts brand licensing program evolved since it was acquired by Iconix?
We've rolled out partnerships with Uniqlo in Japan and around the world, Oysho in Spain and the expansion of our MetLife relationship into many international territories including China and Brazil. Since acquiring the property, Peanuts has also expanded its digital presence. Whether it's through social media, apps or games, we've made great strides in that category.
With a major theatrical release slated for fall 2015, how will the movie impact and influence brand licensing worldwide?
The theme of the movie is a secret, but fans around the world will be excited to see the same beloved characters in new and exciting circumstances, which has already created a lot of buzz with retailers, licensees and promotional partners. We will continue to drive our classic business and will layer on a new style guide for the movie. The movie is coming out in time for the 65th anniversary. I cannot imagine a bigger 65th anniversary tent pole than a global wide-release theatrical motion picture!
What is your overall strategy for the development of Iconix Entertainment?
We will continue to search for strong brands that connect with key segments of the market and have potential for growth and fit within the Iconix portfolio.
Explain the excitement about the Charles M. Schulz Museum and plans for the future.
Located in Santa Rosa, Calif., the Charles M. Schulz Museum is an incredible place to learn more about the history of Peanuts and its creator. On a regular basis, the museum and its traveling exhibits offer a great source for inspiration for any of our partners who work on the Peanuts property.