First Word--August 2004

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What’s that about summer vacation?

Just when you think the show's over, it seems in our industry the show has only just begun. A month after Licensing 2004 International Show, Steven Ekstract, Pauline Ng, and myself headed to Hong Kong for the Hong Kong Licensing Show and its newly created Asian Licensing Awards. Needless to say, as many savvy licensors and marketers know already, China is clearly an emerging market, and, in many ways, Hong Kong will serve as a gateway to China. That said, Hong Kong's Licensing Show served up two new editor's property picks, both of which are monkeys: Kapo The Super Monkie ( visit www.kapomk.com.hk to get a peek ) and Bon Bonn (visit www.bonbonn.com to see this preschool character).

Following Hong Kong, License! team members headed to Comic-Con, and naturally Outdoor Retailer and MAGIC Marketplace this month. What's that about summer vacation?

For my column this month, I'd like to fast forward to MIPCOM Jr. and MIPCOM, being held in Cannes, France, October 2-3 and October 4-8, respectively. Once again, License! is partnering with the organizers of MIPCOM Jr. on the licensing front. This year, the licensing program will be incredibly rewarding, as License! and MIPCOM Jr. have organized the MIPCOM Jr. Licensing Challenge. Here's how it works: Producers and creators of children's entertainment are invited to submit and pitch properties that are new, have not been aired, and have not been licensed. Entries must be received by License! and/or MIPCOM Jr. no later than August 31. For more information and an application, visit www.mipcomjunior.com or www.licensemag.com. Following preselection (executed by License! editors), five properties will move to the next stage of the challenge. At MIPCOM Jr., in front of a live audience, finalists will have the opportunity to "pitch" their properties (and ultimately learn the potential for their property) to an international jury, chaired by Warren Kornblum, chief marketing officer, Toys "R" Us.

Taking licensing one step further, opening day of MIPCOM, October 4, License! will reveal 2003 worldwide retail sales by consumer product category (from our upcoming October Industry Annual Report) before introducing Andy Mooney, chairman, Disney Consumer Products Worldwide, who will deliver a keynote address. Indeed, this year's MIPCOM Jr. will be licensing heavy.

Now, on to this issue. Sports Editor (and managing editor) Lorri Freifeld takes us on tour with young professional athletes as they hit the courts and stadiums and the endorsement trail. With interviews in tow with major league organizations and other licensors, Lorri uncovers the strategies in place to aid young athletes down the road of "less" temptation, as they must uphold a positive image in order to keep endorsement deals in place.

This month, we also uncover exclusively the ongoing success of the Care Bears, and the new initiatives for Hot Wheels from Mattel. Plus, inside you'll also find our second edition of XTENSION: For the Business of Fashion Branding, our fashion coverage in time for MAGIC Marketplace.

As always, comments, suggestions, ideas, questions, contact me at (212) 951-6707 or via e-mail.

Joyceann Cooney

jcooney@advanstar.com

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