Weekly E-News, Issue #208, April 17, 2007


Paramount Pictures Establishes Licensing Division
Paramount Pictures recently formed Paramount Licensing, which will have direct oversight of the licensing operations for Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, DreamWorks, Nickelodeon Movies, and MTV Films. Previously, the studio’s licensing and merchandising efforts were managed through the New York offices of Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products. Under the new structure, the licensing division will oversee a broad range of categories, including consumer products, book publishing, themed restaurants, theme parks and location-based entertainment, live stage plays, and film-clip licensing. Initial programs are currently being developed for Beowulf, Stardust, and Blades of Glory. Paramount Licensing will continue to be led by evp of licensing Michael Bartok.

Licensing 2007 Posts Soaring Attendance Numbers
Licensing 2007 International show is already filled to 91 percent of capacity, according to Advanstar Communications Inc. (parent company of License! Global). The show, June 19 to 21, will feature more than 500 exhibitors, covering nearly 215,000 square feet of the Javits Convention Center. Included is a record number of international exhibitors and 20 percent first-time exhibitors to the show. Eighteen countries outside the U.S. will be represented, including Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, China, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Canada, and Mexico. Additionally, attendees from more than 82 countries are expected to walk the show floor, making this one of the most international shows to date.

Attendance Up 40 Percent for Brand Licensing Europe
The list of high-profile companies continues to grow for Brand Licensing Europe with 4Kids Entertainment, Disney Consumer Products, Chapman Entertainment, Entertainment Rights, and Sony Pictures Entertainment bringing the number of exhibitors to 117 at this year’s show. The trade show is the only pan-European event dedicated to licensing and brand extension and will take place October 2 to 3 at Olympia’s Grand Hall in London. Visitors can register now at www.brandlicensingeurope.com for a complimentary two-day pass.

DIC Creates New Division
DIC Entertainment formed a Global Brand Management division to create a dynamic synergy among its key divisions—television, home entertainment, and consumer products. The new division will manage the company’s brands as a whole business by working with executives from each division in addition to third-party partners, rights holders, and licensees. The new division will be led by Nancy Fowler, head of global sales, who will continue to head the domestic and international consumer products, television, home entertainment, and marketing divisions. Other members of the brand management team include Leila Pirnia who was named vice president of brand management; Geri Robert, upped to director of brand management and responsible for “Horseland,” “Madeline,” “Dinosaurs,” “Mommy & Me,” and “Cake”;  and Shawn Brower, who will manage the Strawberry Shortcake and McDonald’s brands as director of brand management.

X Games Airs New Ad Campaign
X Games Consumer Products debuted a new on-air advertising campaign entitled “X Games Happens Everyday,” which captures the sense of adventure that X Games Gear brings to the daily lives of kids across the country. The spot follows a group of young suburbanites as they attempt a feat that has never been done in their neighborhood before—the brick jump, five in all. The commercial, due to air for five weeks across multiple ESPN platforms, will feature the entire product line, including apparel and accessories, bikes, skateboards, and protective gear. In addition, it will air for three weeks on additional channels such as ABC Kids, Fox Kids, CW Kids, Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon.  

Dan Morris Apparel to Support The Misters
Dan Morris Apparel Inc. will create T-shirts and T-shirt gift packs in time for Father’s Day and graduation featuring Jim Benton’s The Misters artwork in a deal brokered by CopCorp Licensing. The Misters represents one of Benton’s earliest licensed properties and is about the “basic, inherent goofiness at the heart of every guy,” explains Benton.

Big Tent Closes Second Round of Financing
Big Tent Entertainment LLC completed a successful Series B financing round led by Mercury Capital Partners, a New York private equity firm, with participation from Act II Capital, Big Tent Investors LLC, and high-net-worth individuals. The investment supports Big Tent’s strategy of acquiring, producing, and marketing content across a wide array of media and consumer product platforms. Mercury Capital joins anchor investor Bedford Capital, which through Big Tent Investors LLC, will work closely with Mercury to provide financial and strategic support to the company.  

Briarpatch Co-Founder Remembered
Martine Redman Donofrio, Briarpatch co-founder, passed away at the age of 61. A long-time industry veteran, Redman Donofrio served on the board of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association. She is survived by her husband, John Donofrio, and two daughters, Valerie and Rachel. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Morris Land Conservancy, 19 Boonton Ave., in Boonton, NJ, would be appreciated by the family at home and at Briarpatch.  

Peikoff Leaves Legacy of Laughter
Elliot Peikoff, the “Will Rogers of Winnipeg,” died March 15th, 2007, after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife Corinne; sons Howard, Richard, and Michael, vice president, domestic licensing at Twentieth Century Fox Licensing and Merchandising; daughter Lori; and granddaughters Lauren and Natalie. Contributions can be made in his name to Camp Alonim in Brandeis, CA.

“Bobby’s World” Readied for Worldwide Relaunch
Taffy Entertainment secured the worldwide rights to “Bobby’s World,” the animated series that ran on FOX from 1990-1998. The show, created by and starring Howie Mandel, will be distributed worldwide by Taffy. Taffy has also begun implementing a comprehensive licensing and consumer products campaign around the brand.  

Coolabi Nabs Rights to Purple Ronnie
Coolabi acquired the intellectual property rights to Purple Ronnie, the character created by Giles Andreae. One area of expansion is technology with bursts of Purple Ronnie animation with appropriate messages being used for mobile content, e-cards, m-cards, blog skins, and other high-tech applications. In its original conception, the property was a black and white card-based property that emerged in the late 1980s. The character was given a redesign by Andreae and Hallmark just over two years ago. The deal also gives Coolabi certain rights to other Andreae children’s properties, including Giraffes Can’t Dance, Rumble in the Jungle, and Commotion in the Ocean.

Trimspa Parent Appoints Licensing Agency
Marathon Projects was named licensing agent for Trimspa via a deal with Goen Technologies Corp. Marathon Projects will oversee the program with a focus on weight, exercise, and diet-related products (outside of the food and diet supplement product categories).

Execs on the Move
Cathy Hoffman Glosser has been promoted to executive vice president of global licensing at The Trump Organization. Marcos Bandeira de Mello has been named general manager of Warner Bros. Consumer Products Brazil. Sean Cohan has been promoted to senior vice president, international at A&E Television Networks. Allison Levy was upped to merchandise manager of the menswear and childrenswear divisions at The Doneger Group. B*tween Productions appointed Barbara Marcus, most recently president, Scholastic Children’s Book Publishing and Distribution, and executive vice president, Scholastic Inc., to the company’s board of directors.

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