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Friday, 1 October 2010

Brand Licensing 2010 - The Round-Up

The industry is in unanimous agreement that Brand Licensing Europe 2010 was a great success, with packed halls, a lot of news coming from the show, and the third day proving itself needed.

Much anticipated were the views from Andrew Davenport, and also the London 2012 commercial team.

Many listeners to his speech were curious as to what Davenport would say regarding the rumours of In The Night Garden’s demise, however he stated that the brand is being taken to new areas, and hinted that music would be key.

He also gave solid advice, including that children’s programmes are often most successful when adults don’t understand the appeal; and that a commercial programme must be tailored to be relevant. He spoke about his young exposure to licensing, and how this helped him to connect with an audience that is still learning.

The LOCOG was the focus of The Big Interview, and featured featured three key members of the London 2012 team: Charlie Wijeratna, director of commercial negotiations, Simon Lilley, head of licensing and retail and Warren Traeger, licensing manager, toys, games and souvenirs. It was hosted by Kevin Roberts, the editorial director of SportBusiness Group, and was followed by a Q&A session from the floor. More than £650m of domestic sponsorship revenue has already been raised nearly two years before the event. Licensing royalty revenues are anticipated to generate approximately £80m, with over 50 licensees who will produce around 10,000 products for the Games. There will be a range of London 2012 shops opening, and retail sales are expected to be in excess of £1 billion.

There was a huge amount of news and deals generated at the show, and below is a round-up of some of these.

Nickelodeon UK launched a wide campaign for Dora the Explorer’s 10th anniversary. To encourage the UK to be more adventurous Dora’s Beyond the Backpack Foundation has been set up from which British public of all ages can apply for adventure funding. The campaign is fronted by Jade Jagger.

Nickelodeon Consumer Products announced the appointment Trudi Hayward as its new vice president for UK & Australia regions, to take over from Clare Piggot.

Chorion unveiled the newest addition of the Little Miss family, Little Miss Princess, at Brand Licensing Europe.

Classic Media and Tiger Aspect announced new industry-wide scheme to aid children in Africa. Both Classic Media and Tiger Aspect Productions will contribute a portion of their net profits to the fund, known as the Tinga Tinga Tales Fund.

Classic Media also announced that it has secured a multi-territory broadcast deal with Nickelodeon for its tween series Life with Boys.

As part of Rocket Licensing deal with Dreamworks to represent the UK theatrical release of Puss in Boots in 3D, Olympian fencer Alex O'Connell challenged members of the licensing industry to two minute fencing bouts. Rocket are well known for their challenges at BLE, with previous events including Conker fights and Scalextric races.

Chapman Entertainment announced a new partnership with MV Sports & Leisure for its two new properties launching on CBeebies, Little Charley Bear and Raa Raa The Noisy Lion.

Big and Small, the Kindle Entertainment pre-school TV property on CBeebies, revealed details of Big and Small’s Big Tour 2010, the first tour across the UK, taking in five locations this October half-term to meet fans.

Hidden City Entertainment, the rights holder for Bella Sara, announced a deal secured with Handcraft Manufacturing Corporation to design and produce Bella Sara-themed packaged and hanging underwear for girls. Hidden City also announced partnerships with NTD Apparel and Edizioni Play Press S.r.l.

Saban Brands has appointed international agents for the Power Rangers, who were in full force at the show, greeting guests and showing how Saban is planning to bring them back in a big way. The property is set for a worldwide brand re-launch in 2011.

The agents are Copyright Promotions Licensing Group for Western Europe, Kidz Entertainment for Scandinavia/Eastern Europe, Haven Licensing for Australia/New Zealand, Segal Licensing for Canada, Character Licensing & Marketing for South Africa, Exim Licensing for Latin America (excluding Mexico) and The Rutherford James Group for the Middle East.

Zodiak Rights, the new international rights business combining RDF Rights and Zodiak Entertainment Distribution, appointed a licensing agent for Mr Bean in India. Kids Media India Pvt Ltd has been appointed to represent Mr Bean in India across all merchandise categories excluding DVD and publishing. Zodiak Rights also launched Qpiz, a worldwide multi-platform brand aimed at teen girls. The property is being developed into a series of animated shorts, an online world, a video game and publishing. Zodiak also announced the expansion of its licensing team with the appointment of two new positions. Emily French Ullah takes up the role as UK Licensing Manager, reporting into Jane Kennedy, Senior Licensing Manager while Gaby Dior has been appointed International Licensing Manager and will report into Angeles Blanco - Head of International Licensing.

ITV Studios secured a number of new partners for primetime drama Coronation Street, with product rollouts to coincide with the series' 50th anniversary. A 50th anniversary event was held at the show, and the new licensees include The Royal Mint, John Wood Nurseries, DMC Creative World, Kinnerton and Iron Gut Publishing.

HarperCollins Publishers announced new merchandising deals with Woodmansterne Publications Ltd and Bluebird Brands, resulting in an extensive new range of Collins Gem-branded greetings cards, stationery,bags, umbrellas and mugs, due to hit the retail market during Autumn/Winter 2010.

Other new merchandising deals just announced include McLaggan Smith Mugs, Green Board Games and Arnold Wills.

Animaru won the License This! The Next Big Thing challenge at the show, winning a fully-furnished stand at Brand Licensing Europe 2011.

FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) announced a raft of new licensing deals for Rebecca Bonbon.

Italian licensee Sicem International will be developing 200 SKUs of ladies’ and girls’ fashion apparel including t-shirts, sweatshirts, fleeces, trousers and jackets. The apparel will initially launch at Oviesse retailers in January 2011. JF Ramos, FME’s first local licensee for Rebecca Bonbon in Portugal, will be producing a range of girls’ apparel covering everything from sweaters to nightwear, as well as distributing stationery including folders, notebooks and pencil cases. The products are set to launch in February 2011 across multiple retailers in Portugal.

Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products announced new product partnerships for The Simpsons.

Among the number of licensing deals, high street retailer New Look will retail boys t-shirts made by Blues Clothing, while Primark will stock children’s underwear supplied by Somerbond. Retailer Next will continue the Ladies of Springfield nightwear range, supplied by Aykroyds, and will extend the selection to include footwear from Brand International.

Halsall Toys International, meanwhile, will launch a range of pocket money toys for 2011, and new partner Robert Frederick will be bringing branded storage boxes and adult stationery to market.

Licensee DNC will extend its Back To School offering beyond lunchboxes, in a new partnership with Fox and a new stationery partner.

Lavish Rights completed its ’100-day plan’ at the show and announced that Luv Me Buddies was met with success, with several deals in place.

The Licensing Company announced a deal with Chrysler Group, picking up the rights as worldwide licensing agency for the Chrysler and Jeep brands.

Toei Animation hosted an award night honouring European licensing brokers in the categories of “Best Licensing Award,” “Best Promotion,” and Managing Director of Toei Animation Europe SAS. The winners were: Best Licensing Program -- Backstage for Sailor moon; Best Promotion - TF1 Licences for Dragon Ball; and Best Involvement - Plus Licens for Dragon Ball and One Piece.

Bang on the Door announced that it has now signed its 100th contract for its properties, and that Trusty will be seeing a lot more exposure in places such as SpecSaver.

Character World scooped an award at EN Magazine North West Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. The company was named Most Entrepreneurial Company of the Year 2010.

Bamforth, with its archives of thousands and thousands of retro images, particularly the famous seaside-saucy images, was at the show for the first time, looking for partners.

Hakan Canta made its debut at the show, with its back-to-school licenses for Marvel and other companies on show and some interesting insights into the cultural differences between back-packs in different countries!

What were your views on the show? Did you sign any deals? Do you think having the third day was a good idea?

Let us know at