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Inside Licensing News and Notes, May 9, 2017 image

Inside Licensing News and Notes, May 9, 2017

Agencies

Global Icons will be delivering a new licensing program for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). The deal marks the postal service’s return to an outside agency after handling licensing internally for the past 15 years. Global Icons will take a two-pronged approach to the new program, focusing first on mailboxes, stationery and mailing accessories. That will be followed by home décor, apparel, toys and games and other products based on USPS images and other assets. The current USPS program has 15 licensees in mailing and shipping accessories, toys and apparel… The Brand Liaison is representing Crown Jewlz as it extends its Ugly Christmas Sweater brand into licensing for the first time. Crown Jewlz introduced the brand last year for notepads, gift tags and other stationery products and is seeking to expand it into pet, publishing and food categories.

Contacts:

The Brand Liaison, Steven Heller, Pres., 855-843-5424 x702, steven@thebrandliaison.com

Crown Jewelz, Karen Meyers, Pres., 419-289-9570

Global Icons, Bill McClinton, SVP Licensing. 310-873-3554 Bill.mcclinton@globalicons.com

U.S. Postal Service, Christopher Karpenko, Executive Dir. Brand Marketing, 202-268-2000, Christopher.j.karpenko@usps.gov

 

Coach Buying Kate Spade

Coach is buying rival fashion house Kate Spade for $2.4 billion. The deal, which is slated to close in Q3, expands Coach’s roster of luxury brands in broadening its appeal with millennials. About 60% of Kate Spade’s customers are millennials and less than 10% overlap with Coach’s customer base, Coach’s Victor Luis told analysts. Kate Spade’s licensing program is “very strong and broad with a lot of opportunities,” while the Coach will likely continue with eyewear, watches and fragrance, Luis said. Both companies have licensing programs in those areas; Kate Spade also licenses dinnerware (Lenox Corp.), stationery (Lifeguard Press), outerwear (Amerex) and furniture (EJ Victor). The brands, which will maintain separate product development, sales and marketing operations, have combined sales of $5.9 billion.

Contacts:

Coach, Kevin Willis, Chief Financial Officer, 212-594-1682

 

Glu Mobile Shifting Emphasis From Celebrities

While Glu Mobile’s Taylor Swift mobile game, slated for release later this year, will “redefine the way we look at” celebrity-licensed titles, the company is focused on reducing its reliance on the category, CEO Nick Earl told analysts. Earl didn’t disclose details of the Swift game, which is under development at Glu’s studio in Toronto. With exception of its projects with Kim Kardashian and Chef Gordon Ramsay, the company says it’s shifting to internally developed non-licensed titles. The decision follows its purchase of a controlling interest in developer Crowdstar, which released the Design Home interior design game last fall.

Glu Mobile is paying $26.2 million in minimum guarantees this year and paid $14.2 million in Q1 ended March 31. The royalties paid to celebrities average around 10%, company officials said.

Glu Mobile’s games portfolio once bristled with celebrity licenses. But those developed with Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj and Britany Spears weren’t “commercially successful” in 2016, resulting in a restructuring of the company that cut 50 jobs, Glu has said (Inside Licensing March 17).

Meanwhile, Glu’s Q1 net loss widened to $22.7 million from $8.6 million a year ago despite a 3.8% increase in revenue to $56.7 million.

Contact:

Glu Mobile, Eric Ludwig, Chief Financial Officer, 415-800-6100

 

 

The Pokemon Intl. Co. Takes Stake in Wicked Cool Toys

Wicked Cool Toys will be the new master toy licensee for Pokemon, replacing Tomy starting in July 2018, The Pokemon International Co. said. At the same, Pokemon invested an undisclosed amount in Wicked Cool and will get a board seat. Wicked Cool didn’t disclose product plans, but the first items under the new agreement will ship in fall 2018.

Wicked Cool’s license only applies to Pokemon animation and doesn’t cover the successful Pokemon Go mobile game, says a Pokemon spokesman. Pokemon Go has yet to be licensed for products. Tomy will continue to field select items for Pokemon games such as the Pokemon Z-Ring that works with Pokemon Moon and Pokemon Sun titles.

Contacts:

The Pokemon International Co., Colin Palmer VP Marketing and Licensing, 425-274-4800, c.palmer@pokemon.com

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