The Licensing Blog

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MHS Licensing Celebrates 15 Years

MHS Licensing is celebrating its 15-year anniversary in 2010. Started in 1995 primarily as a sports marketing and licensing company, MHS Licensing has evolved into an internationally recognized licensing and consulting agency. While representing such high profile artists and brands as Judy Buswell, Tina Higgins, The Hautman Brothers, Smirk, and The Girls, MHS became a key player in the high-growth licensing industry.

Marty Segelbaum, president and founder of MHS Licensing, left a sports apparel company fifteen years ago to strike out on his own “with nothing but a rolodex and an enthusiasm for making deals.” In 2001, Segelbaum brought in John Haesler, formerly of Target Stores, Inc., as partner. With Haesler onboard, MHS Licensing was able to expand its capabilities tremendously. Adding support staff and account executives since then has allowed the company to service its 250 licensees and continue to grow.

Today, MHS Licensing represents more than 30 artists and brand owners and manages an archive of over 20,000 images. MHS Licensing has been instrumental in a number of direct-to-retail licensing programs and was nominated for such awards as “Top Art Property of the Year” by LIMA. In addition to art licensing, the company also specializes in advising manufacturers in the search, evaluation, and acquisition of new properties and personalities.

Cirque du Soleil to produce Michael Jackson show

The King of Pop’s fans are doing backflips today at the news that Cirque du Soleil will produce a show based on the late pop star’s music, according to the New York Daily News and other outlets.

According to the Cirque du Soleil website, an arena-touring show is expected to debut in late Fall 2011 and a Las Vegas permanent show is expected to open in late 2012.

In a statement, Michael’s mother, Katerine, said that the family was “thrilled that Cirque du Soleil will pay tribute to my son in such an important way.”

Michael Jackson’s estate and Cirque du Soleil to produce show based on King of Pop’s music [NYDN]

Slapstick Enables Sports Fans to Digitally Transform into Their Favorite Sport Stars

PixFusion, which deals with personalized entertainment and composite imagery across all media formats, announced today that it has entered into a patent licensing partnership with Slapstick Sports, LLC, a division of Virginia-based advertising agency Williams Whittle, for its sports fan interaction website. Through the agreement, Slapstick users can “get their game face on” by utilizing PixFusion’s patented photo-personalized video technology to digitalize themselves into the identities of their favorite athletes and coaches. The first sports organization to license the Slapstick application is the NHL’s Washington Capitals, with additional teams to follow in the coming months.

The Washington Capitals’ Slapstick feature will launch during the NHL playoffs in mid-April to help generate online excitement for the players, team, and coaches and enable fans to digitally express themselves in a personal way for both the Washington Capitals and their opponents.
The Slapstick application is easy-to-use; simply upload a photo and select from four sports-centric scenarios including being a ranting player, coaching the team, answering questions from the press, or downloading a still shot. Users can personalize their own photo by choosing from various facial hair options, hats, and headgear, as well as their choice of a home or away jersey. Once the photo has been personalized, Slapstick users have the option of adding a voice to their creation. For 99 cents, users can call a toll-free number to insert their message into their Slapstick photo or video, which can then be shared via email with friends and family or posted on Facebook and Twitter. Fans can also create a free video using the application’s text-to-speech function.
The Slapstick deal was brokered by Big Tent Entertainment, the marketing agent for PixFusion.

Iron Man 2 fragrance on the way

Marvel Entertainment, LLC has partnered with Diesel, fragrance licensee of the Luxury Products Division of L’Oréal, to launch an exclusive co-branded men’s fragrance tied to the upcoming release of Iron Man 2. The new Diesel fragrance, Only The Brave— Iron Man Limited Edition, will be available worldwide at high-end retail, including perfumeries, department stores and Diesel stores, beginning mid-April 2010, in advance of the worldwide premiere of the Iron Man 2 feature film. Diesel Only The Brave—Iron Man Limited Edition is bottled in the iconic Only The Brave flacon, garbed in flashy red for the occasion. Marvel and Diesel will support the launch of the fragrance with several digital initiatives, including a dedicated website, downloadable video game, online contests and more.  Iron Man 2 hits theaters on May 7.

New Deal “On the Table” for Interactive Licensing Management

Specialist UK licensing agency Interactive Licensing Management, Ltd. (ILM) has secured a deal to exclusively represent the worldwide interactive entertainment rights for the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). The rights also incorporate all of the ITTF’s international events and competitions, including the World Cup, Pro Tour, and the Table Tennis World Championships, which have been running since 1926. This new global sports license also grants the publisher or developer the rights to all players, venues, and images from ITTF events.

The deal being brokered by ILM incorporates the rights for all current interactive platforms (including home console and PC formats), plus the potential to develop a massively multiplayer online game (MMOG). The application of the license is not limited to the traditional retail boxed product model, as it also encompasses all future interactive platforms, including mobile device gaming and the burgeoning digital distribution markets.

LIMA Award Nominees Announced

Please fill the envelopes.

The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association (LIMA) today announced 75 nominees for the Annual LIMA International Licensing Excellence Awards, recognizing the industry’s best and most successful licensed properties and products from the past year. Awards in seven categories plus the License of the Year Award will be announced at LIMA’s Opening Night Awards Party on June 8 during Licensing International Expo 2010 in Las Vegas.

Nominations were solicited from across the licensing industry and winners will be chosen by a vote of the LIMA membership.

The License of the Year award will recognize an outstanding property that has had the most significant and profound impact on the licensing community during calendar year 2009. The candidates listed below were chosen by the LIMA Awards Committee from among the category-specific nominees.

Property: Brand Owner/Licensing Agent:
2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic: National Hockey League
Burger King: Burger King/Broad Street Licensing Group
Food Network: Scripps Enterprises/Brandgenuity LLC
Hello Kitty: Sanrio, Inc.
In the Night Garden: Ragdoll Productions/BBC Worldwide Limited
Skelanimals: Skelanimals, LLC/Art Impressions, Inc.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon: Summit Entertainment

Sixteen awards will be presented to top licensees and properties in seven categories: Art, Character, Corporate, Film/Television/Entertainment, Sports, Licensed Promotions, and Retailer. In addition to acknowledging the Best Brand Program of the Year in the Character, Corporate, Entertainment, and Sports categories, awards for Best Licensee-Hard Goods and Best Licensee-Soft Goods will be presented. In the Art category, best program and best licensee will be recognized. Each winner will receive the coveted etched-glass trophy sporting the LIMA logo.

For a complete list of the nominees in each award category, Read the rest of this entry »

Scholastic and HandsOn Team to Make a BIG Difference

Scholastic Media and volunteer organization HandsOn Network are working together in celebration of National Volunteer Week to inspire youth engagement in service through the BE BIG campaign. Children and families can visit the Scholastic or HandsOn websites to find opportunities to get involved with on the local level by volunteering at one of the many HandsOn Network projects across the country. In addition to the Greater DC Cares’ “Servathon” in Washington DC, large-scale service opportunities will take place in Minneapolis, Atlanta, St. Louis, and Toledo.

Kids, parents, teachers, and community leaders are also invited to take action during National Volunteer Week and enter their BIG ideas in the second annual Be Big In Your Community contest. It invites people to submit a BIG idea that demonstrates Clifford’s BIG Ideas (Share, Play Fair, Have Respect, Work Together, Be Responsible, Be A Good Friend, Help Others, Be Truthful, Be Kind, and Believe In Yourself) for a chance to win $75,000 in community grants.

Clifford’s Big Ideas came out of the curriculum developed for the animated television series, which celebrates its 10th anniversary on PBS KIDS this year. Newly repackaged Clifford classic stories by Clifford creator Norman Bridwell will be released in May from Scholastic.

Yak Pak Appoints Stone America as Licensing Agent

Stone America Licensing has been appointed licensing agent by NYC teen/college student fashion bag company, Yak Pak. Founded in 1989 by Stephen Holt and Rolando Cohen in Brooklyn, N.Y., Yak Pak provides young consumers with backpacks, messenger bags, handbags, totes, laptop sleeves, luggage, and accessories. Yak Paks are sold at retailers across the United States and Canada ranging from teen specialty chains, boutiques, and department stores, to sporting goods retailers and college book stores. Yak Pak sponsors numerous music events and charity functions throughout the year and Yak Pak products are regularly featured in films, magazines, on television, and in online editorials.

Stone America will offer manufacturers and retailers the opportunity to license school supplies, stationery, apparel accessories, social expressions, room décor, and a full array of gifts & novelties utilizing Yak Pak’s library of designs and patterns.

Pocoyo Comes to the U.S.

Preschool TV show Pocoyo, from Zinkia and ITV Studios Global Entertainment, is coming to the U.S. as part of Nickelodeon’s Nick Jr. lineup starting later this spring.

The series revolves around the adventures of a 3-year-old boy named Pocoyo (“little me,” in Spanish) and his animal pals Elly  (an elephant), Pato (a duck), and Loula (a dog).

Bandai America, master toy licensee in the U.S. and  Canada, will be launching a new line of consumer products inspired by the CGI  series later this year. Television rights to the series are distributed internationally by ITV Studios, while Zinkia handles distribution for Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Latin America.

Check out the recently launched, kid-targeted Pocoyo website from Zinkia here.

Bradford Exchange Choo-Chooses Ringling Bros.

Illinois-based Bradford Exchange Ltd. has acquired the right to manufacture and market Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Toy Villages to accompany Bradford’s scale train Sets and accessories. In a deal announced at the beginning of this year, Bradford had previously secured the rights to produce Ringling Bros. Train Sets and Accessories. Bradford’s licensed Ringling Bros. products including the Villages are to be sold through Bradford’s Direct Response Channels (print media, brochures), as well as Internet Sales via the Bradford Exchange website and its affiliate website. The deal was facilitated by CopCorp Licensing.

CopCorp also announced that that Paper Products Design has expanded its licensing arrangement with artist Will Bullas to include beverage napkins, boxed matches and boxed cork coaster sets.

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