15.01 CBS 300x200

CBS folds film dept. to focus on streaming

Films will be folded into CBS Entertainment Group over the next 12 months, according to Variety.

In the meantime, the company will release its next four scheduled films in theaters: Five Feet Apart, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Pavarotti and Lexi. Several of these movies are being distributed through the company’s partnership with Lionsgate.

After the last of these films debuts in cinemas, CBS will shift toward finding content for the company’s streaming services. These platforms could include CBS All Access, the media conglomerate’s initial entry into the streaming space, but there is no official statement.

Terry Press, president, CBS Films, is expected to continue to lead the division. CBS Films’ name will stay on CBS Films releases.

“As part of our ongoing optimization of CBS operations, CBS Films will be folded into the larger CBS Entertainment Group throughout 2019,” says CBS Corporation via statement. “This will allow the company to further focus its entertainment resources on its television, digital and streaming businesses. We are grateful for the continued leadership of Press and the passionate efforts of everyone at CBS Films.”

source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/industry-news/cbs-folds-film-dept-focus-streaming

Rubik’s sells minority stake


Rubik’s Brand, the London-based brand that holds the rights to the Rubik’s cube, has sold a minority stake to European private equity firm Bancroft Investment.

RBL was created by the founding families of the original Rubik’s brand in 2013.

In the last five years, RBL has rolled out a licensing program that has led to collaborations with companies including Google, Red Bull and McDonald’s.

Bancroft’s investment will help the group to further the global awareness of the Rubik’s brand through new channels, products and markets. Christoph Bettin will serve as the company’s new chief executive officer.

Source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/industry-news/rubiks-sells-minority-stake

ManU opens clubs in China

Manchester United, in partnership with Chinese property developer Harves, will open a series of club-themed entertainment and experience centers throughout China.


The first Manchester United Entertainment and Experience Centers are scheduled to open in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenyang by the end of 2020. They will use interactive attractions and exhibitions to bring the excitement of Manchester United and its Old Trafford stadium to the iconic club’s 100 million followers in China, giving fans a place to celebrate the team.

The Beijing center will be located within the Beijing FUN development, in the historic Qianmen Dashilan area right next to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City.

Each venue will feature interactive and immersive experiences, using state-of-the-art technology to bring Manchester United to life. Visiting fans will be able to experience the thrill of a matchday at Old Trafford as well as learn the history and heritage of ManU.

Each Manchester United Entertainment and Experience Center will offer visitors a different experience and will include restaurants, along with a club retail store.

“We’re very excited to be partnering with Harves on the Manchester United Entertainment and Experience Centers concept, offering our millions of Chinese fans the chance to experience the club in a new and innovative way,” says Richard Arnold, managing director, Manchester United. “We first visited China in 1975, and we’re proud to have seen our fan base in the region grow and develop their passion for United over the years. This new concept will allow them to get closer to the club they love.”

“Harves is honored to partner with Manchester United and bring our property development expertise in the creation of these centers,” says Bo Zhang, chief executive officer, Harves. “They were the first club to broadcast games in China, and I can remember setting my alarm to watch the best players in the world play. Manchester United was also the first to tour China and the first to host fan events in the country. But they are so much more than a football club. They are always striving for excellence in the way they approach life. We are excited to bring the rituals and emotions of the Manchester United experience to the youth in China, capturing what it feels like to be a member of this elite club. Rooted in its unique approach to training, its storied legacy and leadership and its status as the most successful club in the world, we will create a fully immersive experience that entertains, educates and inspires the next generation of football fans.”

Source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/sports/manu-opens-clubs-china

Holiday sales top $850 billion!

Holiday sales increased 5.1 percent to more than $850 billion in 2018, according to Mastercard’s latest Mastercard SpendingPulse report.

According to the report, which tracks retail spending trends across all payment types including cash and check, the uptick was the most substantial growth in six years.

Online shopping increased by 19.1 percent year over year.

“From shopping aisles to online carts, consumer confidence translated into holiday cheer for retail,” says Steve Sadove, senior advisor, Mastercard and former chief economic officer and chairman, Saks Incorporated. “By combining the right inventory with the right mix of online versus in-store, many retailers were able to give consumers what they wanted via the right shopping channels.”

Holiday retail highlights include:

  • Apparel performed well with a growth rate of 7.9 percent over 2017, the category’s best growth rate since 2010. Apparel sales experienced strong momentum from the back-to-school season through Christmas.
  • Home improvement spending grew across the U.S. and increased 9 percent over the holiday season. The trend started before the holiday period and continued through the end of 2018.
  • The amount spent on electronics and appliances fell 0.7 percent.
  • The home furniture and furnishing categories grew by 2.3 percent.
  • Department stores saw a 1.3 percent decline year over year, which follows two years of gains under 2 percent. Online growth for department stores measured at 10.2 percent.

Weather impacted some shoppers. On Black Friday, cold weather struck the East Coast, and wet weather affected both the West and East Coasts on the weekend of Dec. 15-16. Storms also impacted the East Coast on Dec. 21, potentially affecting sales.

Crayola Colors in Chic-Fil-A

Crayola and Chick-fil-A have partnered for a promotional alliance.

Under the terms of the agreement, Crayola and Chick-fil-A will offer five toys including a Storybook Artist set, a Roll-n-Draw set, a Colorful Texture Safari kit, a Color Critter Box and a Crayola-gaming set.

Each meal also includes Crayola crayons and an offer for $10 in savings for use on Crayola.com. Crayola.com is hosting a micro-site to support the promotion, which will include two create-it-yourself holiday craft ideas. Signage and drive-thru signage will be featured in-restaurant.

The program will run through Dec. 18.



12.23 SABE

“Super Wings” sends seasons greetings to sick children

Alpha Animation and Toys and Flybe brought the spirit of Christmas to children from the Children’s Cancer Unity Charity this holiday season by giving them a chance to meet Santa.

“Super Wings”’ Jett greeted the children at George Best Belfast City Airport, where they posed for pictures and checked in for a particular flight.

The hour-long flight carried 30 children to the “North Pole” where they saw Santa and were gifted Alpha Animation and Toys goody bags and “Super Wings” surprises.

The initiative was supported by social media and competition opportunities as well as by the distribution of activity sheets across the Flybe network.

Source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/television/super-wings-sends-seasons-greetings-sick-children

23.12 Spider-Man 300X200

Spider-Man spins a web of merch

Marvel has entered a series of deals for merchandise inspired by its new animated film Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.


Funko is on board for a line of Pop! general release and exclusive renditions of Peter, Miles, Gwen, Noir, Green Goblin and The Prowler.

An additional Miles in his first attempt at costume makeup, hatless Noir and Spider-Ham are available exclusively at Walgreens. Hasbro has signed for a line of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse toys, including a new action figure series that consists of a six-inch Spider-Gwen, Miles, Peter and Prowler. A Miles figure is available as a foot-tall Titan Hero and a Shock Strike rendition. A Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy 2-pack is available exclusively at Target.

A 16-month 2019 calendar is now available that features images of Miles, Gwen, Peter, Noir and Spider-Ham. Hot Topic has released a range of t-shirts that feature the Miles Morales logo, among others.

Ramin Zahed’s Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse: The Art Of The Movie hardcover book offers a look at the making of the film. The film’s original soundtrack is available now at Target and includes tracks such as, “What’s Up Danger,” “Familia” and “Scared of the Dark.” Hasbro’s Prowler Attack 3-D Game, a Walmart exclusive, invites players to play as Miles, Gwen, Peter or Noir to capture Prowler.

Finally, Nike’s Jordan Brand has paired for the Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG Origin Story, the shoes seen on Miles in the film.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is now playing in theaters!

Source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/movies/spider-man-spins-web-merch

05.12 Overwatch 300x200

Fanatics to create Overwatch fan gear

The Overwatch League has signed a multi-year deal with sports retailer Fanatics to bring its fans an omnichannel retail experience and a new assortment of branded merchandise. The partnership is Fanatics’ first deal with an eSports entity.

Through the deal, Fanatics has obtained the U.S. and international rights to produce Overwatch League fan gear, jerseys, headwear and hard goods across all wholesale and retail points, leveraging its on-demand manufacturing capabilities and supply chain. The deal will see the debut of gear for Overwatch League’s new expansion teams–Atlanta Reign, Chengdu Hunters, Guangzhou Charge, Hangzhou Spark, Paris Eternal, Toronto Defiant, Vancouver Titans and the Washington Justice.

The two companies will also come together to identify new opportunities for the brand in the consumer products space. Fanatics will set up a new worldwide e-commerce and mobile shopping platform and oversee all on-site retail operations for all league events. Fanatics will also operate on-site stores for all Overwatch League regular-season matches at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles and other league events.

License Global sat down with Daniel Siegel, head, licensing, Overwatch League to learn more about the deal.

Why is this deal important to the e-sports community?

This is the first partnership between the first ever global city-based e-sports league and the global leader in licensed sports merchandise, so we couldn’t be any happier.

How does the deal with Fanatics benefit Overwatch League?

Fanatics will allow us to broaden our access to our Overwatch League fan-base—not only in terms of access but also to deliver high-quality merchandise in the United States and internationally. We think that Fanatics can do this for us because they are an omnichannel solution, they have retail capabilities that are best in class that can service our fans whether they’re shopping online, on their phones, or attending our league events.

What should the licensing industry know about e-sports and its fans?

Everyone’s heard about e-sports it’s not just a fad it’s a trend that is here to stay. E-sports to me is a generational shift between traditional sports and new sports. Our consumer is that ever elusive millennial and gen-z person We know that licensees are eager to market to that fan base it’s important for the licensing community to understand this. At this point in time, the Overwatch League license does include the league rights, the rights to use all 20 teams and the players. Which is something that is untraditional in the sports space to have all of those rights under one umbrella.

Is the Overwatch merchandise only for fans of Overwatch League?

Not only will our core Overwatch fans be coming to the site, Shop.OvertachLeague.com, which debuts before the start of our regular season, we will also be attracting other types of sports fans because of Fanatics relationships with the other sports leagues. We feel that there is a lot of cross-marketing community.

What does the release of official Overwatch League gear mean to the fans?

The idea of Overwatch League is to give our fans something they couldn’t get anywhere else. For a lot of our fans this is going to be the first time they’ve ever bought a jersey. So the fact that that first jersey can be an overwatch jersey is super important to us. We’re working hard with fanatics on fan gear as well and we want to make our fan gear distinct from what Fanatics has been doing with the traditional sports leagues.”

What is the plan for Overwatch licensing program in the next 5 years?

Global expansion is a huge part of what we hope to accomplish with Fanatics, they have international rights so well be able to service our teams in international territories. To have that kind of global coverage is certainly very exciting for us. We also look forward to partnering with Fanatics to bring other companies into our ecosystem, such as companies can produce goods partnership with both Overwatch League and Fanatics to create categories of merchandise that Fanatics won’t do on its own.

The partnership will be finalized before the start of the 2019 Overwatch League season, which is set to begin Feb. 14. Additional details will roll out soon

source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/industry-news/fanatics-create-overwatch-fan-gear

11.28 Sesame Street 300x200

‘Sesame street’ revives record label

Warner Music Group’s Arts Music division and Sesame Workshop have come together to reboot Sesame Street Records in the U.S. and Canada.

As part of the multi-year deal, beloved music recordings from the television series “Sesame Street” are now available on digital streaming and download platforms and new compilation titles are available on vinyl and CD.

The imprint will release never-before-heard music from both current and previous seasons of the show, including features by celebrity guests. New selections will be branded around educational topics, current events and upcoming themes from the show and will also include new cover songs and parodies from outside of the series.

The new titles that will include these songs will roll out in early 2019. “’Sesame Street’ and music have had a long-standing harmony that began nearly 50 years ago,” says Kevin Gore, president, arts music, Warner Music Group. “I’m thrilled this partnership with Sesame Workshop is our first initiative for Arts Music in the kids’ music space. I watched the first episode, owned their first album, shared this music with my kids, and I can’t think of a better brand or mission as our foundation in this space.”

The partnership marks the first time in 20 years that new “Sesame Street” music will be available on a consistent schedule. Select titles have been released since September, and a holiday compilation is set to debut this month.

Source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/television/sesame-street-revives-record-label

11.27 PLAYSTATION 300x200

Nike & Paul George plug into Playstation

Sony’s PlayStation and Nike have paired to launch a new sneaker inspired by the original PS gaming system, under the label of basketball player Paul George.

The Nike PG 2.5 x PlayStation takes cues from the iconic console and celebrates George’s love for video games with PlayStation symbols on the counter and heel, as well as the classic four-color PlayStation logo on the left shoe, a variant of the PG2’s light up the tongue.

The Nike PG 2.5 x PlayStation debuted at the Nov.21 game against the Golden State Warriors and will be released on the “SNKRS” app and at major retail outlets on Dec.1.

source: http:// https://www.licenseglobal.com/electronics/nike-paul-george-plug-playstation