IWM Partners for Gifts, Collectibles

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Bradford Exchange is on board to launch new products inspired by the U.K. museum in North America.

NORTH AMERICA–Imperial War Museums has teamed up with Bradford Exchange for a range of consumer products inspired by the museums’ collections.

Spotlight Licensing and Brand Management, IWM’s North American agency, brokered the deal.

Under the terms of the agreement, Bradford Exchange will bring a variety of gifts and collectible products to consumers in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Eire.

“The Bradford Exchange’s well-earned reputation for artistry and innovation makes them an ideal licensee for IWM,” says Carole Postal, president, Spotlight Licensing. “We look forward seeing Bradford gifts and collectibles representing the kind of quality, craftsmanship, and authenticity which civilian and military collectors alike can appreciate.”

SilkAir to Feature ‘Oddbods’

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The branded, in-flight fun packs will feature popular characters from One Animation’s series as well as Singaporean landmarks.

ASIA–SilkAir, in collaboration with Wessco International, has created a collection of kids’ in-flight fun packs inspired by One Animation’s “Oddbods.”

The multi-purpose pouches will feature “Oddbods” characters as well as Singaporean landmarks and SilkAir imagery. The fun packs will also include an “Oddbods” travel journal booklet and outer pocket passport holder.

“As travel becomes an integral part of our lifestyle, we wanted to bring the special brand of ‘Oddbods’ comedy, fun and laughter into the in-flight experience, creating happy memories that will be treasured by kids far and wide,” says Pauline Hiu, licensing director, One Animation.

SilkAir will launch its “Oddbods”-themed fun packs at the end of this year.

ITV Renews Calendar Deal for ‘Poldark’

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The British television series will further extend its presence in the U.S. with an extended range of calendars.

NORTH AMERICA–In a deal brokered by Knockout Licensing, ITV Studios Global Entertainment has renewed its multi-year licensing agreement with Rizzoli International Publications for calendars inspired by “Poldark.”

The two-year agreement will see Rizzoli distribute 2018 “Poldark” calendars as well as produce 2019 and 2020 editions.

Production is currently underway for the fourth season of “Poldark.”

Last-Minute Shopping to Drive Holiday Sales

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The Saturday before Christmas is expected to see 126 million U.S. consumers purchasing holiday goods.

NORTH AMERICA–A little more than half of U.S. adults expect to finish their holiday shopping in the days leading up to Christmas, with some missing the deadline altogether, according to the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics.

In addition, the survey found that only 12 percent of consumers finished their holiday shopping as of Dec. 12, with shoppers having completed an average of only 61 percent. Meanwhile, 53 percent of consumers (approximately 126 million) plan to shop on “Super Saturday,” the last Saturday before Christmas, and 55 percent plan to shop on Christmas Eve. An additional 5 percent reported that their final gifts will not be bought until after Christmas.

“Even though many consumers got a head start with holiday shopping early in the season, millions more are leaving their gift buying to the last minute and beyond,” says Matthew Shay, president and chief executive officer, NRF. “Stores will be packed the next few days as consumers rush to complete their shopping, and anybody ordering online at this point should probably choose in-store pickup as their delivery option.”

As of Dec. 12, 51 percent of last-minute shoppers planned to buy their gifts online as well as department stores (41 percent), discount stores (26 percent), clothing or accessories stores (21 percent), electronics stories (18 percent), local/small businesses (14 percent) and grocery/supermarket stores (14 percent).

Furthermore, the survey found that 54 percent of consumers have already purchased clothing or accessories; 39 percent have already purchased toys; 39 percent have bought gift cards; 35 percent have purchased books, movies or other media; 25 percent have bought consumer electronics; and 25 percent have purchased food or candy. Gifts of experience have also been popular, with 23 percent of consumers purchasing experiential activities.

Finally, 47 percent of respondents plan to take advantage of after-Christmas sales in-store, while another 46 percent will do so online.

“Similar to what we saw over Thanksgiving weekend, consumers are leveraging their smartphones to guide them on their final purchases for the holidays,” says Phil Rist, executive vice president, strategy, Prosper Insights. “Retailers this year have needed to offer great deals online and encourage young people making purchases through their smartphones to take advantage of offerings such as buy online and pick up in store.”

Topps Debuts Sports & Entertainment Division

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David Leiner will be responsible for spearheading and directing the new division.

NORTH AMERICA–The Topps Company has brought together its North American and international sports and entertainment divisions to create one global sports and entertainment division.

In addition, David Leiner, who currently serves as the company’s general manager of North American sports and entertainment, has been appointed to oversee the new division as global general manager. Meanwhile, Chris Rodman, who led the international sports and entertainment division, will stay on as a consultant for Topps’ key soccer projects and more.

In his new role, Leiner will be responsible for spearheading and directing the division’s strategy and business operations. Prior to joining Topps in 2009, Leiner worked for Madison Dearborn Partners and Goldman Sachs.

“We’re creating one global sports and entertainment division to allow us to serve our partners more efficiently as they compete globally and to address consumer demands from an increasingly global marketplace,” says Michael Brandstaedter, president and chief operating officer, Topps. “David has delivered breakthrough innovation and significant operational success in North America and we look forward to bringing that experience to our markets and products throughout the world.”

Gatorade Laces Up with Nike

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The co-branded pieces will feature slogans and hashtags based on the popular “Be Like Mike” commercial.

NORTH AMERICA–Nike’s Jordan brand and Gatorade have teamed up to develop a Gatorade-themed capsule collection to celebrate the beverage company’s 1991 “Be Like Mike” campaign.

The six-piece, co-branded collection features the Air Jordan VI, XXXII low and I OG silhouettes combined with Gatorade’s colors and the brand’s logo. Each shoe also pays homage to the 1991 campaign with details like embroidered theme song lyrics and hashtags.

The “Like Mike” apparel collection, Air Jordan VI and XXXII low are available now at select retailers. Meanwhile, the Air Jordan I OG High Gatorade Collection will be available Dec. 26 and the “Gatorade” Air Jordan VI will be released on Dec. 30.

Star Wars Drives into Nissan

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Kylo Ren, Poe Dameron, BB-8 and other characters inspire new range of concept cars from Nissan.

NORTH AMERICA –LucasFilm and Nissan have teamed up to create seven concept cars inspired by the recently released film Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

The new collection honors the film’s characters on some of Nissan’s best-selling models–including the Rogue, Rogue Sport, and Altima–with names including the 2018 Nissan Altima Special Forces Tie Fighter, 2018 Nissan Kylo Ren and 2018 Nissan Rogue Poe Dameron’s X-wing with BB-8. The customized vehicles will also feature underbody pulse lights, laser cannons, high gloss armor and more.

“We’re back this year collaborating with Lucasfilm and the artists at Industrial Light & Magic to create these amazing concept vehicles across some of our best-selling models,” says Jeremy Tucker, vice president, marketing communications and media, Nissan North America. “These show vehicles were created for our fans, and will be unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show and shared across the country in regional auto shows over the next several months.”

The vehicles debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show and will be on display across the country at regional auto shows throughout the year. The line is not available for purchase.

Southern Tide Ties Up Neckwear Deal

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Harry Bacharch will release the branded neckwear and pocket squares in spring 2018.

NORTH AMERICA–Southern Tide has partnered with weaving and design company Harry Bacharch for a multi-year licensing and manufacturing partnership.

The agreement will see Harry Bachrach produce a variety of printed, woven and seasonal neckwear and pocket squares under the Southern Tide brand.

The Southern Tide neckwear will be available in spring 2018 at Southern Tide signature stores, specialty stores and online.

Differential Brands Teams to Re-Launch Hudson Jeans

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Throat Threads is on board to help bring the prestige brand to the Canadian market.

NORTH AMERICA–Differential Brands Group, a portfolio of consumer brands such as Hudson Jeans, Robert Graham and Swims, has partnered with Throat Threads Apparel to re-launch Hudson Jeans in Canada.

Under the creative direction of “denim innovator” Zihaad Wells, the reincarnated brand will focus on the “denim-devotee” with an emphasis on lifestyle and athleisure goods.

“We are very excited to be a part of the rebirth of Hudson Jeans,” says Candice MacNay, sales director, Throat Threads Apparel. “They will continue to push boundaries with their product style and customers’ expectations. By combining our customer service infrastructure, replenishment programs and expertise with Hudson’s progressive product mix, Hudson Jeans will be a brand to watch for 2018.”

Macy’s Adds Chief Product & Digital Revenue Officer

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Ramsey will oversee both product and revenue for the retailer’s digital platforms.

NORTH AMERICA–Macy’s has appointed Jill Ramsey to serve as the company’s chief product and digital revenue officer, effective Jan. 8.

In her newly established role, Ramsey will focus on reimagining how people shop and will aim to bridge the physical and digital worlds through customer experiences. In addition, she will oversee both product and revenue for Macys.com and the Macy’s app, with responsibilities including digital revenue, enterprise product management, digital merchandise management, site production and the user experience.

Most recently, Ramsey served as vice president and general manager of eBay’s vertical businesses. She also held various positions at Walmart.com for 15 years.

“I am extremely excited to have Jill join the Macy’s team,” says Hal Lawton, president, Macy’s. “She is a strong fit for our business given her experience in product and digital leadership. Jill’s expertise in e-commerce and multichannel retail perfectly aligns with our goal to integrate technology through all aspects of the customer journey.”