Hello Kitty readies for 45 with London and Paris activity

Celebrations for milestone birthday kick start with activity in two major cities.

Sanrio has kicked off the 45th-anniversary activity for Hello Kitty with two activations taking place in London and Paris.

With the character marking the milestone on November 1, she began the celebrations by greeting fans on London’s Southbank on Saturday (October 26), with visitors invited to take the ultimate cute selfie in an immersive plush experience and take home a giveaway.

Visitors were also in with the chance of winning a UK-only prize by posting an image or video of the experience on Facebook or Instagram using #hellokitty45 and tagging @hellokittyeu.

On top of this activity, bubble tea giant Chatime will be creating a selection of exclusive drinks to celebrate Hello Kitty’s birthday from November 8, with the character appearing at the Chinatown restaurant on launch day.

Japan Centre will also launch its limited edition collection of exclusive merchandise at its pop-up at Ichiba, Europe’s largest Japanese food hall in Westfield London for one month from November 4.

Meanwhile, over in Paris, Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussman has also thrown itself into the celebrations.

For the first time, a Hello Kitty café will treat visitors to Franco-Japanese delicacies, in association with Hana Bento (which is the leader in Japanese cuisine in the French capital).

Also available at the pop-up – which opened on October 25 until Monday November 18 – is a range of limited edition Hello Kitty 45th anniversary merchandise, from designer berets and luxe luggage to stationery and plush toys.

In addition, a second Hello Kitty pop-up store will open at the fully revamped Galeries Lafayette Champs Elysees from Monday November 4 to Tuesday December 24.

Further events are also planned in London, Paris, Milan and Berlin to mark Hello Kitty’s anniversary.

Source: https://www.licensingsource.net/hello-kitty-readies-for-45-with-london-and-paris-pop-ups/

Indian Superstar & Fan Favourite Yuvraj SIngh blasts into the Abu Dhabi T10

Legendary Indian all-rounder, Yuvraj Singh, is set to smash his way onto the scene of the Abu Dhabi T10 having been acquired by the Maratha Arabians.

The former Indian master blaster who is regarded as one of the greatest limited over cricketers to ever play for his country, was signed as an ‘Arabian’ and will square off against the formidable T10 defending champions, the Northern Warriors, on the opening night of the tournament on 15thNovember.

“Playing in the Abu Dhabi T10 is a double joy for me because it will be my world T10 debut and because I always enjoy the warmth and support of the passionate cricket fans there,” said Singh.

“T10 suits my character and style of play. With such short matches, every ball, every over is important and you’re facing world-class competition every night so you’ve got to be ultra-focussed. I hope Maratha Arabians fans and Indian cricket fans have already got their tickets because we’re going to put on a show.”

Singh’s inclusion on the Maratha Arabians side is one of the final player selections ahead of the tournament, with 120 players recently drawn at the Abu Dhabi T10 Draft. With such big names joining Singh as Eoin Morgan, Shane Watson, Muhammed Amir, Moeen Ali, Andre Russell, Lasith Malinga and Darren Sammy, the short form format is set to burst its way onto the global stage once again this November.

His Excellency Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: “Yuvraj Singh is one of the game’s undisputed superstars, and the confirmation he is joining the Abu Dhabi T10 is indicative of our city’s status as a world-class sporting destination that attracts the best.”

Singh’s inclusion adds yet another impressive dimension to the showpiece tournament which is being hosted in Abu Dhabi for the first time and will be beamed to Sony Network’s enormous Indian viewer base of 700 million on Sony Six and Sony Ten 3 channels.

Maratha Arabians Co-owner, Parvez Khan commented: “We felt confident after the draft that we had a powerful line-up that would challenge for the title. But now adding Yuvraj to a team with Lynn, Bravo, Zadran and Malinga really puts Maratha Arabians on another level in terms of competitiveness and fan appeal.”

Co-owner Sohail Khan, actor and brother of superstar Salman Khan, added: “It’s terrific to have a world-class player like Yuvi in our squad. We have seen his exploits for India in various formats. He is a champion cricketer and has been one of the greats of the white ball format. It’s a huge honor to have him in our squad.”

Ali Tumbi, Maratha Arabians co-owner, added: “If you have the chance to add a player of Yuvraj Singh’s caliber to your team, you do whatever it takes. We are delighted he will be playing for Maratha Arabians and I’m confident the fans will be pleased to watch him play against the other elite talent assembled for the Abu Dhabi T10.”

The opening ceremony concert of the Abu Dhabi T10 will take place on November 14, with the first match kicking off on November 15. For further information about tickets and hospitality information, please visit: https://www.q-tickets.com/AbuDhabit10

Merchantwise to rep ‘MINECRAFT’ in OZ

Australia’s Merchantwise Licensing has been tapped as the licensing agency for the “Minecraft” video game covering Australia and New Zealand.

Merchantwise will develop retail events and forge licensing and merchandising partnerships to stimulate engagement among the “Minecraft” community in the region. This marks the first time “Minecraft” has had local representation in Australia and New Zealand.

The agency appointment comes ahead of two major “Minecraft” game launches: “Minecraft Earth,” an augmented reality mobile game, and “Minecraft Dungeons,” a multiplayer dungeon-crawler style action game for gaming consoles and PCs.

“We are honored to be working with Microsoft and Mojang on this unique and exciting brand, which both entertains and promotes positive values,” says Alan Schauder, managing director, Merchantwise. “Celebrating its 10th birthday in 2019, ‘Minecraft’ is more popular than ever, with new games, film and TV entertainment all planned over the next few years. Above all, ‘Minecraft’ is a brand that parents and educators love because it encourages creativity, problem-solving, collaboration and other life skills.”

Source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/agency-appointments/merchantwise-rep-minecraft-oz

Barbie puts Malibu Dream House on AIRBNB

Airbnb has partnered with Barbie to put a fully-realized recreation of the Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse on the vacation rental market.

Located in the heart of Malibu, Calif., the life-size home is available for booking for a one-time, two-night stay on Oct. 23. The rental is priced at $60 a night to commemorate Barbie’s 60th anniversary. The oceanfront villa features Barbie-inspired touches throughout including a walk-in closet with memorabilia from the iconic doll’s backlog.

Barbie’s Dreamhouse design includes:

  • An infinity pool with views of the California coast;
  • A waterslide;
  • A personal cinema;
  • A hobby studio;
  • A sport court;
  • A meditation space;
  • An outdoor dining patio; and
  • A fully stocked kitchen.

Guests at the villa are treated to:

  • A meet-and-greet with celebrity hairstylist and girl boss Jen Atkin;
  • A one-on-one fencing lesson with medalist and Barbie inspiration Ibtihaj Muhammad;
  • A cooking lesson with Gina Clarke-Helm, chef, Malibu Seaside;
  • A tour of Columbia Memorial Space Center with Jill Meyers; and
  • A gallery wall and mementos that celebrate Barbie’s notable accomplishments.

To celebrate the unique partnership, Airbnb will also make a donation to the Barbie Dream Gap Project GoFundMe initiative, which provides grants to charities that support mentorship and education for girls.

Source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/toys/barbie-puts-malibu-dream-house-airbnb

Youtube partners with MerchBar to sell music swag

In what is certainly likely to provide an added fillip to the music industry – TechCrunch reports that YouTube has decided to jump headfirst into the music merchandising business by enabling its community of artists & influencers to offer a range of premium merchandise to their fans from “a shelf just below the video”.

The story goes on to report that “Merchbar today carries more than 1 million items from 35,000 artists, making it one of the largest music merchandise aggregators worldwide.”

Marshmello x merchbar
Pic courtesy TechCrunch

When there’s an opportunity for innovation, can Marshmellow be far behind?

Earlier in the year, we had reported on his groundbreaking collab with Fortnite to host a concert from his bedroom!

 

 

 

 

 


We reached out to a few stalwarts from the Indian Music space to get their take.

Mandar Thakur – Chief Operating Officer, at Times Music 

“Quite honestly I think this is a significant development. Merch has always been unavailable, or a bad retail business model; or not too much demand; or the fact that we were/are a song driven culture and not an artist-driven culture combined together to not have a viable merch business. Although now with the rise in non-film music; creators and artists who connect directly to their fans and don’t need a Shahrukh or Salman to sell their music – merch is, in my opinion, a valued opportunity and am glad YouTube is enhancing this opportunity”

 

 

 

Atul Churamani – Managing Director, at Turney Music & Publishing Pvt. Ltd.

“Its fantastic to learn about the association that is looking to promote sale of merchandise. In India the merch business never really took off despite some indie acts successfully selling T-shirts in particular. It needed a boost through marketing by a large entity and YouTube is the largest player in the music business! So this could be the start of the merchandising industry coming into its own which is definitely music to the ears!!”

Unfortunately, fans in India will have to wait a while since the feature is live only in the US. We have reached out to YouTube to get more details on the India launch date and shall keep you posted!

Adidas scores shoppable ‘Snapchat’ game

Adidas has partnered with AvatarLabs and Dick’s Sporting Goods to create an 8-bit “Snapchat” baseball title that unlocks access to purchase a pair of cleats in-game.

Called “Baseball’s Next Level,” the game is an old-school home run derby game that lets players swing away as some of Adidas’ MLB signed athletes. Playable characters include Aaron Judge (Yankees), Carlos Correa (Astros), Alex Bregman (Astros), Justin Turner (Dodgers) and Kiké Hernandez (Dodgers). According to Engadget, each of the athletes in the game have their own Adizero or Icon V cleats, which can be bought directly from the competition.

The Adidas partnership marks the first time “Snapchat” has sold real-life products inside a game. While the game is not considered a Snap Games title, such as the new “Subway Surfers” game from Sybo, Adidas has previously worked closely with “Snapchat” to create AR-based shopping experiences for its apparel and accessories. The AR experience lets users digitally try on the Adidas Ultraboost shoes directly in the “Snapchat” app.

source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/video-games/adidas-scores-shoppable-snapchat-game

Casio celebrates anniversary with Pokemon

To celebrate the 25thanniversary of the first women’s BABY-G shock-resistant watch, Casio has collaborated with The Pokémon Company – in particular Pokémon 025 in the Pokédex, Pikachu – to design a milestone watch.

Encapsulating 1996’s style, the BABY-G watch brings a polygon-style Pikachu, lightening marks and Poké Balls together for a bright new product for both kids and the original players of Pokémon Red and Blue.

Dubbed the BGD560PKC-1, the new brand licensing collaboration from Casio and Pokémon launches in November at select fashion boutiques, online at g-shock.com and at Macy’s.

source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/apparel-accessories/casio-celebrates-anniversary-pokemon

BLE announces Fashion theme for 2020

Following a successful run in 2019, the organizers of Brand Licensing Europe have announced that fashion will be the sole theme for 2020.

This year’s event achieved record visitor numbers once again with a rise of 3 percent to 8,062 and exhibiting companies also increased from 264 to 268.

Next year’s event, which returns to ExCeL London on Oct. 6-8, 2020, will encompass all things fashion licensing: apparel, footwear, accessories and beauty. Early stage plans include a live catwalk, with dramatic-themed fashion shows beamed onto all digital screens throughout the venue.

“BLE has become infamous for its themes and we are so excited about next year’s, we’ve been planning it for months,” says Anna Knight, vice president of licensing, Informa Markets. “What I love about fashion in licensing is how inclusive it is. It’s accessible to every BLE exhibitor and its appeal is universal: it’s relevant to every demographic and is gender, race, age and generation neutral.

“We all have an emotional connection with fashion,” continues Knight. “For years, toys have traditionally been the gateway to consumer products for brands. But apparel is now helping to drive experiences and build brands, especially for categories like eSports, which have an older, hardcore, merch-driven, fanbase. At BLE 2020, we will be exploring fast fashion, haute couture collabs, sustainability, the economy and more. One of the reasons we moved BLE to ExCeL was the potential it offered to create a more experiential show. We proved that this year with our activations and Fresh off the Runway showcase. But next year, our fashion theme will highlight what BLE at ExCeL can offer exhibitors and visitors.”

BLE 2019’s activations included Beyond the Book (publishing), Arcade (gaming and eSports) and Heritage x Interiors.

“They were a huge hit with visitors: interactive, inspirational, bold and beautiful; a real testament to the impact creative, successful licensing programs can have at retail,” adds Knight.

BLE 2020 takes place at ExCeL London from Oct. 6-8, 2020. Find out more at www.brandlicensingeurope.com

Source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/licensing-events/ble-announces-fashion-theme-2020

The industry remembers David Cardwell

Rainbow Production’s David Scott leads the tributes to the co-founder of CPL who sadly passed away last week.

David Cardwell was an inspirational man. Many of us know all about the successes of CPL (or CPLG as it is now called) over the past 45 years, but few people know that he worked his way up from an under-privileged background, leaving school at 14 and coming to London full of ideas, energy and ambition. He worked as an errand boy for the Daily Express, helped create the Elvis Monthly (and relished the chance to interview Elvis himself).

He then worked as a music journalist, including for NME, became a publicist and manager for new pop music acts, most notably The Paper Dolls and Pikketywitch, and then in 1974 mortgaged his family house to help fund the first big contract for the just-founded CPL, working with Cosgrove Hall to make a TV series of Noddy.

And that was before most of us in licensing had even met him…

In those early days, together with his business partner Richard Culley, and along with a very small number of other pioneers and competitors, they established the UK licensing industry. David was someone who has not only helped shape a sector of British business, but also our very way of life and how we consume and interact with entertainment and the media. There are generations of people who have treasured memories of their childhood characters who will never know that their pleasure was enhanced by toys, clothing and a myriad of other items that only exist as they do today because of the drive, vision and creativity displayed by David, Richard and their competitors/colleagues some decades earlier.

CPL grew to become a major player in, firstly, UK licensing followed by an expansion into mainland Europe via a joint-venture called ELG (combining latterly with CPL to become CPLG). Indeed, it became a global success with a worldwide reach and a key port of call for overseas and home-grown rights owners wishing to exploit their brands in the markets where CPL was established. Always at the forefront of the industry, CPL was a veritable academy of licensing and many of its old boys and girls have themselves gone on to become leading lights in the licensing business.

It was a sad coincidence that we should hear the news about David’s death during BLE as the very first licensing exhibitions, and the forerunners of BLE, were supported by CPL which was such a strong player in the licensing world by that time. However, it gave those of us who knew him a chance to meet and chat together and reminisce about David and relate our favourite stories. I have included some of these stories, and thoughts, all recounted with affection by people whose lives, like mine, were changed by their good fortune in knowing him.

I am indebted to Dr Sarah Cardwell Davies, David’s daughter, who kindly provided the details of David’s early years and below are comments from a small number of those who knew him.

David - pictured with his business partner, Richard Culley - helped shape a sector of the British licensing business.
David – pictured with his business partner, Richard Culley – helped shape a sector of the British licensing business.

David Cardwell – Reminiscences from Friends & Colleagues

“It was a bold decision when David and I set up CPL in 1974; back then character licensing really was in its infancy.  Most of the outside world had no idea what we were talking about and had doubts we could make a living (Noddy on t-shirts? What next!). We proved them wrong, of course.

Our enduring partnership I believe lasted as long as it did, mainly because we complemented each other perfectly, were passionate about what we were doing and had the ability to make each other laugh. At the beginning David was the money man and I was acquiring rights and selling licences. It worked; we built from there. David became so knowledgeable I started to believe he’d crept off and done an accountancy degree such was his overnight ability to challenge more than one accountant, and mostly he was right.

Building the company together from scratch was challenging and exciting in equal measure. We had enormous fun over the years, took risks and many paid off. It became a little more serious when we sold to Mosaic and then went public, but at the start we really were living by the seat of our pants. One day David told me simply, we were running out of money. As luck would have it, I received a cheque that day for an advance on one of the first licences we’d secured. We celebrated in the very first branch of Pizza Express in Soho!   The next week David issued a set of rules: no taxis, no couriers (all mail in London to be delivered by foot or bus), no business lunches and a freeze on hiring. He was right, of course!

I feel blessed to have met David, follow our dream and grow CPL with him into the global success it has become.”
Richard Culley

“It’s difficult to dissociate David from the industry and my career – he gave me my first break in the business, as he did to so many. He had a strategic business mind and was a visionary – he was perhaps the first to see the opportunity for toy driven licensing/brand extensions. Knickerbocker Toy – which quickly became Hasbro Europe – was a client, with My Little Pony being one of the first of those properties to launch in the UK when I joined CPL in 1984. David quickly saw the opportunity as MLP became a craze and Hasbro could not keep up demand for toy products so licensed merchandise from CPL met that demand. Toy buyers were taken by surprise… one I remember calling it ‘My Little Warthog’ and refusing to stock it… oops!”
Charles Day

“He was a visionary and a mentor to me, as he was to so many others.”
Caroline Mickler

“David was one of a kind and I was privileged to have worked for him. He gave me an opportunity that I will be forever grateful for as it changed my life. There are so many memories to pull from such as weekly dinners at Chez Gerard or late nights at the Essex House bar in New York during Licensing Show, but my most memorable were the many meetings in the 12th floor board room on Percy Street where I would desperately try to breathe through a cloud of smoke as I hung my head out the window gasping for some fresh air which needless to say was always a challenge in Central London. They broke the mould with David and he will be missed.”
Kirk Bloomgarden

“David Cardwell, a true entrepreneur and visionary, a great friend and mentor. I knew him as an industry leader and his unique business style was very apparent when in the space of one week, he agreed to let me open up the first CPLG office in Germany in 1996, after having bought the remaining shares of the ELG operation. In the early Nineties (1992-1995), he started a pan-European agency network, a testament to his vision of future market developments.

As a smoker I fondly remember his office in Percy Street being a bit ‘smoky’, unlike his business instinct and decisions. When he last bought back CPLG from a Swiss based sports licensing company, he offered several members of his team the possibility to invest in the company and I remember him pushing us to stop reading the 150 plus pages purchase agreement, as everything should be fine [and] we should just get on with it.

David never really was a patient man. The board meetings were always short and to the point and if anyone started to ramble on, he was quite quick to put a stop to it. However, when he was asked about the future of the licensing business or for his advice, he always took the time to explain. I am extremely thankful to have worked closely with David, he formed my insight into our business. He was great fun to be with and I have so many fond memories of our travel together, the business diners, the drinks and many cigarettes! David had a great sense of humour, a sharp intellect and loved to live a good life and I will miss him dearly, as many others will do. Cheers David.”
Katarina Dietrich

“During my time at Copyright Promotions I held various roles, one of which was a new business one that encompassed developing new opportunities for licensing sales outwith and within the group, combined with seeking out new representations. Often I had to report directly to David. While he could be very direct in his feedback I welcomed his advice and encouragement.

He would always make pro-active suggestions, often fired up by products he had seen in the US and he, of course, had a great reservoir of knowledge of the licensing industry. He always knew someone, or else someone who knew someone. I really enjoyed chatting to him and listening to his anecdotes including ones from his time in the music industry. He was also very kind to me when my father was terminally ill and in hospital. He allowed me to leave work during office hours and actively encouraged me to leave the office to go and see my Dad. It was a thoughtful thing for David to do and to suggest. I remember David with fondness, respect and admiration. He helped shape our industry and helped a lot of us build our careers.”
Ian Downes

“Deeply saddened to hear of David’s passing. A real master of the understated but an unwavering enthusiasm for his clients, people and business. RIP.”
Simon Gresswell

“I have many fond memories of David. Aside from him accidentally meeting the Queen, one that always makes me smile is our morning cigarette in the Percy Street office while we waited for the kettle to boil and David describing how he made a jam roly-poly over the weekend. Only he forgot to remove the tea towel and rolled towel with the sponge! I will hold these little stories and moments in my heart forever, along with his random texts to check in over the years. No more texts my dear friend, thank you for everything you did for me – I will miss you very much.”
Angeles Blanco

“My first job in licensing was head of PR at CPL and I very quickly recognised that I had joined an industry full of fantastic characters who really knew how to work hard and play just as hard. David was most certainly one of these! Something we all looked forward to was the annual Christmas party which, certainly at that time seemed extravagant affairs at which there was very little in the way of holding back. There is now a select group of licensing people who will always remember seeing David careering down the stairs at Shepperton Studios on a tea tray!”
Jane Garner

“David offered me a job in 1992 with a struggling company called Rainbow Productions, which was a subsidiary of CPL in those days. He interviewed me on a Monday and I had the job of managing director by Friday (David was not one for hanging around) despite my not knowing what a costume character was, nor ever having visited the Rainbow premises. He was a hard taskmaster but always kept faith in myself and the Rainbow team until, in 1995, he went one step further and sold me the company – in the process changing my business career immeasurably for the better.”
David Scott

Source: https://www.licensingsource.net/indepth/the-industry-remembers-david-cardwell/

Ed Hardy, Revlon extend personal care line

Iconix Brand Group has extended its licensing agreement with Revlon for the Ed Hardy brand in the fragrance and personal care categories for an additional four years.

Revlon will continue to partner with Ed Hardy to create items including deodorant, hair care products, body lotion, body wash and aftershave. It will extend Revlon’s collection, which currently offers nine Ed Hardy fragrances and two upcoming new unisex fragrances scheduled for a fall 2020 launch.

The deal follows Iconix’s partnership with Vanilla Star earlier this year, which saw the launch of Ed Hardy-branded apparel in the U.S. and Canada.

source: https://www.licenseglobal.com/health-beauty/ed-hardy-revlon-extend-personal-care-line