Inside Licensing News and Notes April 19, 2017

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Executive Appointments

Linne Kimball, ex-IMG and Reebok, named VP Strategic Partnerships at The Life is Good Company… Anna Kislevitz, ex-Esquire Footwear, named Director of International Licensing at Striker Entertainment, new post covering the UK and Europe, where the agency has sub-agents and about a dozen licensees for The Walking Dead, Five Nights at Freddy’s and other properties. Kislevitz will be based on the East Coast and report to Martine Berreitter, VP of Operations, who previously handled all international markets except Latin America… Julie Mitchell, ex-Hallmark UK, joins UK-based licensing agency JELC as Director and business partner.



Sinking Ship Names Agents for Kids’ Series

Production company Sinking Ship Entertainment scraps internal licensing group as it hires Bravado International Group Merchandising and HiHat Media to handle licensing for its TV series “Odd Squad” and “Dino Dana”, says Sinking Ship’s Kate Sanagan. The company brought Bravado in for “Odd Squad” in November, says Sanagan. HiHat was hired in March for “Dino Dana,” a series featuring a budding paleontologist that launches on Amazon in May. It formed the internal group last June. Sinking Ship will, for the time being, hire separate agents for each of its properties and is currently seeking one for the preschool series “Bookaboo” that debuted on Amazon in the U.S. “Originally we thought licensing would be an internal operation, but when it didn’t work out we ended up having the discussion with Bravado,” which like Sinking Ship, has offices in Toronto, says Sanagan. “Right now we will handle licensing on a property-by-property basis” with agents because “we tend to do that with most of our businesses and on the broadcast side we don’t package all our shows under one license.”


Sinking Ship Entertainment, Kate Sanagan, Head of Sales and Distribution, 416-533-8172 x2242,

HiHat Media, David Jacobs, Pres., 201-394-6440,

Bravado International Group Merchandising, Joe Marziotto, VP Marketing, 212- 445-3400,


Just Born Disbands Retail Group

Candymaker Just Born disbands its retail group two years after forming it. Non-food licensing of Peeps, Mike and Ikes, Hot Tamales, Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews and the company’s other candy brands is now handled by Brand Activation Consulting, which was hired in 2015 to work with the retail group.

Just Born continues to handle brand licensing internally for food, including milk (Prairie Farms Dairy) and cookies (Mondelez International).

The company has 13-15 licensees for non-food products, says Brand Activation’s Bob Traub. Ruse Toys recently signed to supply plush toys and seasonal items (yard signs, décor) starting in 2018 and there are contracts pending for stationery, stickers and tattoos, says Traub. A “large percentage” of Just Born’s licensing agreements are for the Peeps brand, although some companies, including Random House (publishing) and Trau & Loevner (apparel) have pacts for the entire portfolio, says Traub.


Brand Activation Consulting, Bob Traub, CEO, 973-607-1660,;

Just Born, Keith Domalewski, Dir. Marketing and Consumer Engagement, 610-867-7568


Art Agencies Go Their Own Ways

The Buffalo Works and Suzanne Cruise Creative Services dropped plans for merging and will continue as separate art licensing agencies, says Buffalo Works’ Joanne Olds. The combining of the companies was announced in March 2016 with plans for Creative focusing of traditional art licensing and Buffalo handling branding and product development. The companies parted ways in December. Each agency has a stable of about 30 artists. “Unfortunately it didn’t work out,” says Olds. “We parted ways very friendly.” Suzanne Cruise confirmed the parting, noting that former Hallmark executive Jim Bradshaw joined the company in January to head a branding effort for the firm’s artists.


The Buffalo Works, Joanne Olds, Pres., 952-475-3013,;

Suzanne Cruise Creative Services, Suzanne Cruise, Pres., 913-648-2190,


Perry Ellis Outbound Licensing Climbs

Perry Ellis International’s licensing royalties for fiscal year ended Jan. 31 increased 3.7% to $36 million as the company added 22 licensees for its Perry Ellis, Original Penguin, Rafella, Laundry by Sheri Segal and other brands. Accessory licensees were added for Sheri Segal and Rafella, brands that Perry Ellis also is seeking to bring into footwear and handbags, the company said in its 10K.

Overall, the company ended the year with more than 160 license agreements, covering 150 countries. Perry Ellis’ licensing-related operating income jumped to $28.6 million from $7.6 million a year earlier as wholesale sales of licensees’ products rose 3.7% to $723 million. Overall, Perry Ellis swung to a $14.9 million annual profit from a $7.7 million net loss a year earlier, despite total revenue sinking 4.2% to $861 million. Perry Ellis has licenses for several brands in sportswear (Jack Nicklaus, Callaway Golf, PGA Tour) and swimwear (Nike, Jag).


Perry Ellis International, Simon Wong, VP Licensing, +81 2 2339 9900,