Inside Licensing News and Notes, Dec. 21. 2017

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Sesame Workshop, International Rescue Committee Get $100 Million Grant

Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee secured a $100 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation after emerging the winner in the 100&Change competition with a proposal for educating and supporting refugee children affected by the Syrian civil war. The award, the largest ever under the Chicago-based organization’s 100&Change label, capped an 18-month process that began with 1,904 organizations in June 2016 as part of a competition calling for proposals “promising real progress toward solving a critical problem” in any field or location, the foundation said. The joint proposal, chosen from among four finalists, has the potential to change the lives of “millions of children” across Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, Sesame Workshop CEO Jeffrey Dunn said in a statement.


Sesame Workshop, Jeffrey Dunn, CEO 212-875-6750,

Sharp, Toshiba TV Brands Re-Launching as Licensed Properties

Long-standing Sharp and Toshiba TV brands are being re-launched as licensed properties. Turkish consumer electronics supplier Vestel Trading Co. introduced a series of TVs under the Toshiba brand in Europe earlier this fall, including 65-inch OLED and ultra-high definition LCD TVs, as part of licensing deal with Toshiba Visual Solutions Corp. Vestel gained access to the brand in buying a stake in Toshiba licensee Compal Electronics Europe, which transferred the European license to Vestel.

Meanwhile, Hisense’s proposed deal for buying a 95% stake in Toshiba Visual Solutions for $114 million – an agreement that includes a 40-year license for the brand with Toshiba Corp. (Inside Licensing Nov 20) — is scheduled to close in February. Hisense signed a five-year licensing pact for the Sharp label in 2015, but the agreement has been at the center of a dispute between the companies. Sharp sued Hisense earlier this year, alleging the company “cut corners” on Sharp-branded LCD TVs in failing to meet the quality required under the license (Inside Licensing June 15).


Hisense, Mark Viken, VP Marketing, 678-318-9060

Sharp Home Electronics Co. of America, James Sanduski, Pres., 201-529-8200

Vestel, Matthew Lang, Managing Dir. UK, +44 333 0146 400

Sports Direct’s First-Half Licensing Revenue Dips 4%

UK sporting goods retailer Sports Direct’s licensing revenue dipped 4% to £16.6 million in the first-half ended Oct. 29, due partly to its sale last year of the Dunlop brand. The loss of Dunlop revenue was partly offset by the company signing of 11 new agreements across 5 licensees for the Slazenger, Lonsdale and Everlast brands and renewals of other pacts carrying a total of £5 million in minimum guarantees, Sports Direct said. Overall, Sports Direct’s first-half pre-tax profit fell to £45.8 million from £140.2, due largely to its not having year-earlier proceeds from the sale of JD Sports. First-half revenue jumped 4.7% to £1.71 billion. First-half earnings included £63.9 million in revenue from the purchase of 50 Bob’s Stores and Eastern Mountain Sports locations in May in the Northeastern U.S. Sports Direct also has a 40% stake in footwear retailer Finish Line and owns 13% of Iconix Brands Group.


Michael Ashley, CEO, +44 844 248 2683