Inside Licensing News and Notes, Dec. 22, 2017

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McMahon Company Applies for XFL Trademarks

A revival of the Xtreme Football League (XFL)? That’s the question dangling from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) CEO Vince McMahon’s sale of 3.34 million that generated about $100 million. WWE shares to fund Alpha Entertainment, a separate venture that has applied to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for five abandoned league-related trademarks earlier this month as part of an effort to “explore” investments across entertainment and sports, including professional football. The application seeks to trademark XFL as a professional football league and covers consumer products, mobile application including electronic games and distribution of TV programming. The XFL was a joint venture of WWE and NBC that lasted one season (2001) as an outdoor league that played during the National Football League’s off-season.

Contact:

World Wrestling Entertainment, Vince McMahon, CEO, 203-352-8600

 

Executives

Donna Bruschi, ex-Berkshire Fashions, named Director of Licensing at ThinkGeek… Changes at Discovery: Gary Hymowitz, ex-Scholastic, joins Discovery Global Enterprises as Senior Director of Licensing and Publishing; Ricky Li, ex-Aeropostale and Authentic Brands Group, named VP Global Lifestyle and Retail, Discovery Consumer Products… Changes at Topps Company Inc.: David Leiner, formerly General Manager of North American Sports and Entertainment, named Global General Manager as international and North American divisions are combined; Chris Rodman, who headed the international division for 20 years, will remain a consultant for Topps soccer projects and other ventures.

Contacts:

Discovery Global Enterprises, Gary Hymowitz, Senior Dir. Licensing and Publishing, 212-548-5432, gary_hymowitz@discovery.com

Discovery Global Enterprises, Ricky Li, VP Global Lifestyle and Retail, 212-548-5262, ricky_li@discovery.com

Topps Company Inc., David Leiner, Global General Mgr., 212-376-0300,dleiner@topps.com

 

Tony Roma’s-Licensed Potato Chips, Sauces Readying European Launch

U.S. restaurant chain Tony Roma’s is expanding licensing in Europe adding Burts Chips (potato chips) and Aliminter S.A. (barbecue sauce, salad dressing) as RibWorld prepares to launch ribs and pulled meats at Carrefour in Spain in April, says Broad Street Licensing Group’s Bill Cross, whose firm handled the deals. The ribs and pulled meats had been planned for launch last April at Carrefour, but were delayed as the companies finalized contract details, says Cross. Aliminter’s sauces and salad dressings, which are licensed for Spain, will be sold through Carrefour’s 350 stores there, while Burts Chips, which has a license for Europe, starts sales in the UK. Burts Chips has fielded licensed potato chips in the past under brands including Guinness, Reggae musician/celebrity chef Levi Roots and Wychwood Brewery’s Hobgoblin. Tony Roma’s has 25 restaurants in Spain and plans to double its presence there over the next several years, says Cross.

Contacts

Broad Street Licensing Group, Bill Cross, SVP Business Development, 973-655-0598 x12, bill.cross@bslg.com

 

 

Funko Readying Pez Products

Funko is readying a line of co-branded products with Pez., combining the iconic dispensers with its Pop!-shaped heads. Under an agreement brokered by Lisa Marks Associates, Funko will design and source the Pop! heads using its licensed brands and combine them with Pez dispensers for a product that will be packaged in collector window boxes and sold through mass retailers starting in first half 2018. How many of Funko’s licensed characters – the company had about 400 revenue-producing properties in Q2 ended Oct. 29 – will be available is still being determined. The line will be updated throughout the year to feature new characters.

Contact:

Funko, Lauren Winarski, Licensing and Brand Mgr., lauren@funko.com

Lisa Marks Associates, Lisa Marks, Pres., 914-933-3900, lmarks@lma-inc.com

Pez Candy Inc., Amy Kopchak, Marketing Dir.,  203-795-0531, amy@pezcandyinc.