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A Portrait of Jerry Sachs: ‘I was drawn to his electricity’ – Sid Kaufman

When Sid Kaufman first met Jerry Sachs in 1993, he was struck with a lasting impression. 'Immediately, I was drawn to his electricity and his passion for the business.'...
June 1, 1996

When Sid Kaufman first met Jerry Sachs in 1993, he was struck with a lasting impression. ‘Immediately, I was drawn to his electricity and his passion for the business.’

MCA had hired Sachs as a consultant, and Kaufman was working as the president of MCA/Universal Merchandising. ‘He has an excellent command of the business, and he’s very pragmatic and confident.’

A year later, Kaufman still had Sachs on his mind when he founded his Burbank, California-based licensing agency, Total Licensing Services. ‘I knew that Jerry was the kind of person I wanted to be in business with.’

His ongoing relationship with Sachs helped Total Licensing Services win the merchandising rights to Bananas in Pajamas late that year. Sachs Family Entertainment had acquired the U.S. syndication rights to the Australian television series, and Sachs’ ‘vote of confidence’ in him reassured the Australians.

Sachs became an almost-daily advisor to Kaufman while he was trying to sign on licensees. Drumming up interest from the licensing trade was frustrating at times because ‘everybody was very conservative and skeptical’ about new properties after the peak of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Barney.

‘[Jerry] would never cut me off or tell me to quit complaining. He would be there one hundred percent to listen and give me his comments, and then invite me to call him again tomorrow.’

‘He would also give me anecdotes and sales tools to use to maintain a confidence in the licensing trade. But at the same time, he was very realistic about it.’

Sachs’ honesty about whether a project is working or not is one of the characteristics that Kaufman appreciates most in Sachs. ‘Jerry is a very candid man. And he lives and breathes the business. Those qualities are definitely part of his personality; they don’t go away.’

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