The most basic, and probably most important, first step in developing a successful license is to find the right personality fit between a character or trademark and potential licensee.
This requirement certainly seems to have been fulfilled in the licensing marriage between Jim Henson Productions’ hyper-kinetic character Animal and the U.S. Olympic Snowboard Team. The partnership was announced in New York at Licensing 97, the international licensing and merchandising show.
Snowboarding, a fast-growing sport with a core target group of young men age 16 to 25 years, is characterized by speed and dare devil twists and turns the perfect complement to Animal’s own exuberant style.
Animal will appear as part of a worldwide licensing and promotional campaign on snowboards, snowboard accessories, apparel, plush and novelty items as the official mascot of the U.S. Snowboard team. Snowboarding is making its debut as an Olympic sport at the 1998 Games in Nagano, Japan.
Jim Henson Productions is also planning a major promotional push around the campaign with partners in fast food, confectionery products and soft drinks.
Several other highlights from the show include:
- Sony Signatures’ Film and Television division has signed a deal with The Copyright Promotions Licensing Group as its main licensing agent in Europe, and with Marketing Entertainment to handle licensing in Asia. The new deals add to Sony Signatures’ international licensing network at a time when the consumer-products division of Sony Pictures Entertainment is gearing up for a heavy slate of film and television entertainment launches, including a major event program built around the summer 1998 release of feature film Godzilla.
- Visitors to the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, will be getting goosebumps as the spooky stories of R.L. Stine become translated into a new attraction at the Disney-MGM studios. Creatures from Stine’s books will perform at the midway sideshow, which will debut on Halloween.
- Saban Entertainment has found the actor who will star in The All New Captain Kangaroo. He is John McDonough, a veteran of the theatrical stage who has performed in mostly children’s productions with the Hartford Stage, the Delaware Theatre Company and Company One Theatre.