BKN International’s recent licensing summit-the first in the company’s history-brought 35 licensees of the company’s Pocket Dragon Adventures and Extreme Dinosaurs properties to a 15th century castle in Leeds, England.
The main aims of the summit were to establish a greater rapport among existing licensees and to encourage cross-promotional strategies, says BKN president Nadia Nardonnet. ‘[We wanted] to really emphasize the success of Extreme Dinosaurs and to give the licensees that were there and were on board [from the start] all the news about the series in the syndication market and the sales success of toys in the United States.’
BKN currently boasts 50 licensees for Extreme Dinosaurs, which airs in more than 50 countries. At the summit, the company signed deals with Carleton Video and Village Roadshow to distribute the program in the U.K. and Australia, respectively.
BKN also used the summit to showcase its newest show, Pocket Dragon Adventures, slated to air early this year. To that end, it signed a deal with Suzuki that will allow the car company to use all six of the characters from the show as corporate mascots for a new line of vehicles. The agreement, which only covers France, represents a major step in cross-promotional partnerships for BKN. ‘[The auto industry] is an area where we’ve never had a presence before, so that’s very good,’ says Nardonnet.
In addition to the summit, BKN has also started hosting a series of vendors` day breakfasts at toy store and retail chains throughout Europe and the United States in an effort to make sure that licensees and retailers are on the same page in terms of marketing toys and products based on BKN shows. ‘This is a major point for licensing. To be sure that the the licensee program will work, we need to have the retailers behind the property,’ says Nardonnet.
Next year, Nardonnet says, BKN will hold the summit in a slightly more modern surrounding-an 18th century villa near Lake Como, Italy.