Snoopy and the NHL are lacing up for a major licensing push this year. New York-based United Media, licensing agent for Charles Shultz’s Peanuts property, and the National Hockey League have inked a multi-year cross-licensing agreement. As per the deal, the two companies will seek to sign licenses across a number of categories, including toys, games, novelties, apparel, gifts and accessories. All product will combine the likenesses of Peanuts characters and the trademarks and logos of the National Hockey League. The first wave Peanuts-NHL merch is slated to hit stores in Q1 2000.
NFL renews with PolyGram
The National Football League has extended its licensing agreement with PolyGram Home Video, granting it permission to continue creating and distributing home video product for the U.S.-based professional football league. PGV, soon to be known as USA Home Entertainment pending government approval of USA Networks acquisition of the division from PolyGram, will release 38 home video titles this year beginning in August. Among the tapes on this year’s roster are team-specific videos, compilation videos and a commemorative Super Bowl title. Additionally, PGV/USA Home Entertainment will be offering DVD versions of each of the titles.
Humongous goes big with sports
Humongous Entertainment has taken a giant step towards securing its place as a major producer of sports-themed interactive entertainment. The Seattle, Washington-based company has signed licensing agreements with the Major League Baseball Players Association, the National Football League and Major League Soccer, allowing it to develop and market one CD-ROM kids game per sport.
All of the titles, Backyard Football, Backyard Baseball and Backyard Soccer (US$19.99 each), which Humongous is marketing under its Junior Sports brand, follow the same format: each game will feature prominent pro players as kids, allowing real kids to imagine themselves as budding star athletes. All of the games feature Internet multiple-player capabilities, giving kids from around the world the chance to engage in head-to-head competition. The first title, Backyard Football, will be released in October of this year, with the other two titles hitting retail in 2000.