Sports signings

TNN's bump-and-grind...
July 1, 1999

TNN’s bump-and-grind

show tackles licensing

It might make American Gladiators look like chess, but a chronic lack of subtlety hasn’t prevented potential licensees from trying to bottle the thunder emanating from TNN’s wrestling-on-wheels TV property WSL RollerJam.

First to climb into the track is Malibu, California-based toyco Jakks Pacific,which is developing RJ action figures, fashion dolls, die-cast and plastic vehicles, playsets and role-playing accessories that incorporate the look and the logos of the five teams that make up the league. Jakks will release the majority of the product at retail in March 2000, with some SKUs hitting retail in fourth quarter `99.

Other licensees lacing up include LogoAthletic, of Indianapolis, Indiana (T-shirts, fleece and headwear for children and adults), which began shipping some of its merch in May, and L.A.-based Giant Merchandising, which are producing fleece and t-shirts for the specialty market.

RollerJam licensing agent Jon Peisinger, of New Canaan, Connecticut-based Creative Branding Systems, credits the steady licensing interest in the property to the robust TV audiences the show has attracted (particularly with teen males) since taking to the airwaves on TNN last January. CBS Cable, which owns The Nashville Network and part of RollerJam, recently greenlit production of a second season, which begins airing in August.

FSI bolsters b’ball and hockey titles

Fox Sports Interactive has forged new partnerships with two professional North American sports leagues, inking two separate multiyear licensing agreements with the National Basketball Association and with the National Hockey League and its player’s association.

Under the terms of the deals, FSI will produce one title per sport, NHL Championship 2000 and NBA Basketball 2000 (working title). Both games, which are slated to street in September and October, respectively, will be available for the PlayStation and PC-CD-ROM formats.

NASCAR, Hasbro rev up

interactive games

Kids will be getting a handful of wheel this fall courtesy of NASCAR and toyco Hasbro. The North American-based race car organization has granted Hasbro Interactive the rights to create software games and interactive toys that duplicate the thrills and spills of professional auto racing. So far, Hasbro has committed to developing Trivial Pursuit NASCAR, a software title based on the classic board game that allows fans to test their NASCAR knowledge; E-mail NASCAR, a multiplayer Internet game; and Digital NASCAR and CD-ROM, an application that features authentic engine roars and a digital camera, which enables kids to virtually place themselves behind the wheel of a NASCAR vehicle of their choice.

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