Sports net inks monster game deal
Disney Interactive and Disney-owned sports caster ESPN have licensed Tokyo-based gameco Konami to create a range of sports titles under the ESPN brand for multiple video game and PC platforms. The 10-title deal will see Konami develop games based on professional sports leagues ESPN currently holds licenses to, as well as content drawn from the ESPN media franchise, which includes cable TV networks, radio networks, a magazine and a Web site. Konami will release the first wave of ESPN games this spring, with Major League Baseball and NBA Basketball for Sega Dreamcast only, and Major League Soccer for Sony PlayStation. The second wave of titles will hit stores in the fall.
WSL Roller Jam hits the racks
Fans of TNN’s WSL Roller Jam can now get the back story to the pugilistic exploits of their favorite RJ personalities. The sport property’s licensor Creative Branding Systems has inked a multiyear licensing deal with Howl, Too to publish Roller Jam Magazine. RJM will come out six times a year and will feature articles and pictures of the teams and individual skaters who wage war on the oval every Friday night. Orlando, Florida-based Howl, Too, which previously published WCW Magazine, plans to run 10% to 15% paid advertising in RJM. So far, companies that have bought space in the magazine include Jakks Pacific and Electronic Arts. The inaugural December issue of RJM hit newsstands late last month with a circulation of 150,000. The issues are available at retail for US$3.99 each, and by subscription at a cost US$18 for one year.
Other companies that have recently laced up RJ licenses include Alliance Publishing (trading cards), Buy Rite (temporary tattoos, stickers, Lanyards), ProAd Sports (T-shirts, water bottles) and P.V.I. (temporary tattoos and stickers). According to Jon Peisinger of Creative Branding Systems, the majority of the merchandise is scheduled to arrive in stores in the Q1 2000.