Pennsylvania-based youth sports organization Little League Baseball has enlisted the services of licensing and marketing agency SloanVision of New York to help kick-start its licensing program. SV will focus on developing merch programs around Little League logos and proprietary characters, like Dugout, primarily in off-field categories like toy, interactive, apparel, footwear and confectionery. SloanVision agent Philip Wachtler says he will review current LL licensees before signing any new companies, but he expects to have new licensed product in stores by Q4. Last year, according to Wachtler, LL merch pulled in US$15 million in retail sales. Currently, 150 million kids under the age of 12 play in Little League softball and baseball leagues in the U.S. Internationally, LL leagues operate in over 100 countries.
NASCAR puts Manley in driver’s seat
Racing outfit NASCAR has licensed California toyco Manley Toy Quest to develop and market NASCAR-branded walkie talkies (US$9.99), role play sets (US$9.99) and electronic handhelds (US$14.99). The merch, which Manley will preview at Toy Fair this month, is slated to hit stores in April.