Looking to integrate and enhance the studio’s brand management and promo partnerships, Universal Studios has put its promo and merch ops under new division Universal Partnerships & Licensing (UP&L) that will house its consumer products, film and home entertainment promos and corporate alliances for its theatrical, home entertainment, theme parks and stage productions businesses.
Stephanie Sperber, who currently heads Universal’s promotions efforts, has been tapped to run the entire operation as EVP, while SVP Amy Taylor will oversee North American promotions, worldwide licensing and retail development. Taylor and her team are currently heading up sales efforts for upcoming Universal feature films such as Land of the Lost and the franchise property Curious George, and they’re also handling promo activities for the slate of Hasbro films and those being produced by Universal and Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me).
David O’Connor, SVP of brand management and marketing services for Universal Pictures, will oversee marketing for UP&L, reporting to Sperber and Universal Pictures president of marketing and distribution Adam Fogelson. O’Connor continues to be responsible for developing content ideas and integration with NBC, its related entities and Universal theme parks.
And as VP of corporate partnerships, Stephanie Testa will head up UP&L’s corporate alliances practice, which manages long-term partnerships for Universal’s film, home entertainment, theme park and stage production business units. She’ll be responsible for the acquisition of new brand partners as well as managing relationships with the existing partners.