Nickelodeon Consumer Products is opening a Canadian division on October 1, bringing the property management and licensing of all Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central IPs in the territory in-house, effectively ending its relationship with Studio Licensing – the company’s exclusive Canadian licensing agent for the past 13 years.
The division of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) has appointed Tanya Visano, who joined the company last February as senior director of NCP Canada, to head up the new operation. She will retain that title and has tapped experts in various product categories – including director of softlines Jeremy Potvin, Daniel Christamtsis, senior manager of hardlines and Jean Brozny, senior manager of marketing and brand management - to get the Canadian office up and running.
In the process of moving into a new VIMN Canada HQ in Toronto’s west end, Visano says she’s pretty well staffed up for now and is looking forward to rolling out NCP’s “Something for Everyone” portfolio – which spans from preschool property Dora the Explorer all the way up to MTV’s Jersey Shore – to Canadian retailers and licensees, and building on the mature CP business that exists for Nick properties in the country.
“It’s a natural evolution of our business in Canada,” Visano says. “This is the optimal biz model for us here…[and] VIMN wants to further invest in the Canadian market.”
With US retail giant Target set to open stores in the country in 2013 and consumer spending remaining healthy, it’s not surprising NCP saw room to grow. While it would not break out Canadian NCP sales, VIMN says Canada is one of its leading international markets, which helped to drive growth of 13% in Viacom’s worldwide ancillary revenues to US$145 million in Q3. (It’s also worth noting that Marvel Entertainment, which took its Canadian licensing ops in-house in 2009, has since seen a 20% growth in returns from its Canadian licensing programs.)
NCP Canada priorities in 2012 are in keeping with international plans to make a splash at retail with the rebooted Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Winx IPs. Visano says the properties will give NCP Canada an entrée into the core boy and core girl product aisles, where it hadn’t had a presence for some time. Mainstays SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer are also a big part of her growth plan and she expects to transition the properties into full evergreen propositions in the coming months. Also expect activity around tween-skewing Victorious, which landed a back-to-school promo at Walmart Canada, to build in the lead up to Christmas.
As for Toronto-based Studio Licensing, we reported last week that the agency is on the lookout for more properties to rep. President Robert Miller says he’s just picked up North American L & M rights to Sun Properties’ Angel Cat Sugar IP, and will be repping David & Goliath’s “Stupid Factory Studios” in Canada. He expects to announce several more pickups over the next few months.