The longtime CMO and president at Nickelodeon Global Consumer Products is now solely in charge of the kidsnet's global CP business, and she tells Talent Pool why international alignment and leadership development are top priorities in 2018.
Pam Kaufman, CMO and president at Nickelodeon Global Consumer Products, is all about placement—literally. Now solely in charge of Nickelodeon’s consumer products business internationally, Kaufman is strategically focused on global alignment by managing the company’s franchises, growing its portfolio and investing in leadership development on a worldwide scale. And her promotion to overseeing all global efforts comes as Nick looks to become more collaborative and internationally streamlined in its CP endeavors.
This heightened level of international focus is already being implemented in Nickelodeon’s new partnership with Hasbro for preschool property Top Wing. The agreement is the company’s first preschool master toy deal with Hasbro on a global scale, and initial products—including figures, vehicles, playsets and plush—will launch in the US this fall before becoming available internationally in spring 2019 (mirroring the show’s content roll out).
In addition to the Top Wingdeal, a partnership with Paramount on a number of new opportunities is very much in line with these priorities, Kaufman says. “I’ve been very fortunate to have a variety of different roles at Viacom,” Kaufman says of her 20-year tenure at the Nickelodeon parentco. “Nickelodeon continues to be one of the most exciting and meaningful brands in the world.”
Kaufman took on responsibility for the kidsnet’s domestic consumer products business in 2013, and has since managed US licensing and merchandising for some of Nick’s iconic properties such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer. With her eyes now on a global stage, Kaufman says two major priorities for her team in 2018 are Sunny Day and Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Nickelodeon is launchingconsumer products inspired by Sunny Dayat Walmart in May, and additional branded products–including apparel, accessories, novelty, publishing, home entertainment and sporting goods–will debut later this year. The CP program comes as a second 20-episode season of the Silvergate Media-produced show readies for its premiere on the kidsnet later this year.
Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,meanwhile, is a reimagining of the classic boy-skewing franchise. The 2D-animated series is slated to launch this fall, along with consumer products. The show follows the famous half-shell heroes as they discover a magical new world under New York’s streets.
Another significant focus in Kaufman’s new role is leadership development on a global level. “We will continue to make a big investment in the talent of our organization around the world,” she says. “The team here has been through some extraordinary training and I’m really excited now to be able to work on leadership development on a global level. It’s so important.”
This investment in and empowerment of employees will make the company stronger, as, moving forward, Kaufman says local teams will continue to make decisions about a number of licensing agreements, marketing programs and retail partnerships. Just last month, Viacom International Media Networks upped Mark Kingstonto SVP at Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products, where he is now reporting to Kaufman and overseeing the company’s consumer products business, promotions and marketing efforts outside of the US across retail, operations and licensing.