UK studio Aardman is consolidating its sales and marketing business by upping two senior staff members into newly created positions. Alison Taylor (pictured, left) will now serve as its director of distribution, while Rob Goodchild (pictured, right) will become the studio’s commercial director.
In their new roles, which they both started in May, Taylor and Goodchild will be driving market insight, financing and distribution efforts for Aardman’s portfolio of brands, which includes its own IPs and the third-party properties that it represents. They both report to Sean Clarke, the managing director at Aardman.
This restructuring is part of the company’s efforts to increase its sales potential by having Goodchild and Taylor put together their expertise and experience for growing brands internationally, according to a statement from the company.
Formerly head of sales and acquisitions, Taylor will now be in charge of creating long-term plans for expanding Aardman’s reach, while overseeing financing and distribution for each brand.
Taylor joined Aardman in 2004 on the broadcast and development side, before being promoted to head of acquisitions and sales in 2016. Since then, she has been responsible for global sales of properties such as Shaun the Sheep, Timmy Time and third-party distribution for kids properties like Blue Zoo Animation’s Digby Dragon. She also played a big role in securing Robin Robin Aardman’s first original film with Netflix.
Former head of licensing, Goodchild will assume responsibility for selling and marketing the studio’s services, including commercials and short films for third party clients. He will also be responsible for finding new business opportunities in developing IP and animated content for third party brands, theme parks and attractions, with a focus on Europe and Asia. Goodchild joined Aardman in 2008 as its UK licensing manager, before getting promoted to head of licensing. While at the company he’s secured partnerships in Japan and China for the studio’s brands, and worked to expand the company into new categories, including gaming with the augmented-reality game The Big Fix Up.
This isn’t the first exec shake-up at Aardman in recent months, as back in March the studio promoted its group creative director of interactive Daniel Efergan to the of executive creative director of interactive. Heather Wright, the company’s exec director of partner content, left the studio to set up creative and content consultancy Springboard Creative.