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Hisense Sponsoring 2022 FIFA World Cup

Hisense, the world-renowned technology company, has entered into a partnership with FIFA to become an official sponsor of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, creating an exclusive connection between the tournament’s worldwide audience in unique and compelling ways. “Continued investment in world-class sporting events represents Hisense’s determination to become a global brand,” said Jia Shaoqian, the CEO of Hisense Group. “It helps Hisense build stronger relationships with its global consumers and accelerates the company’s globalisation process. It also creates a solid foundation for Hisense to compete with the world’s most innovative and leading brands in order to also become a premier global brand.” Hisense is joining the roster of ‘Commercial Affiliates’ for the upcoming tournament, and will be involved in a program that will range from on-site engagement opportunities and… . . . read more

MDR Appointed To Rep Paul Frank

Following Futurity Brands’ acquisition of Paul Frank, MDR Brand Management has been appointed to further build on the iconic property. The partnership with MDR begins in South East Asia, Korea and India, with the remit to bring on board new licensing partners, re-energise the brand to capture Paul Frank’s original fans and appeal to the next generation of teens and young adults. Known for it nostalgic bright colors, quirky humor and Julius the Monkey, the brand has been established for over 25 years. Moving forwards, Futurity will be working with the American artist and fashion designer himself to introduce new characters. MDR has already identified strategic product and experiential opportunities, brand partners for curated special editions and retailers to introduce the brand to the Indian market and re-shape Paul Frank’s… . . . read more

MGA Entertainment Developing Mobile Games With Riva Technology

The international toy maker MGA Entertainment, best known for its Bratz and LOL Surprise line of fashion dolls, has announced another key move as the company increasingly moves into the digital realm. MGA says it has signed a series of brand licensing deals with game developer Riva Technology and Entertainment to develop a number of new mobile games, based on LOL Surprise and MGA’s newest property, Rainbow High. MGA says it’s all part of a broader plan to increase its presence in digital media. In December, for example, MGA signed a deal with Animoca brands to develop and publish a Bratz blockchain game named Bratz Lookz. The deal would also see development of a series of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Bratz mini-games, and digital Bratz collectibles, starting with a digital Bratz Card… . . . read more

UK’s National Gallery Company In New Collab With Kangaru Toys

The prestigious National Gallery in London, England, has signed an agreement bringing Kangaru Toys into its expansive licensing program. Kangaru, which has a strong background in STEM, stationery, arts and crafts, and novelty toys, is being tasked with developing new painting, drawing and activity sets for the National Gallery. The company says the new product lines will include children’s art sets, ‘learn to paint’ sets, as well as art and coloring kits geared for adults. All of the kits produced under the agreement will be in the ‘style of the great masters’, and branded with the National Gallery’s logo and artwork. “Kangaru is excited to join the National Gallery to introduce new artists of all ages to the National Gallery Collection,” said Kangaru founder and CEO Joe DiPalma. “We’ll supply children… . . . read more

Maurizio Distefano Licensing Inks Four Key Deals Through Global Merchandising Services

The Italian licensing firm Maurizio Distefano Licensing (MDL) has begun its partnership with Global Merchandising Services with a slate impressive deals, including several iconic musical artists and the brand of British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. Thanks to its agreement with Global Merchandising Services, a leader in creating unique and innovative international merchandise programs, MDL now represents in the Italian market a roster of artists who together have sold in excess of one billion records. They include some of the biggest names in rock, pop and metal: Motörhead, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Backstreet Boys, Little Mix and Louis Tomlinson, to name only a few. MDL says the group of artists—who can boast sold-out tours all over the world and an influence on global fashion trends across a variety of musical genres—will offer MDL… . . . read more

Spotify Removes K-Pop Songs in Licensing Debacle

If you’re a big K-pop fan with a Spotify account, you’re probably not too happy today. Thanks to a breakdown in licensing talks, songs from some of the world’s biggest K-pop stars have vanished from Spotify’s music library after talks between the streamer and Korean distributor Kakao M hit a brick wall. Some of the acts affected include many of Korea’s most popular acts, including Seventeen, MonstaX, Mamamoo, (G)I-DLE and IU. The issue was first noticed on March 1 (Korean time) as Spotify users around the world first noticed that many K-pop songs were no longer available to them on the platform. Some artists’ entire catalogs disappeared without warning from Spotify, while other artists saw some of their songs remain. Later the same day Spotify announced that its licensing agreement… . . . read more

WildBrain Lands European Deals For The Boys, Outlander and Cobra Kai

WildBrain CPLG has secured a wave of cross-category licensees in Europe for a trio of Sony Pictures hit TV series; The Boys, Cobra Kai and Outlander. The Boys is a superhero series with a twist, in which the ‘supers’ are more villainous than heroic. Wildbrain has secured licensing deals in the UK for the popular Amazon show with the following parties: Forbidden Planet, for a t-shirt and gifting line; The Hut Group, for apparel and accessories; Fashion UK, for an apparel and accessories range; and Pyramid International for posters and accessories. From Germany, Spreadshirt is on board for print-on-demand apparel, and for an apparel range available across Europe. Additionally, Cotton Division is developing apparel for the French market; and in Spain, Stor SL is creating homewares and Grupo Erik has signed… . . . read more

Freesound Wins Grant to Monetize Creative Commons Content

Barcelona-based audio archive Freesound is working on new ways to help small content producers monetize their Creative Commons content, in a move that could have significant impacts on all types of content producers. Freesound is the sound exchange platform of the Music Technology Research Group (MTG) of the Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC) of the University Pompeu Fabra. The non-profit has now obtained a grant from the Grant for the Web initiative to promote new monetization tools, and encourage research on how web monetization can benefit specific communities. This award “is very significant as it recognizes the promotion of open access digital culture,” explain the promoters of the MTG project. “With this grant we will start the new project Freesound Licensing, a platform to help content creators monetize… . . . read more

Peppa Pig Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary With New Content and Merch

Hasbro is going ‘hog wild’ on Peppa Pig in 2021, marking the show’s 10th anniversary on Nick Jr. with a year-long pipeline of new content, a new Hasbro toy line coming in Fall, and a full roster of marketing activations, brand collaborations and promotions for fans across the US. The Peppa Pig franchise was part of a $4 billion investment for Hasbro, when the international toy giant bought out UK-listed Entertainment One in August 2019. The deal also gave Hasbro control over other valuable assets, like PJ Masks and E One’s film and TV production capacity, but Peppa Pig was likely the single most valuable asset. At the time, Peppa Pig was bringing in a reported $1.35 billion globally, according to MarketWatch, with much of that coming from China where the… . . . read more

Cosmos-Maya Cartoons to Air Globally Through New Distribution Deals

Leading India and Singapore-based animation studio Cosmos-Maya has secured three key digital distribution deals which will see its original content made available across 120 platforms globally including Amazon Fire TV, Apple iTunes, Hulu, ROKU and Vudu. Under the first agreement, US-based OTT.Studio has picked up four Cosmos-Maya titles, Vir The Robot Boy, Motu Patlu, Tik Tak Tail, and Chacha Bhatija for its own Cartoon Plus channel, available on both Roku and Amazon Fire TV. In a separate deal, Cosmos-Maya has secured a far-reaching agreement with Binge! Networks which sees the same four original titles air on more than 100 platforms across North America and globally, excluding Indian and the Indian subcontinent where licensing agreements already exist. Cosmos-Maya’s own digital channel WowKidz is also now available on Roku and Amazon Fire… . . . read more