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The Top 50 NFL Player Sales List

It should come as no surprise that, after leading Tampa Bay to a Super Bowl title, quarterback Tom Brady is again leading in NFL player retail sales heading into the new season. The NFLPA Top 50 Player Sales List is the only verified list of retail sales by player, and this month’s quarterly sales rankings features a mix of new and familiar faces, including perennial best-selling players, rising new veterans, and exciting rookies making their debut heading into the 2021-22 season. Main Takeaways: 10 new players appear in the quarterly sales rankings; Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes continue to dominate, placing 1 & 2; Retail sales based on player licensing continues its momentum, following a record sales year in 2020. The NFL Players Association says its first list for 2021 is based… . . . read more

Mattel Sales Up 40% In Q2 Financial Results

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief The toys and games sector is on fire this year, as Mattel reported this week its net sales in Q2 soared by an astonishing 40% over the same period last year. The news followed equally stellar results from competitor Hasbro, which days ago reported its Q2 revenues jumped by 54% year-on-year. Mattel Chair and CEO Ynon Kreiz says the company is in the best position it’s enjoyed for years, despite the challenges of the pandemic. “This was another exceptional quarter for Mattel, with outstanding consumer demand for our product,” said Kreiz. “Our strength is foundational and broad-based. We believe we are in the strongest position we have been in many years to improve profitability and accelerate topline growth. This is an exciting time… . . . read more

Hasbro Hits Home Run For Q2 Revenue

The global play and entertainment conglomerate Hasbro, Inc. smashed its revenue targets for Q2, sending the company’s stock soaring. “Hasbro delivered an excellent second quarter, with revenues up 54% versus the second quarter of last year and 9% versus pro forma second quarter 2019,” said Brian Goldner, Hasbro’s chairman and CEO. This is the second reporting period since Hasbro restructured the company to streamline its various reporting segments. Pretty much all of Hasbro’s divisions were firing on all cylinders over the quarter, but revenue growth was again led by the Wizards of the Coast segment, which includes Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons. “Wizards continued to generate outstanding results behind a compelling analog and digital release schedule for Magic: The Gathering,” said Goldner. “Consumer products revenue increased as demand… . . . read more

Panini and OneTeam To Include NCAA Athletes On Trading Cards

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief Recent rule changes at the NCAA are sparking a boom in licensing opportunities, among them a new deal that will allow Panini America to issue trading cards featuring college athletes. The NCAA announced on July 1 that it would allow college athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness, or NIL. As a result, Panini America says it has signed an “exclusive landmark agreement” with OneTeam Partners. The deal gives Panini the right to produce and sell college sports trading cards for any athlete who opts in to OneTeam’s College Athlete Group Licensing Program. Panini, one of the world’s largest trading card and collectible companies, says it plans to produce new product lines for college football, basketball, baseball, and also for Olympic… . . . read more

First Group Licensing Program For NCAA Athletes Launched At UNC

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief The University of North Carolina has engaged The BrandR Group (TBG) to launch the first Group Licensing Program for current NCAA student-athletes. The move follows the groundbreaking, and somewhat controversial, decision by the NCAA to allow student athletes to profit from their name, image and likeness. For more detailed information, click on the link below: NCAA Will Allow Athletes To Earn Money On Name, Image and Likeness TBG says the university’s innovative initiative extends new opportunities for all Tar Heels players to profit from using their NIL (name, image and likeness) and builds on the early success of Carolina’s Alumni Group Rights program, which launched in April. This new program invites all of UNC’s current student-athletes to join a voluntary group licensing program, which… . . . read more

Tim Erickson To Head Licensing For Peanuts Worldwide

A former top executive with Twentieth Century Fox, DreamWorks, Disney and LEGO has been tapped to lead the licensing activities of Peanuts Worldwide. Tim Erickson is taking on the role of Executive Vice President of Brand at Peanuts, and will oversee the team who manage the brand’s global licensing business. The characters of Peanuts and related intellectual property are owned by Peanuts Worldwide, which is 41% owned by WildBrain Ltd., 39% owned by Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc., and 20% owned by the family of Charles M. Schulz, who first introduced the world to Peanuts in 1950, when the comic strip debuted in seven newspapers. The Peanuts team says Erickson will be tasked with “sustaining a strategy true to the great heritage of the Peanuts brand – opening new licensing, partnership… . . . read more

Peppa Pig Boots Up Partnership With Hunter Boot Ltd.

When kids in the UK are ready to splash their way back to school through mud puddles this fall, Peppa Pig and Hunter Boot will have them covered. Hasbro and Hunter Boot are about to release their second collaboration based on the Peppa Pig franchise, with the new lines being released Aug. 2, in time for back to school shopping. After the sell out success of the first collection, Hunter and Peppa Pig continue to celebrate a shared loved of nature, adventures, and of course, jumping in muddy puddles with the 2021 collaboration. The Hunter X Peppa Pig collection consists of the Kids First Muddy Puddles Wellington boot, Backpack, Umbrella and Kids Boot Socks. Each product features an exclusive camouflage pattern of the much loved character splashing in puddles. The… . . . read more

Universal Signs Content Deal With Starz

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief Universal Filmed Entertainment Group has signed a content agreement with Starz, filling out a network of interlocking agreements that provide a long-term home for its content. The agreement means that Universal films will be streamed first on Peacock, then on Amazon Prime Video, and finally on Starz. Here’s a brief outline on how the interlocking agreements will work. First, UFEG plans to stream movies on NBC Universal’s streaming service Peacock for the first 120 days after the theatrical release of its films. After that point, as reported earlier in The Licensing Letter story below, UFEG has signed a deal with Amazon that will see Prime Video exclusively stream Universal’s 2022 and future live-action titles during the middle ten month period of that 18-month window… . . . read more

Not So Nice: Baron Cohen Sues Pot Shop

Actor and comedian Sacha Baron Cohen has filed suit against a Massachusetts cannabis shop for using an image of his character Borat on a billboard (pictured here) without his permission. According to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Boston, Baron Cohen alleges the billboard for Somerset-based Solar Therapeutics Inc. showed him posing as Borat with two thumbs up and using the Borat catchphrase, “It’s nice!” The filing goes on to say, “By use of the billboard, the defendants falsely have conveyed to the public that Mr. Baron Cohen has endorsed their products and is affiliated with their business. To the contrary, Mr. Baron Cohen never has used cannabis in his life. He never would participate in an advertising campaign for cannabis, for any amount of money.” The billboard, located… . . . read more

Kim Boyd Tapped To Lead Hasbro’s Brands & Consumer Innovation Team

Veteran Hasbro executive Kim Boyd has been chosen to lead the company’s new Global Brands & Consumer Innovation division. The formation of the GBCI division is a major strategic goal for Hasbro this year, and the company has opted to go for a leader with in-house knowledge and a track record of success with a variety of Hasbro products. Hasbro says, effective immediately, Boyd will be responsible for driving Hasbro’s brands “cohesively, consistently and globally with consumer-led innovation.” Working across the company’s brand driven toy and game franchises, and in partnership with eOne and Wizards of the Coast, Boyd is now responsible for spearheading global commercial and consumer alignments to stay ahead in an increasingly borderless world. Boyd will be based in Hasbro’s Pawtucket headquarters. She reports to Eric Nyman,… . . . read more