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NCAA Will Allow Athletes To Earn Money On Name, Image and Likeness

For the first time, the NCAA will allow athletes to earn money from their involvement in collegiate sports. The NCAA has reversed its stance on athlete compensation, opening the door to athletes—and licensing companies—making money from their name, image, and likeness. The changes took place on July 1 this year. The decision, which breaks with a long-held tradition, came just hours before new laws or executive orders were to be handed down in more than a dozen states. Those legislative efforts would have had the same effect, so the NCAA rule change is essentially a case of ‘if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em’. The new policy will remain in place until federal legislation or new NCAA rules are adopted. “This is an important day for college athletes since they… . . . read more

Black Lives Matter Licensing Launches In US

By Gary Symons Editor in Chief The Black Lives Matter Licensing movement continues to grow, now launching in the US, and adding more key executives to its team. While Black Lives Matter got its start in the United States, there are thousands of members in other countries, like Canada and the UK. The licensing movement was launched first in the United Kingdom under the leadership of Saphia Maxamed, who has since attracted several top licensing executives. That process is continuing as Shontae Savage (pictured) has agreed to lead the licensing initiative in the United States, and Kim Saxelby of Universal Brand Development Group has also joined the program. The Black Lives Matter Licensing Movement is growing rapidly largely because many brands realize the need for societal change. Saxelby, a senior… . . . read more

Stor SL Signs Up For Bluey Licensing

“Bluey The Most Important Pre-School Property Since Frozen.” — Valentin Ortiz, CEO, Stor SL. Manufacturing giant Stor SL is on board for a sprawling licensing deal with the Bluey franchise from BBC Studios. The studio says it has signed a deal for a Bluey collection of more than 50 items for the UK & Ireland and EMEA markets. That includes meal sets, drinkware, lunch bags, tumblers, canteens, plates and bowls, sandwich boxes, placemats, cutleries, porcelain mugs, bottles and storage boxes. Stor also offers tailor-made options to retailers who request an exclusive line. The range will feature sustainable and eco-friendly material such as stainless steel, aluminium and porcelain. Stor is adding natural fibers to traditional plastics to reduce the percentage of plastics by up to 30%. “We are delighted that Stor is… . . . read more

NFL Star Russell Wilson Quarterbacking Spin Master Toy Launch

Superstar quarterback Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks is teaming up with Spin Master to launch its new Aerobie Sonic Fin Football.  Engineered for superior performance, the Sonic Fin Football lets kids throw like a pro, faster and farther than ever before! Spin Master says kids and adults alike will be able to “go long … really long … because  the innovative design of this toy football creates aerodynamic lift in the air, resulting in throws traveling up to 100 yards, the entire length of a football field! Outfitted with a custom calibration ring that increases the spin rate to improve distance, the Sonic Fin Football adjusts for both right- and left-handed throwers and creates a cool sonic sound when whizzing through the air, adding to the fun.  QB Russell Wilson Says Sonic… . . . read more

MDR Launches Global eSports, Interactive Entertainment Division

MDR Brand Management this week launched a global esports and interactive entertainment division called NIVO Management. NIVO operates as a standalone business, but the new division will benefit from the international footprint of MDR Brand Management, the company says. MDR now operates in 25 locations around the world. The company says NIVO Management is currently working on three strategic platforms. They represent elite professionals in contract negotiations; develop bespoke strategies to maximise brand opportunities, including sponsorship and endorsement deals; and provide holistic management support, utilizing an extensive network of specialist advisors, from nutritionists and performance coaches to private client and legal expertise. MDR says it created NIVO due to the growing demand for player-centric management that is transparent, and free from conflicts of interest. NIVO represents players across a wide portfolio… . . . read more

Formula 1 Extends Fanatics Deal Following 40% Surge in Sales

By Gary Symons TLL Editor in Chief They say success is its own reward, but it also doesn’t hurt when one of your biggest customers extends your contract after an impressive boost in sales. That’s what happened with sports merchandising giant Fanatics, who saw their exclusive Merch deal with the Formula 1 racing organization extended after sales revenue exploded by 40%. “Formula 1 is delighted to announce that Fanatics, the global leader in licensed sports merchandise, will become the sport’s exclusive merchandise retail partner at Grand Prix weekends and online from the 2018 season onwards,” the organization said in a statement. “With the announcement of this partnership, F1 seeks to make a significant step change forward in the growth of its consumer products licensing division, as well as to create… . . . read more

Trevco Names Daniel Leach As New President

Big news in the licensing sector, as industry leader Trevco has announced the hiring of Amazon executive Daniel Leach as its new president. Leach will now be overseeing all aspects the company’s strategic operations, with the company saying he will be focusing on enhancing the company’s existing Print On Demand business, and strengthening Trevco’s position in the DTC (direct-to-consumer) sector. “I am humbled and honored at the opportunity to support the Trevco organisation as resident,” Leach said. “Trevco’s print on demand model, in-house design team, ecommerce expertise and proprietary technology uniquely position us to digitally showcase the most beloved brands to the broadest audience of consumers and provide products they will enjoy for years to come. As the leader in the marketplace and DTC market segments, Trevco is primed to grow… . . . read more

Invisibobble Teams With Crayola For Hair Accessories

The hair accessories brand invisibobble will be bringing a lot of Crayola color to its lineup, thanks to a new agreement between the companies. Invisibobble says the unique product design, material and technology that makes up the invisibobble DNA is now being paired with Crayola’s nostalgic and colorful feel in the new limited edition launch.  Inspired by the crayon design and colors, the invisibobble product design team worked with Crayola to incorporate these elements into the products and packaging, for a complete co-branded experience. The initial invisibobble x Crayola collection features a KIDS 10-piece multipack and 5-piece multipack in the Original Traceless Hair Ring design, and a KIDS 2-piece set in the Sprunchie design. This ongoing partnership falls in line with invisibobbles’ focus on expanding their business in the kids’… . . . read more

Iscream Launches Licensed Care Bear Collection

The lifestyle brand Iscream is launching a new line of Care Bears products and accessories, under an agreement signed with licensor Cloudco Entertainment. Iscream says it will be launching a full-scale Care Bears line of accessories by fall 2021. The full line of products will feature bright, cheerful and fun prints, and every fan’s favorite Care Bears characters on items both large and small. Products will include plush sleeping bags and blankets, onesies and other children’s apparel, backpacks, luggage, pillows, beauty items, stationery, and much more. “Iscream’s goal has always been to share fun, happy products with people of all ages,” said Jennifer Mines Kamen, Vice President of Iscream. Care Bears iconic imagery and positive messaging is in perfect alignment with our brand, and we are overjoyed to present our… . . . read more

Pokemon GO Developer Releasing Radical Transformers Game

Niantic, the software team that developed the viral Augmented Reality (AR) game Pokemon GO, is working with Hasbro and TOMY to develop a new mobile game based on the Transformers franchise. Called Transformers: Heavy Metal, the new game will see players battle with characters from the Transformers series in real world settings using the game’s AR features. The idea is similar to the concept behind Pokemon GO, in which Pokemon ‘trainers’ could find and capture wild Pokemon, and indulge in epic boss battles in real-life locations. John Hanke, CEO of Niantic, says the story concept behind Transformers is also ideal for a mobile AR treatment, and he expects there will soon be millions of fans prowling the world, pitting their robots against the competition. “Transformers is the perfect franchise for AR…. . . . read more