Licensing, marketing and retail expert/opinion leader Tony Lisanti, provides insight and perspective for the top headlines of the week. “Licensing and Merchandising Report” is a must read for top execs who want objective, straightforward and authoritative analysis.
The BIG Day
For those licensing executives who are following the Disney-Comcast battle for 21st Century Fox, the countdown is on towards July 27. This is the day Fox’s shareholders will vote on Disney’s offer of $71.3 billion or possibly a counter bid from Comcast. Remember, the U.S. Department of Justice has already approved the merger if Disney divests 22 of Fox’s regional sports networks.
Disney would acquire such strong TV and movie franchises including The Simpsons, Family Guy, Home Alone, Ice Age, Planet of the Apes and Avatar. In addition, Disney’s stake in Hulu would increase to 60% and the company would get a larger piece of Sky, the U.K.-based media and telecommunications company.
At this point, Disney’s CEO Bob Iger and all of its shareholders should keep the champagne on ice.
The Other Big Day
Amazon announced that its Prime Day event will take place July 16, about a week later than last year. In 2017, sales topped $2.4 billion, according to various estimates, and this year could top $3 billion.
“Prime members will enjoy a day (and a half) of our best deals, with 36 hours to shop more than one million deals worldwide,” said Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO Worldwide Consumer. “New this year, members can shop exclusive Prime Day Launches from hundreds of brands worldwide, enjoy exclusive savings at Whole Foods Market and experience surprise entertainment events unboxed from giant Smile boxes in major cities. More than 100 million paid Prime members around the world will find our best Prime Day celebration yet.”
Federer ‘Glows’ at Wimbledon
As the champion tennis star and influential athlete steeped onto the grass for his first match earlier this week at Wimbledon, Roger Federer was sporting a new logo and new fashion look.
UNIQLO, the Japanese global apparel retailer, announced a partnership with Federer as its newest Global Brand Ambassador.
The deal was reportedly worth $300 million over the next decade. Previously, Federer had a partnership with Nike since 1994.
Federer’s uniform, which was designed at UNIQLO’s Paris R&D Center, featured a short stand-up collar instead of a traditional polo or crewneck style. The shirt and shorts were accented by a burgundy line at the edge of the sleeves and the front panel of the shirt, and down the sides of the shorts highlighting UNIQLO’s corporate color.
Tadashi Yanai, UNIQLO founder and chairman, president and CEO of parent company Fast Retailing, said, “Federer is one of the greatest champions in history; my respect for him goes beyond sport. Our partnership will be about innovation on and off court. We share a goal of making positive change in the world, and I hope together we can bring the highest quality of life to the greatest number of people. UNIQLO will help Federer continue taking tennis to new places, while exploring innovations in a number of areas including technology and design with him.”
Federer said, “I am deeply committed to tennis and to winning championships. But like UNIQLO, I also have great love for life, culture and humanity. We share a strong passion to have a positive impact on the world around us and look forward to combining our creative endeavors.”
In addition to Federer, UNIQLO’s Global Brand Ambassadors include: Kei Nishikori (tennis), Shingo Kunieda and Gordon Reid MBE (wheelchair tennis) and Adam Scott (golf).
Best Buy’s Next Move
In all likelihood, Best Buy’s decision to stop selling music CDs may not have been a big surprise considering the move to streaming services, but it is an indicator that the electronics retailer will possibly utilize that valuable square footage for toys. The move would make sense considering the retailer’s broad customer base including millennial shoppers as well as its strength in video game merchandising and strong holiday promotions and sales. It would be an opportunistic move for Best Buy to expand its merchandise for major game franchises as well as other pop culture franchises especially as GameStop expands its merchandise and faces other challenges including possibly selling the company.
All of Best Buy’s competitors including Amazon, Walmart, Target and other retailers will be expanding the toy category this holiday, so it makes sense that Best Buy goes after a piece of the TRU sales pie.
Deal of the Week
Funko Cereal. Yes, that’s right. The pop culture toy producer is launching a line of cereals that feature (you guessed it!) top characters. And (you guessed it again!) each box will contain a collectable figure. Six FunkO’s cereals are planned including: Mega Man FunkO’s at GameStop; Cuphead & Mugman FunkO’s at Hot Topic; Freddy FunkO’s through Funko; Nightmare On Elm Street’s Freddy Krueger FunkO’s and Friday the 13th’s Jason FunkO’s at FYE; and The Lord of the Rings FunkO’s featuring Gollum at BoxLunch.
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