SEGA of America celebrates 25 years of Sonic the Hedgehog with new games, new merchandise and much more in 2016.
By Eric Slack
A leading presence in gaming for more than 50 years, SEGA is synonymous with innovation. It was one of the first companies on the interactive scene, and Sonic the Hedgehog became the perfect mascot to symbolize SEGA’s efforts to break barriers when he debuted in 1991. Celebrating Sonic’s 25th anniversary in 2016, SEGA of America’s leaders are looking to continue to build on that pioneering spirit.
“The Sonic Pillar team combines an experienced team from the world of entertainment alongside executives with a history of the Sonic brand from Japan,” says Ivo Gerscovich, chief brand officer and senior vice president of SEGA of America. “It makes for a powerful combination as we look to elevate Sonic into an entertainment icon across film, television, games, consumer products and many other areas.”
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Retail Monster works closely with its partners including, A+E Networks and Entertainment Retail Enterprises to meet licensing, retail, sales and marketing needs for brands and franchises across a variety of categories.
By Stephanie Crets
Endless opportunities abound in the world of licensing, retail, marketing and sales – more than most brands can even imagine, in fact. But that’s where Retail Monster comes in to assist brands, retailers and licensors looking for solutions for brand extensions, licensing opportunities and preferred suppliers. Launched this past March, Retail Monster operates out of strategic locations near big retailers in Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Orlando and Bentonville, Ark., with plans to expand to Minneapolis and internationally next year.
Retail Monster does more than licensing a brand before bringing it retailers. In fact, it does the reverse approach and brings brands to retailers as a pitch to generate excitement on the front-end, which makes licensing easier overall. It has also found that suppliers who sell intellectual property-based products are skilled at selling those products but struggle when pitching the brand behind them. Retail Monster, however, is more than comfortable helping a supplier pitch their products to retailers and linking brands with suppliers, licensors and retailers.
“We have a unique ability so sell brands to retailers and suppliers through brand ambassadorship,” CEO and founder Michael Connolly says. “What we offer in addition to that really rounds out our vortex. Our key differentiator comes in the sales and marketing services. The most important thing is we’ve decentralized our structure; we haven’t built one big infrastructure anywhere. We can be in front of retailers to pitch within the day and that’s the game-changer. Selling true products and licensing big brands give us a distinct advantage.”
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