Logo 2Logo Brands enters exclusive and expanded licensing agreements while continuing to deliver products customers want for their outdoor lifestyle experiences. By Janice Hoppe-Spiers

Retired homebuilder Bill McCauley founded Logo Brands from his two-car garage 15 years ago when he thought it would be a smart idea to put college team logos on a chair. “The ‘soccer mom’ chairs lined the soccer fields, Bill put a logo on it and thus a company was born,” Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Kris Talley says.

The Franklin, Tenn.-based company started as the place to buy tailgating chairs. By listening to its customers and retailers, Logo Brands began expanding its product line to become the premier manufacturer of outdoor/indoor, on-the-go lifestyle and tailgating products. “We went after the marketshare of people who go to games and are now selling to every major retailer,” Talley notes. “We have a wide selection with 107 product lines, but the main reason for our success is our people and core values.”

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Bioworld 1Bioworld Merchandising’s Foundmi Bluetooth tracker and other upcoming products give consumers a unique pop cultural fan experience. By Jim Harris

Having a tracker that tells you where your keys are is handy and useful. Having a digital Batman or Captain America tell you where your misplaced items are brings the experience to a new level of fun.

Introduced in 2017, Bioworld Merchandising’s Foundmi tracker combines Bluetooth low-energy tracking technology with entertainment property-based designs. Users place a Foundmi tracker patterned after popular characters from Star Wars or DC or Marvel comics on their keys or another item they want to keep track of, then download an app to their phone. From the app, users can send a signal to the device, which will ring until it is found. If the device is out of range, the app will show the user its last known location on a map.

BarbieBarbie and Crayola have joined forces to further inspire creativity and imagination. By Bianca Herron

When Vice President of Global Marketing for Barbie, Sejal Shah Miller looked to reinvent Barbie’s fashion activity line in 2016, she knew the iconic brand had to team up with a best-in-class partner in the arts and crafts industry.

Ultimately Mattel chose to partner with Crayola, the brand whose products have sparked the creative spirit in children for nearly 115 years. The two iconic brands will launch a new product line this holiday season, combining the No. 1 fashion doll with the No. 1 worldwide producer of arts and crafts products.

Although Barbie and Crayola have a longstanding relationship in a variety of categories, including coloring books and Color Alive, this is the first time the brands are joining forces in the doll aisle.

Surf9Body Glove licensee Surf9 continues to grow its footwear offerings and expand into new product categories. By Jim Harris 

Surf9 LLC’s ability to design and source innovative products, as well as its knack for online marketing make it a trusted partner to one of the world’s most well-known watersports brands.

The Fort Myers, Fla. based company is the exclusive footwear, inflatable standup paddle board and kayak licensee to Body Glove, the brand known for inventing the first practical wetsuit. Surf9’s products include a full range of sandals and water shoes, some worn by many of the world’s leading watersports athletes. The company’s products are sold by retailers including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Big 5, Academy Sports + Outdoors, Cabela’s, Famous Footwear and Rack Room Shoes.

“We provide retailers with great, high-quality products – including several that hold multiple patents – that have great marketing behind them,” CEO John Chenciner says. “We deliver our products on-time with well below industry average return rates. We are all about offering innovation and an awesome user experience, which has created happy retailers and consumers.”

MSU 2Michigan State pared down its licensees in favor of stronger partnerships with companies committed to its brand. By Tim O’Connor

After 30 years of building one of the leading collegiate licensing programs in the nation, Michigan State University (MSU) decided to take a good look at its program and realized it was working with too many apparel makers. The university had 150 licensees with T-shirt rights alone. With so many hands on the Spartan logo, it was difficult to ensure every piece of clothing embellished with the MSU brand met the university’s quality standards.

Over the past year, MSU has taken a new approach to apparel licensing by identifying manufacturers with strong marketing and business plans, and solid retail relationships that were willing to go above and beyond for the university. “We analyzed our program from every angle and worked to hone down our licensee base to those best-in-class companies that we felt were invested in MSU for the next three years,” Stevens says.

Texas AMBrand engagement opportunities drive business for Texas A&M and ’47. By Alan Dorich

All businesses revolve around successful partnerships, and Texas A&M University’s licensing program is no different. In recent months, the program has thrived by working with ’47, a Boston-based, global sports lifestyle brand.

When the two met, Texas A&M Vice President of Brand Development Shane Hinckley says he saw both organizations as kindred spirits. “We saw a lot of alignment with how they were trying to position themselves and how we represent our brand in the marketplace,” he recalls.

Based in College Station, Texas, the university is the third largest college in the country with 68,000 students. Texas A&M began its licensing program in the late 1990s and operated it independently before hiring an agency.

ZAGZAG is rolling out new movies, TV series and games for children and families. By Kat Zeman

Though in existence for less than a decade, ZAG America LLC is already leading the TV and film entertainment market for kids and families. The Glendale, Calif. and Paris-based independent animation studio specializes in the creation and production of original, high-quality intellectual property in the film and TV sector, as well as for a variety of online platforms.

Founded in 2009 by French entrepreneur Jeremy Zag, ZAG has produced more than 200 half-hours of original content that has been sold to major broadcasters including Disney, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Netflix, and to distributors in more than 120 territories. “We started as a high-quality TV animation production company but once Jeremy moved to the U.S., we quickly got going on developing film,” says André Lake Mayer, president of brand strategy and consumer products.

The company has eight TV series in various stages of production and three feature films rolling out over the next five years. Its multiple divisions include production companies and animation studios in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.

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