The Joester Loria Group announced the official launch of JLG eXtend, a new consulting division that will represent manufacturers and retailers seeking to enhance their brand portfolios and partnerships with influencers. JLGX will work with clients to identify and facilitate brand acquisitions, in-bound licensing, and endorsements that will open doors to new markets and revenue.
JLGX services include competitive analysis, retail trend insights, brand acquisition, in-bound licensing opportunity assessment, and a certification process to establish its clients as best-in-class partners.
The newly formed division will be led by Rachel Dahlen and Sarah Vogt, who each have 20 years of experience in licensing, brand extensions, and branded program management. Dahlen will bring her extensive experience working with leading retailers to JLGX clients, delivering access that provides insight and fast tracks retail launch. JLGX will extend the agency’s footprint to the west coast with offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Turner Invests in Bigballs Media
Turner International’s Digital Ventures & Innovation Group announced an equity investment in the digital media sports company Bigballs Media (BBM). BBM is the parent company of one of the world’s fastest-growing digital video platforms for football content, Copa90.
The funding will be used to fuel BBM’s international expansion, content production and distribution, and enhance its data capabilities as it continues its growth trajectory. The investment will fuel further international growth and fully establish Copa90 as a definitive football youth media brand.
Turner and BBM have also signed a commercial agreement that embraces multiple opportunities for Turner and BBM to leverage their respective distribution and content production expertise. The partnership expands on an existing commercial relationship with digital sports brand Bleacher Report, a division of Turner.
The cross-platform commercial agreement includes strategic co-branded content production, the development of third party-branded content and sponsorship opportunities, and content creation for Turner’s own channels. It also facilitates BBM’s close collaboration across the wider Turner portfolio, including Esporte Interativo, Turner Sports, and CNN.
To accommodate an abundance of first-time exhibitors at Toy Fair 2017, which takes place February 18–21 in New York City, the show will feature an expanded area in Hall 1E of the Javits Convention Center, dubbed the Launch Pad. This section will be dedicated exclusively to show newcomers looking to unveil their new inventions and toys in front of 30,000 global Toy Fair attendees.
Retailers exploring the Launch Pad will have access to toys and games from exhibitors representing 18 countries, including the U.S., Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, the UK, and Poland. Thirty countries will be represented by exhibitors at Toy Fair.
“With first-time exhibitors all housed in the Launch Pad, it will be easy to find the exciting array of innovative playthings created by up-and-coming toymakers, as well as products from international companies hoping to get a foothold in the U.S. market,” says Marian Bossard, senior vice-president of global market events at the Toy Industry Association. “These newcomers were chosen to exhibit through a new selection process implemented for 2017 and will provide visitors a fresh and exciting perspective on the future of youth entertainment products. Our goal is for Launch Pad to be as representative as possible of the variety of toys and games attendees will find throughout the entire show.”
ASTRA Announces Share the Fair Date
The American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA) announced that Share the Fair, its signature member event at Toy Fair, will take place Monday, February 20, 2017 from 8—9:30 a.m. in the Javits Convention Center, Hall 1E 11. The event brings ASTRA retailers together on the third day of Toy Fair to share information about products they have seen on the exhibit floor.
While retailers are exploring the exhibit floor, they will have the option of entering product recommendations into an online form. At the event, ASTRA retailer members can enjoy a complimentary breakfast buffet while discussing their favorite products at the show. All attendees will be entered into a raffle for a $500 gift certificate provided by The Orb Factory. A list of the toys discussed will be available for pick up at ASTRA Booth 6415 on Monday afternoon.
For information about ASTRA membership and other ASTRA activities at Toy Fair, visit astratoy.com.