Norma Rosenhain has been at the forefront of the promotions business for over 30 years and has more recently added the licensing of intellectual property (IP) to her organisation, Centa IP, for films & music; essentially vertically integrating her business. Centa IP is another example of an Australian business taking on the world and achieving amazing results. One of the things that they undertook early on was to put together a really strong team with skill sets to ensure success. Heading up Centa IP globally is Geoff Rosenhain, who has significant cross-category experience. Rebekah Belzer will head up sales and licensing in North America and Nick Cook will head up the UK; both are industry experts. Centa IP has also recently acquired The Fusion Agency, an Australian licensing agency founded by Gail Mitchell following her many years running Hasbro’s licensing business in the Asia-Pacific region; Gail will again focus on the APAC region with Centa IP. As part of this feature we sat down with the Geoff, Rebekah, Nick and Gail prior to Brand Licensing Europe and spoke to them about their plans.
Questions to Rebekah Belzer
VP Sales & Licensing in North America
How do you see your business in North America developing?
I am very excited to be a part of this new, dynamic agency bringing new properties and brands into the global marketplace. Centa IP is representing some very unique brands that have global appeal and, with our team of industry experts, I know we have the potential for great success!
Did your recent activation with Target prove to be a success?
The first CP program for Beat Bugs launched this fall at Target in the US. We were so excited to partner with Target as they are fantastic partners. The marketing, media campaign and in-store execution is strong, and we are thrilled to be offering this amazing range of products throughout the upcoming holiday season. These are early days but toys and publishing are our best sellers to date.
Can you tell us a little about your Toy partner Hijinx?
Hijinx is our Master Toy partner for Beat Bugs. They have developed a dynamic and innovative toy line for the brand, which is now launching in the marketplace. The “Toys Alive” technology that they own offers a unique perspective to how kids interact with toys and media, as this specific range interacts with the music from the show. Its amazing to see the toys sing along with the show. It’s spectacular!
Can you tell us a little about your new relationship with My Gym in the US and Canada?
Beat Bugs and MyGym ran a fantastic brand partnership which was integrated throughout the entire chain of gyms worldwide this past summer. MyGym participants and their parents were introduced to the property through music, artwork and programming. The Partnership was a massive success and we hope to partner with them again in the future!
Questions to Nick Cook
VP Sales & Licensing in the United Kingdom
You have achieved so much already; how do you view your progress?
We are about to launch Beat Bugs exclusively with Tesco in the UK. It is incredibly stimulating to be launching a brand-new property with one of the leading UK-based retailers in our first year as Centa IP. We are also launching Kazoops! in 2017 with our Master Toy partner TOMY. We have now been airing (and rating extremely well) on Cbeebies for over a year. It will be great to see product at retail. Exciting times!
How did the Tesco activation with Beat Bugs perform?
As mentioned, we go to market as this article is published. We will have toys, publishing and apparel in Tesco’s soon, so watch this space!
I believe that you will soon introduce Motown into your line up. What’s the background for this property?
As Beat Bugs was based on the music made famous by The Beatles, Motown Magic will bring the incredible music from the Motown recording label to a whole new generation of kids – and their parents. These are heart-warming stories whose narrative revolves around the lyrics of famous Motown songs – and we have some amazing talent singing those songs. You will see more in May 2018 on Netflix.
Have you been able to place Beat Bugs in other European territories?
Beat Bugs airs on Netflix globally and will roll out to FTA and Cable channels from 2018. We expect some more announcements following MIPCOM in October this year.
Questions to Geoff Rosenhain
Chief Executive Officer
Centa IP has already had some significant wins in the market to-date with brands such as Beat Bugs. From your perspective what’s the overriding goal for your business?
Our goal is to find like minded brand owners with compelling IP and create exceptional asset value for their business.
What will the acquisition of The Fusion Agency bring to your business?
Fusion brings to the Centa IP group an award winning executive team, established relationships and a footprint in key markets. They also mirror our culture where we work extremely hard but always find time for a laugh thrown into the mix.
How do you want Centa IP to be viewed in the market?
That we are straight shooters, strategic thinkers, always working in the best interests of our clients and enjoyable to work with.
Questions to Gail Mitchell
VP Centa IP Asia-Pacific
Can you tell us about your progress in the APAC region with Beat Bugs?
We are in the unique position of having Beat Bugs on Channel 7, Netflix and also on Nick Jnr. here in Australia. We will launch toys in November and can’t wait to see how those TV ratings we can now quantify via our Nick Jnr audience, are going to translate to our fans here in Australia.
We are in discussions for a broader rollout in 2018 but we plan to nurture Beat Bugs. How often do you get the opportunity to work on high quality, award winning TV which incorporates the music made famous by the Beatles? This is a rare opportunity!
We have already appointed a number of agents in Asia where Beat Bugs is currently on Netflix. China is a stand-alone market where we have a completely separate TV and Licensing strategy. We are all set down here and looking forward to growing the region over the coming years.
Now that you are a key member of the Centa IP team, what’s your view on the next 12 months ahead?
Our local retail market is already “interesting” and with Amazon looming on the horizon, I am sure there are going to be a lot of changes. I’m very happy to be part of a global organization which is fleet of foot, entrepreneurial and allows us the freedom to roll with those changes. These are very exciting times.
Gail, what markets in the APEC region will you be most focused on in the coming 12 months?
Australia and New Zealand are now mature markets for us. We need to maintain and nurture them of course, but our focus is going to be on APAC in terms of TV placement and securing the right sub-agents. Properties which Centa IP has broad territory rights for will be a priority. Beat Bugs is an immediate focus but we also work with Cheeky Little Media on the incredible Kazoops! property which is rating so well on Kids ABC here and we have Motown Magic and Monster Teddies coming up for 2018 and beyond.