FORGET KEN AND BARBIE, MATTEL WILL PARTY WITH SHAQ AND LISA
Mattel is expected to announce an exclusive, multiyear
licensing agreement with the NBA today, giving it worldwide
rights to all NBA-themed toys and games, according to Lisa
Bannon of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The deal is "expected to
generate more than" $300M during the next five years.
Mattel said the deal, which includes rights to the WNBA and
women's U.S. Olympic team, "will broaden" the company's toy
and game market to include "new sports consumers, and new
distribution channels, such as sporting-goods stores, sports
arenas and sports-collectible stores." Bannon reports the
deal includes basketball-themed merchandise "across all
Mattel toy categories," including Barbie, Sesame Street,
Cabbage Patch, Hot Wheels and Matchbox. The NBA will also
include the Mattel merchandise at its flagship store in N.Y.
While Hasbro also is licensed to produce male action figures
called Starting Lineup, the NBA portion of that license
expires this summer. NBA CMO Rick Welts said that it chose
Mattel "because it will provide an established
international-sales network as well as access to the growing
girls' and women's market" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/22).