Deal gives WB clubs' merch rights in multiple territories
Bugs Bunny is getting into Euro soccer.Warner Bros. Consumer Products has signed up as the lead licensee with top European soccer clubs — Spain’s F.C. Barcelona, Italy’s Juventus F.C., England’s Manchester United and France’s Paris Saint-Germain. Deal gives WB the rights to manufacture, distribute, promote and sell the clubs’ branded merchandising in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central and South America. Per WBCP, merchandise will include leisure clothing and accessories, toys and games, houseware and domestics, stationary and gifts. Soccer is Latin America’s No. 1 sport in terms of TV viewership and stadium attendance. In the U.S., Univision’s 2006 World Cup soccer coverage drew a record 50 million viewers, including 21 million non-Hispanic eyeballs, garnering profits for the Spanish-language web. Warner Bros. claims soccer is at least a growth opportunity Stateside. “Football merchandising is a fast-growing business for us, and nowhere is the going-forward opportunity more exciting than right here in the United States,” said Jordan Sollitto, exec VP international licensing and new business initiatives. In soccer, WBCP already has licensed rights to rep the 2006 World Cup, the UEFA European Cup in 2008, Mexico’s national team and Italian club A.C. Milan.