Universal gathers units under Sperber

Partnership, licensing housed together

Universal Pictures is combining its corporate alliances and consumer products divisions under one roof through the formation of Universal Partnerships and Licensing.

Stephanie Sperber will run the arm as executive vice president.

She has been running Universal Studios Partnerships as exec VP, brokering most of the studio’s promotional partnerships with marketers to tie in with the studio’s films, theme parks and homevid releases. She formed the division in 2004.

Universal Partnerships and Licensing will oversee the studio’s consumer product licensing, film and home entertainment promotions and corporate alliances for theatrical, home entertainment, theme parks and stage productions.

“By putting our brand management efforts under one roof, we provide more effective servicing for our corporate partners and our studio,” said Universal Pictures chairman Marc Shmuger.

Amy Taylor now heads up UP&L’s North American promotions, worldwide licensing and retail development. Her team is handling promos for pics developed around Hasbro’s toys and toons produced by Chris Meledandri’s family-film shingle, Illumination Entertainment.

David O’Connor is shepherding brand management and marketing services for UP&L, reporting to Sperber and Universal prexy of marketing and distribution Adam Fogelson. He will continue to develop ways to integrate the studio’s product with NBC and U’s theme parks.

Stephanie Testa oversees UP&L’s corporate alliances practice as VP of corporate partnerships, responsible for bringing aboard brand partners as well as managing relationships with existing partners.

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