American Greetings has promoted Sean Gorman to president of AG Properties as the company, which is the home of Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake, looks to expand its portfolio with more programming aimed at boys.
In the role, Gorman will manage the creative strategy and overall operation of American Greetings’ film, TV, home video and consumer productions operations.
That includes the development, production and distribution of children’s properties in the areas of film, television, home video and other media; including all marketing and licensing activities around those brands and their related content.
Gorman recently helped set up “Packages from Planet X,” a new animated sc-fi comedy series aimed at 7-11-year-old boys that will air on Disney XD on July 13. Show revolves around a teen who gets mysterious gadget-filled packages from Planet X that help him thwart an evil alien.
Division also oversees the Holly Hobbie, Madballs, Twisted Whiskers, Maryoku Yummy and TinPo properties.
Gorman wanted to expand AGP’s boys lineup, partnering with companies like Jakks Pacific to adapt or introduce new shows based on toys or apps.
“You want to hit on all fronts,” Gorman said of the company’s entertainment properties, “and partner with people who are like minded so that we can do more. We have the ability to grow.”
Division has also looked into producing its own live action movies.
“We’re testing the waters, but the film industry is so brand driven now,” Gorman said. “The independent movie business is so tough. To launch a new brand in that space without it having had success first is hard to do. Things can linger in development. Things have to be on TV.”
Instead, AGP is looking to expand into other new areas, like the growing YouTube network of channels, and the Hulu and Netflixes of the new media biz.
“We are excited about the experience and expertise Sean brings to his new position and look forward to developing additional opportunities in the entertainment industry,” said Jeff Weiss, American Greetings’ president and chief operating officer. “I know that not only will our beloved roster of characters like The Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake continue to flourish under his management, but he will be instrumental in identifying growth areas, including new properties and platforms, for AG Properties moving forward.”
Goal is to grow properties through entertainment which will help increase their value through licensing deals.
Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake licensed products have generated over $5 billion in retail sales worldwide since 2002.
“We have almost 100% awareness with moms and kids,” said Gorman of the two family properties. “They’re the last two independent kids brands out there with emotional resonance. They’re huge for us in every way possible and a big asset creatively and financially. We’re always looking for ways to keep them going and reinvent them in new ways.”
Gorman previously served as vice president, entertainment production and development, a role he’s had since 2007. He is based at the AG Properties offices in Los Angeles, traveling regularly to American Greetings’ headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio and the AGP office in New York City.
Before AGP, Gorman was VP of development, for family entertainment shingle The Hatchery, and with Radar Pictures as a development executive.