The Licensing Book

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June 2008

MODA Drives Licensing for The Henry Ford, The New York Times

As MODA International Marketing marks its 20th year in business, it is celebrating with new clients The Henry Ford and Hoppe’s and new deals for existing clients, including The National Trust for Historic Preservation and The New York Times.

MODA recently signed on as the exclusive licensing agency for The Henry Ford, a history attraction based in Dearborn, Mich. MODA hopes to extend The Henry Ford family of brands (including the Henry Ford Museum, Liberty Craftworks and Greenfield Village) into categories such as food, bedding, garden and outdoor living, tailgating, and gift and stationery. All products will celebrate America’s history of ingenuity and commerce.

“With more than 26 million artifacts and national and international recognition for the unique way we bring the American experience to life, we are confident our retail presence will be as embraced as our current on-side offerings and programs, which draw more than 1.5 million people through our gates and an additional 1.8 million virtual visitors annually,” says Patricia Mooradian, president of The Henry Ford.

Current brand extensions for The Henry Ford include a birdhouse replica of Thomas Edison’s laboratory Menlo Park from Home Bazaar, and two ornaments from Klassics by Kurtis. The birdhouse will be available this summer at The Henry Ford and via the Web at The Henry Ford online store. The ornaments will be based on the Model T Ford and the Mary Martha Chapel, both of which can be found in Greenfield Village at The Henry Ford.

Other brand extension launches for MODA clients include The National Trust for Historic Preservation decorative moulding available at Lowe’s from licensee Empire, and Low Country, a new furniture collection from Hammary. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and preserving America’s historic places.

The six styles of mouldings from The Empire Co. are inspired by the country’s historic sites, and were made available in stores and via special order this spring. “The National Trust provides vast resources for product development and gives Empire the opportunity to market truly authentic American mouldings – real differentiator at retail,” says Dennis Berry, vice president of sales and marketing for The Empire Co.

Hammary, a La-Z-Boy company, has introduced the Low Country collection, a line of furniture inspired by the South Carolina coastal region. The collection is part of a partnership with National Trust – Design in America, for the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The pieces are influenced by the Beaufort Inn in Beaufort, South Carolina, and by the area’s many antique shops. The collection is an updated interpretation of English, French and Caribbean styles, and incorporates mahogany, cherry and figured anegre veneers. Hammary will launch the collection at the High Point Furniture Market in October, and plans to target better department and specialty stores for retail.

Valspar Corp. and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have also renewed their agreement for indoor and outdoor paints. “The extension agreement ensures further development between the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Valspar for the manufacture and distribution of its premium line of interior and exterior historic paint colors available at Lowe’s,” says Michelle Alfandari, president of MODA.

For The New York Times, Franklin Electronics has introduced an Electronic Handheld Pagemark Dictionary, and Excalibur Electronics has created a Deluxe Talking Chess Game and a two-in-one SuDoku/Crossword Handheld game. The dictionary from Franklin Electronics, which features content from the “On This Day” section of The Times Learning Network as well as more than 300,000 word definitions from Merriam-Webster, should be in stores this fall; the games from Excalibur Electronics are available now.

“We’re delighted to work with Franklin,” says Nancy Lee, vice president of development for new business at the news service division of The New York Times. “they have great experience developing and publishing reference and educational content in electronic format. There will be many more opportunities for collaboration in the future”.

In addition, two new Knowledge Card Decks, The Potted Garden and The Kitchen Garden are available from licensee Pomegrante. Info on the decks comes from the book 1000 Gardening Questions and Answers (based on the New York Times column “Garden Q. and A.”)

In another new deal, Prism Industries has licensed its patent-pending lighting technology to AmerTac, which will create night lights with distinctive designs. AmerTac is the first to license the technology, which could also be used in signage, seasonal items, and toys and games.

“We immediately understood that this technology delivered functional differentiation and economies in a highly competitive marketplace. It is a low-cost, energy efficient lighting technology that enhances visual effects, color blends and synchronizes light with sound,” says Alfandari, “Given the challenge faced by many manufacturers to present retailers with unique offerings, we knew that this technology would have broad-based appeal.”

Finally, Jibbitz will launch a line of shoe charms for MODA’s client Le Tour de France, and Coty will expand the Lycra cosmetics franchise into China.

Reprinted with permission of the publisher. The Licensing Book, June 2008 issue, Adventure Publishing Group and Total Licensing Ltd.

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