Levenhuk launches new line of Optics with Discovery, Inc

Levenhuk, one of the largest distributors of optical devices in Europe, has announced a new collaboration with Discovery, Inc on a line of telescopes, microscopes, binoculars, spotting scopes and weather stations. The line will be available Europea-wide, with a focus on markets including Russia, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland and the Czech Republic.

“We constantly release new products for science followers aiming to fulfill their demands,” says Anton Epifanov, CEO at Levenhuk. “Partnering with an outstanding company as Discovery reflects our commitment to a green future and nature protection.”

“At Discovery, we partner with brands that share our mission of sparking curiosity and educating our global fan base,” says Helen Panayiotou, Licensing Manager, International Consumer Products at Discovery, Inc. “This line of optics with Levenhuk provides a range of high-quality, accessible products to amateur scientists and avid explorers across Europe.”

The Levenhuk Discovery optics range will include a total of 140 SKUs launching from October 2021. Select products will also include a range of knowledge books about space and the micro-world. The line is aimed at adult recreational users and will encourage consumers to explore and learn about the world around them. Retailers of the line include Technopolis (Bulgaria), AFD Genova (Italy), Skypoint (Italy), Telescopios Barcelona (Spain), Alza (Czech Republic), Mall (Czech Republic), Szolnoktavcso (Hungary), Edigital (Hungary), Euromega (Poland), Me (Poland) and Skynet (Poland).

Levenhuk operates an international chain of specialised retail shops called Zoom’n’Joy. The chain includes 81 stores located in 62 cities across Europe and Russia.

For more information about the Discovery, Inc line visit http://www.levenhuk.eu/discovery

A wild idea: Crazy Shirts partners with Discovery, Inc for animal-themed apparel

In celebration of World Animal Day this week (4 October), Discovery, Inc, the global leader in real-life entertainment, and Hawaiian retailer Crazy Shirts have teamed up for a special Animal Planet apparel collection.

The Animal Planet x Crazy Shirt range includes 12 T-shirt and long-sleeve top designs, available in both men and women’s sizes, designed to capture the wild spirit of the animal kingdom.

Made from 100 per cent cotton that is ring-spun then combed to remove impurities, the fabric of each item is luxuriously soft and lightweight yet incredibly strong. Only environmentally friendly water-based inks have been used; these penetrate the material’s fibre, resulting in more vibrant colours, a softer feel and artwork that doesn’t crack or peel. All the designs are printed in the United States.

To check out the full range, visit www.crazyshirts.com. Prices range from $32–$44 US.

IMG acquires Dubai’s 20too Licensing as it expands global licensing business

IMG, a specialist in sports, events, fashion, and media, has acquired the Dubai-based 20too Licensing agency to further expand the global footprint of its licensing business.

Established in 2013, 20too Licensing manages consumer product development and brand extensions in the Middle East and North Africa for many of the world’s most popular entertainment and lifestyle brands, including NBCUniversal, Hasbro, The Smurfs, Sega, Smiley, the Discovery portfolio of brands such as Fatafeat, Food Network, Animal Planet and Discovery Channel.

The acquisition will bolster IMG’s presence in the MENA region, with 20too Licensing’s founder and CEO, Christian Zeidler becoming vice president of licensing at IMG, and he and his team moving into IMG’s Dubai office.

IMG represents some of the world’s most prestigious corporate trademarks and institutions, sports brands, teams and federations, fashion labels, lifestyle, media and entertainment properties, as well as major personalities. The agency executes strategic licensing programs for its clients through 25 offices located in major markets across the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Bruno Maglione, president of licensing at IMG, commented: “This is an exciting acquisition for our licensing business and ever-growing portfolio of prestigious clients. Christian and his team have built one of the MENA region’s most successful licensing agencies through creative, strategic brand ideation married to a deep knowledge of the region’s business environment and culture.

“His team will now have the full support and resources of the global IMG network and Endeavor infrastructure, and we in turn reinforce the reach and expertise of our unique licensing organisation.”

Zeidler said: “IMG is the universally recognised licensing industry powerhouse, and we are proud to become part of this extraordinary organisation. We look forward to leveraging their diverse experience and depth of resource with our specialised regional expertise to turbo-charge our activity on behalf of our clients in this region rich with ever-emerging new opportunities.”

WarnerMedia merges with Discovery in latest move to join the streaming giant race

The scene has been set for the creation of yet another streaming giant vying for consumer attention, through the planned merger of AT&T’s Warner Media with Discovery.

The landmark deal will see the two companies become the second largest media group by revenue after Disney, with $41bn in sales annually as it brings together movie giant Warner Bros, HBO and other networks along with Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, TLC and more.

“This agreement unites two entertainment leaders with complementary content strengths and positions the new company to be one of the leading global direct-to-consumer streaming platforms,” AT&T chief executive, John Stankey said in a statement.

“It will support the fantastic growth and international launch of HBO Max with Discovery’s global footprint and create efficiencies which can be re-invested in producing more great content to give consumers what they want.”

The joint company – still in the process of decided a new moniker, with suggestions including Warner Discovery, Warner Bros Discovery and Warner Discovery Media – will be lead by Discovery’s president and chief executive, David Zaslav, who has said that the combined company would spend around $20 billion a year on content. 

Zaslav has suggested that the company could see its annual sales hit $52bn by 2023.

The merger will sit among some of the most significant deals of the past five years, alongside Disney’s purchase of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox empire, and AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner. It is part of a plan to increase AT&T’s content pool as the streaming race intensifies further.

Netflix is leading the race to date with over 200 million subscribers, while Disney+ boasts its 104 million. Both HBO and Discovery entered the race recently with the launch of HBO Max and Discovery+. HBO Max, together with the HBO cable network has around 44 million customers, while Discovery has 15 million global streaming subscribers.

For WarnerMedia, the deal will mark the third restructuring in as many years.

Vicki Marler-Hausen to spearhead marketing plans for FAO Schwarz and Discovery in new Redlands Distribution role

Redlands Distribution has hired Vicki Marler-Hausen of Elmer Marketing to spearhead the marketing and PR for the company’s portfolio of internationally recognised brands, including FAO Schwarz and Discovery.

Marler-Hausen will take on the role of marketing consultant in the UK and will liaise closely with Redlands’ CEO Mark Handley and the ThreeSixty Group on promoting the FAO Schwarz collection and Discovery/Discovery #Mindblown Science and STEM ranges. 

In addition, she will also explore PR opportunities for Sharper Image R/C and robotics and the store’s now iconic BigPiano. Her remit will cover the management of the company’s marketing calendar, trade show attendance, advertising, PR events and social media to help deliver creative campaign initiatives and develop interactive experiences at retail for UK consumers.

Mark Handley, CEO, Redlands Distribution, said: “We are entering an exciting time at Redlands as we grow our retailer partnerships and raise awareness of our fantastic catalogue of exclusive brands in the UK and Ireland. Since launching the flagship FAO Schwarz store in Selfridges last October, and seeing the incredible reaction to our in-store theatre, we are now looking to expand our retail presence and are also keen to bring even more innovative and fun brands to the UK market. 

“I am therefore delighted to welcome Vicki to the team and know that her many years of experience within the toy industry will help open more doors and enable us to put effective marketing plans in place.”

Marler-Hausen added: “I have been blown away by the impressive retail space for FAO Schwarz in Selfridges and also by Mark’s enthusiasm, passion and ambitious vision for Redlands and its amazing toy ranges.  I am delighted he has invited me to be part of his UK team and I cannot wait to get started on campaign ideas for these famous brands.  Anyone wishing to contact me to discuss opportunities can email vicki@redlandsdistribution.com.”

Discovery to launch Coyote Peterson: Brave the Wild licensing programme, starting with toys

Discovery is developing a consumer products programme around the hit YouTube adventurer, Coyote Peterson, kicking off with the launch of a range of toy and aspirational play patterns for kids and families.

Peterson is the star of YouTube’s most-viewed animal channel – Brave Wilderness – with more than three billions views to date. The adventurer recently joined the Animal Planet slate with a new television series called Coyote Peterson: Brave the Wild.

Discovery will now represent Coyote across all licensing categories and develop a consumer products programme with the aim of encouraging and educating the next generation of animal enthusiasts.

In his new series, Coyote Peterson: Brave the Wild, Peterson brings the animal kingdom up close for the next wave of explorers in an entertaining way, while promoting compassion and welfare for the natural world.

Together with wildlife biologist Mario Aldecoa and his crew, Coyote shares their adventures with Animal Planet’s audiences and his “Coyote Pack” across all platforms.

Discovery is building out a dedicated consumer products program specifically aimed at children aged four to eight. The core focus for the merchandising programme to start will be on toys and aspirational play patterns, with extensions into publishing, packaged goods and outdoor apparel, gear and accessories.

“Coyote Peterson is a great example of Discovery talent whose personality transcends the screen and connects deeply with our passionate fans around the world,” said Carolann Dunn, vice president, consumer products, Discovery, Inc.

“Animal Planet serves animal lovers of all ages, and with Coyote we are thrilled to be able to connect with that younger audience through a line of fun, innovative and inspirational toys.”