Spread Group signs up five iconic Paramount properties

Spread Group has signed a deal with Paramount Consumer Products to produce print-on-demand products for the European market for five iconic properties: Flashdance, Top Gun, Star Trek, Garfield and SpongeBob SquarePants.

Sustainability is at the heart of the partnership. The Spread Group’s print-on-demand offering means an item is only printed after it has been ordered. This limits waste because there’s no over-stocking and leftover sizes.

The first designs will include I Feel the Need for Speed Top Gun t-shirts, Flashdance logo and What a Feeling! hoodies, Garfield LASAGNA lunchboxes and Saturday Night Fever posters. The designs will be a mixture of classic images and newly created designs produced by Spread Group.

Customisation is also made easy with print-on-demand. Fans have the freedom to add a design to a product in a size, colour, and style of their choice.

Sven Burscher, Spread Group’s Head of Licensing, says: “This partnership means Spread Group can offer a huge variety of themes to a wide audience. The Paramount Global brands cover iconic movies and cartoons for a large demographic. There’s a coming-of-age moment for everyone!

“Our print-on-demand offering means the brands and their fans can customise their creations to suit them, whilst retaining brand integrity. It also limits waste, which is better for the planet.”

Fans will be able to add images and quotes to t-shirts, hoodies, caps, bags, aprons, mugs, water bottles, lunchboxes, pillowcases, posters and stickers, depending on the brand. Designs will also be localised – for example, Garfield quotes in German, French and English.

The licence covers Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and the UK.



Spread Group links with Peanuts Worldwide for print-on-demand babywear

Spread Group and Peanuts Worldwide are kicking off the new year with a range of baby products and designs. The collection will be offered across the whole of the EU and the UK, and will feature the lovable beagle Snoopy on baby-grows, tiny t-shirts and warm hats.

Sven Burscher, Spread Group’s Head of Licensing, says: “This partnership expands Spread Group’s offering with lovely designs for the Peanuts baby demographics. It gives the brand and its fans the option of print-on-demand, which offers a range of designs in a style, size and colour to suit them. Peanuts has positivity associated with the brand we are very excited to have Snoopy and the gang in our portfolio!”

Tara Botwick, Vice President of Territory Management, EMEA for Peanuts Worldwide, adds: “We are looking forward to growing our baby offerings in Europe, as we know that parents and grandparents want to share their love of Peanuts with the next generation. Expanding our print-on-demand business is important as we continue to reach new audiences and Spread Group is a key licensee in that category.”

Spreadshirt’s Marketplace will also host a showroom of the designs featuring Charles M. Schulz’s classic characters. More designs will be added as they come on-stream, and the collection will also include apparel for teenagers and adults.


Opinion I Can brand merch have the best of both worlds – in-store and online?

In-real-life and online shopping are both important retail strategies, but for brands in particular, they throw up different problems. Is embracing a ‘clicks and mortar’ approach the way forward, wonders Spread Group’s Head of Licensing Sven Burscher

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The last two years have seen a huge shift in consumer behaviour. Some colleagues in the industry argue that the move to online shopping is complete. Those consumers who were reluctant to buy online made the move during 2020-21. According to Salesforce’s Shopping Index, European e-commerce grew by 47% in 2020. That said, other colleagues see that the hunger for an in-real-life shopping experience remains strong.

There’s nothing like the brand store of course. The excitement of having merchandise in one place, all the on-trend products, the brand ambassadors, maybe a pop-up experience too. The consumer-interest can be countered by risk for the brand however. There’s the investment risk of having a wide range of sizes and colours, which might not sell. Whilst for the fan there’s a lack of customisation options. An opportunity to engender further loyalty is lost.

Personal human contact in store is key to the engaged customer experience, and often missing online. One industry trend is the idea that pure-play online retailers will need to embrace ‘clicks and mortar’ to truly engage with the consumer.

So how can brands have the best of both worlds? Can brands integrate online licensing sales with an in-store offering, or are they separate strategies? The way forward is to take the choice, control, and sustainability of online and use it to support the experience of in-real-life.


Online the customer has access to the full range of styles, sizes, products, accessories. There’s no risk for the brand in over-ordering XXS and the XXS customer has a greater choice of styles and colours than in-store.

This level of style customisation can be particularly important for women. Too often the styles in-store don’t include a variety of flattering necklines and different fits but are just a smaller version of a men’s t-shirt. Giving consumers this choice of fit can make the difference between a loved and a worn-once piece of clothing.


Online brands can maintain some control by offering limited customisation. This doesn’t have to be completely free reign, or brand inappropriate. A grown-up TV series can still keep its mysterious look and feel with dark colours. A children’s brand can make sure they only allow products that are relevant to young people and offer them in colours to match the age-range. Within these limitations, there is still scope for fans to choose a t-shirt style, fit or colour that suits them.

This usually works through our Spreadshop or Spreadshirt brand. It allows brands and entrepreneurs to run their own online shop or offer merchandise on our marketplace. Partners can focus on their brands while we handle the technology, inventory, production and customer service.

With an online offering supplementing the in-store range, brands retain control of their image, but customers get something they want too. Even small brands can now offer their followers a little personalisation, giving their devotees something special and receiving valuable feedback on what they like.


A print-on-demand online service can help brands with their sustainability goals. Nothing is printed until it’s ordered which means there is no over-ordering and very little waste. This helps to manage the brand’s exposure to the difficult-to-manage sizes.

It also means products can also be tested without incurring high costs. A design can be added to new products, launched online and the data analysed to see what actually sells. There won’t be a warehouse full of unwanted sizes or images, gathering dust and not earning revenue.

In the 20 years since the rise of ecommerce, we haven’t shaken off the in-store experience. Two years of more intense online shopping may only have increased the desire for shopping as entertainment. For brands, a clever combination of both elements of commerce can build loyalty with fans, offer a wider range, build their sustainability credentials and test new ideas. It’s time for clicks and mortar 2.0!

This article appears in the Jan/Feb issue of ToyNews. Read it here.


Spread Group launches Game of Thrones print-on-demand collection




Spread Group launches Game of Thrones print-on-demand collection

Spread Group and Warner Bros. Consumer Products have announced the launch of an all-new print-on-demand collection inspired by Game of Thrones, featuring branded products for fans to use, wear and carry.

The new collection will include apparel, accessories, homeware and more, and is available just in time for the holidays,

Print-on-demand means fans can customise the collection within the parameters of the brand’s guidelines. Spread Group’s offering provides a range of designs from the series in colours, styles and products to suit the brand. Designs with signature phrases like ‘Winter is Here’, ‘Not Today’ or ‘A Lannister Always Pays His Debts’ are among the versatile collection.

The combination of customisation and print-on-demand produces a greater choice for fans, while offering a strong aspect of sustainability; it means no overproduction, and a wider choice of products such as organic cotton t-shirts.

Sven Burscher, Spread Group’s new Head of Licensing says: “We are very excited to expand our strategic partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products. We can now offer Game of Thrones fans an appealing product range with a level of customisation, which increases their affinity with the series, whilst retaining control of the brand image. As no product is printed until it’s ordered, Spread Group can offer a greater range, meaning fans can always find the size they need, unlike in the store.”

Spread Group’s last UK order deadline for standard shipping is 13 December.

HBO’s Game of Thrones has aired in over 207 countries and territories, culminating in record-setting ratings, and over its eight seasons, the show became one of the biggest and most iconic series in television history.

Having celebrated “The Iron Anniversary” in April 2021, which marked 10 years since the first episode hit television screens, Game of Thrones continues to engage passionate fans and ignite audiences’ excitement with the next iteration of the franchise, House of the Dragon.

Spread Group signs worldwide license with ZAG for Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir collection

Award-winning global independent animation studio ZAG has signed a global licensing agreement with Spread Group. Under the new agreement, Spread Group will provide a print-on-demand collection for the globally successful animated series Miraculous – Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, created by ZAG and co-produced with ON kids & family (Mediawan). Kids and young adults’ apparel and accessories for Miraculous will be available via Spread Group’s Marketplace in time for the holiday season.

A worldwide print-on-demand offering means brands can demonstrate their sustainability credentials to customers. At Spread Group, nothing is printed before it is ordered, so there is no overproduction. The Miraculous designs will be published online, ready to be printed on to t-shirts, hoodies and lunchboxes, plus accessories like bags and mugs.

Helena Perheentupa, VP, Licensing, Central, Eastern, Northern Europe and Russia at ZAG, says: “Print-on-demand is a great new opportunity for our passionate fans to engage with Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir. This global partnership marries Spread Group’s e-commerce expertise with the enthusiasm of our fans, who can now choose from a range of styles and accessories to suit them. We’re delighted with this new initiative and look forward to its great success.”

Sven Burscher, Head of Licensing at Spread Group, adds: “We’re excited to be the strategic e-commerce partners for ZAG, especially after the IP has just won three Licensing International Awards in Germany. Our partnership shows how print-on-demand can add a sustainable element to licensing. Miraculous fans can now choose from pre-designed products that are only printed once an order is placed. Fans can also change the product and the colour to suit their own style, from a range of kids’ clothing and accessories.”

This is Spread Group’s first licensing deal since Sven Burscher’s appointment in October.

Spread Group becomes a strategic e-commerce partner for ZAG in time for the worldwide premiere of the US$100M+ Miraculous animated feature to premiere in 2022.



Spread Group gains Sven Burscher as Head of Licensing

Spread Group has appointed Sven Burscher as its new Head of Licensing, in a move that highlights the expansion of its licensing business. Burscher will be responsible for Spread Group’s entire licensing portfolio, with a special focus on international marketing strategies. He moves from a longtime partner of Spread Group, the WildBrain CPLG agency.

As Brand & Retail Director, Sven Burscher most recently led the development of WildBrain CPLG’s e-commerce business. He played a key role in the licensing agency being named “Agency of the Year” at the International Licensing Awards in 2020. After earning his degree in business administration, he made his start in the licensing industry in 2014 and quickly rose to become the main contact for major rights holders, such as Peanuts, Universal, Hello Kitty and Sesame Workshop.

Over the past four years at WildBrain CPLG, he has overseen the expansion of the agency’s licensing portfolio both in bricks-and-mortar retail, with clients such as Lidl and Puma, and in e-commerce with Spread Group. Effective immediately, he is now responsible for the company’s current roster of approximately 190 licensing properties worldwide, including Warner Bros. Entertainment, Zag, Sesame Workshop, Kiddinx and Sony Music.

“My goal is to further strengthen Licensing as a strategic business area and to form new collaborations with international best-in-class partners,” says Sven. “Furthermore, I would like to increase the visibility of the range of our licensing topics and exchange ideas directly with our licensors. This includes, for example, increased representation at the top licensing trade shows. I’m very excited about these new challenges at Spread Group.”

Harry Potter weaves magic across ecommerce platform Spread Group as sales leap 70 per cent

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been weaving its magic on the ecommerce platform Spread Group, helping drive UK licensing sales to a 70 per cent leap since the group extended its partnership with Warner Bros in December last year.

Increased demand for items – in particular the women’s hoodies range – themed around the Harry Potter franchise has fuelled a sales surge across the platform, with UK consumers ‘snapping up’ Hogwarts themed apparel. At the same time, another of Warner Bros’ leading franchises, Friends, has been subject to similar demand.

Annina Vettermann, licensing success manager at Spread Group, said: “We have been very surprised and pleased by the huge demand for women’s hoodies for both of these Warner Bros. brands. We think this is a gap in the market and fans have been happy to find merch they want to wear at Spread Group.”

Spread Group’s bestselling Harry Potter design is a gold Hogwarts coat of arms. This is closely followed by individual House hoodies. The most popular is Harry’s own Gryffindor (accounting for 40 per cent of sales). Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw are vying for second place (22 per cent and 21 per cent respectively) and those ambitious Slytherins are not far behind either, on 17 per cent.

Meanwhile, the revival of 90s TV hit Friends has seen a rise in demand for its classic brand and images of the Central Perk gang. At Spread Group, sales of tote bags, hoodies and t-shirts have risen for both men and women.

Vettermann added: “2020 has been a difficult year for everyone, but we were delighted to see UK consumers being creative and taking advantage of these newly licensed designs. The strategic partnership has created exceptional results for the Spread Group and Warner Bros. partnership.”

Spread Group currently offers 14 Warner Bros. licenses, including Batman, Wonder Woman, Tom & Jerry, Looney Tunes and Superman, in a wide range of products, colours and designs.

The Spread Group side of the partnership covers design, marketing and production, a presence on the Spreadshirt marketplace, Amazon and eBay. This licensing deal made Warner Bros. one of Spread Group’s largest partners. Its consumers can now access over 1,500 Warner designs on the Spreadshirt marketplaces in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia as well as over 1,000 item positions on Amazon.com.

Spread Group expands its partnership with Warner Bros for new licenses and markets

Spread Group – the firm formerly known as Spreadshirt – has expanded its partnership with Warner Bros to bring 14 of its brands including Harry Potter, Batman, and Friends, to new target markets in the UK, US, Canada, and Australia.

The latest development is an extension of a European partnership that has existed between Spread Group and Warner Bros since 2012. Over the past eight years, Spread Group has developed more than 1,700 designs with popular Warner Bros. heroes and symbols across Germany, the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland.

The Warner Bros. brands are among some of the best-sellers on these European Spreadshirt marketplaces.

“We are excited about the opportunity to use our know-how to launch into new markets and to strategically develop our partnership with Warner Bros. In doing so, we will cover design, marketing and production, to the web presence on our Spreadshirt marketplace, as well as on Amazon and eBay – according to our 360-degree approach,” said Ann-Katrin Hager, head of licensing Europe of Spread Group.

The licensing deal will make Warner Bros. will one of Spread Group’s largest partners. It will offer over 1,000 Warner designs on the Spreadshirt marketplaces in the UK, USA, Canada and Australia as well as 1,500 item positions on Amazon.com.