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A pre-production look at PPW’s college licensed Connect 4.

A Head for the Licensed Business
Promotional Partners Worldwide Building on Success of Classic Toy
February 12, 2008

The last time we checked in on Promotional Partners Worldwide—in October of 2006—the company was preparing for its industry debut at the Sports Licensing & Entertainment Marketplace. Dean Gorby is happy to report that PPW has made significant strides since then. Indeed, the company’s Sports Spuds—licensed Mr. Potato Head dolls—have performed beyond the expectations of many at retail.

“There were some in the industry that underestimated the appeal of Mr. Potato Head,” says Gorby. “But the classic brands have real power at retail.”

So much so, in fact, that PPW is gearing up for a rollout of new product this summer and fall. In addition to new styles of Mr. Potato Head—the product is available in MLB, NBA, NHL and more than 40 colleges—the company is working on licensed versions of Twister, Connect 4 and Nerf, all under the Hasbro umbrella.

The pre-production look at the mat for New York Yankees Twister.

Another priority for PPW in 2008 is securing an NFL license. “We met with the league in Las Vegas and are still in negotiations with them,” says Gorby. “The NFL would have a huge impact on our business.”

Gorby also found that the Sports & Tailgate Show was a great setting to do a little market research. For example, PPW was unsure whether Connect 4 would be better received as a single- or dual-team format. Show attendees spoke, and the company settled on the version devoted to one team. PPW also received interesting feedback on effective price points.

“We had a really good year in 2007,” adds Gorby. “We’re expecting bigger and better things in 2008.”



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