LIMA unveils keynote panel line-up at Licensing International

Executives from Disney, Li & Fung, Hasbro, Mattel and Toys R Us to examine the future of entertainment licensing
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The keynote panel is entitled The Future of Entertainment Licensing and will kick off the 2010 show from 9-10am on Tuesday June 8th. The event is free to attend

The discussion will be moderated by Marty Brochstein, LIMA’s senior vice president of industry relations and information, and will cover current challenges and examine how ongoing changes in the entertainment and retail marketplaces will affect the licensing industry.

The panelists will also share their thoughts on what licensees and licensors need to do to adapt in today’s fast-paced business environment.

The following executives will take part in The Future of Entertainment Licensing:

Rick Darling, president of LF USA

Darling also serves as executive director of Hong Kong-based Li & Fung, the consumer goods supply-chain management company. He is credited with establishing its merchandising, marketing and supply chain management services in the US as well as its Supply Chain Management program.

Today, Darling drives Li & Fung’s on-shore model, LF USA, which has become increasingly involved in the licensing business through its ownership of companies like Kids Headquarters and Briefly Stated. LF USA’s strong design, merchandising and marketing front end combine with Li & Fung’s global sourcing platform to provide proprietary brands, licensed product and private label to major retailers in the US.

Darling also serves on the board of Fashion Delivers and is Vice Chairman of the American Apparel & Footwear Association.

Karen Dodge, senior VP and chief merchandising officer, Toys R Us

Dodge oversees all aspects of merchandising US operations, including all Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores and the FAO Schwarz flagship store in New York City. She leads a team of merchants in identifying worldwide product trends to maintain the company’s position in the market.

Dodge is also instrumental in building manufacturer relationships. A distinguished retail veteran, she joined Toys R Us in 2007 from Marshall Fields.

John Frascotti, global chief marketing officer, Hasbro

Frascotti is responsible for leading Hasbro’s global marketing and merchandising efforts and growing its portfolio of brands. Before joining Hasbro in 2008, he was senior VP of the sport division at Reebok International where he managed the company’s largest global business segment.

Frascotti began his career at Reebok in 1989 as an attorney and switched over to the product and marketing side of business in 1990. Between 1999 and 2002 he served as president and COO of Myteam.com, a direct marketing company, before returning to Reebok in 2002.

Neil Friedman, president, Mattel Brands

A toy industry icon who helped popularize the pairing of technology and toys more than a decade ago under the Fisher-Price brand, Friedman oversees Mattel Brands.

Under his leadership, Fisher-Price introduced Tickle Me Elmo, one of the most successful launches in toy industry history. Friedman joined Mattel in 1997, following its merger with Tyco Toys and had previously served as president of MCA/Universal Merchandising.

Friedman is a former Chairman of LIMA’s board of directors and was inducted into the Licensing Industry Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2004, Friedman was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame by the Toy Industry Association (TIA).

Andy Mooney, chairman, Disney Consumer Products

Mooney oversees worldwide day-to-day operations of the business unit, which extends the Disney brand into a broad range of merchandise categories, including toys, apparel, home décor, interactive games, food and beverages, electronics, and books and magazines.

He and his team have been credited with encouraging product innovation and bolstering the Disney brand by developing strong relationships with many of the world's largest and most trusted retailers. Mooney was named chairman in 2003 after having served as president since 1999. Before Disney, he spent 20 years with Nike, ultimately becoming chief marketing officer.

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