Kids Media India (KMI), a subsidiary of Spacetoon, has inked an exclusive licensing partnership with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) for the latter’s merchandise. The partnership is expected to propel annual revenues generated from WWE-licensed consumer goods in India to $10 million in the next three years.
Rajiv Sangari, Managing Director and CEO, KMI, said, “Our tie-up with WWE marks a move from cartoon-based character licensing to live character licensing. We are also in early stages of talks to bid for an Indian Premiere League (IPL) team for a licensing and merchandising deal in the second season.”
Announcing the deal, Ross Walker, Director-International Consumer Products, WWE, said, “India has the second largest viewership globally for our programmes and is second only to cricket in India. With KMI, we have developed a unique three-tier strategy for the Indian apparel market, categorised as premium, mid-tier and mass market, to curb counterfeit products in the market.”
KMI has also announced the first licensee for WWE consumer products for the Indian market. Bioworld Merchandising, headquartered in Texas, USA, is set to launch WWE apparel, footwear, bags, belts, head gear and imitation jewellery in India soon. Batista, the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, will launch the WWE merchandise during this week in Mumbai.
Raj Mallick, President, Bioworld said, “We will invest in design and sampling to have strong product offering of authentic WWE merchandise. We will support the WWE merchandise programme with marketing and advertising specifically targeted at the Indian consumer. In addition, we will also invest and partner with key retailers to boost awareness for authentic WWE products.”
KMI handles popular international cartoon characters like Spiderman, X-Men, The Hulk, Iron Man, Ghost Rider and Captain America, while some Asian characters include Doraemon, Shin Chan, Digimon, Dragon Ball Z, and Ninja Turtles, among others.
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. is a publicly traded, privately controlled integrated media (focusing in television, Internet, and live events) and sports entertainment company dealing primarily in the professional wrestling industry. The company’s major revenue sources are films, music, product licensing, and direct product sales. The company was previously known as Titan Sports before changing its name to World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc., and most recently, becoming World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.