Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 13, 2011 03:14 PM
Two larger-than-life women, Oprah Winfrey and Rosie O’Donnell... one network, OWN, reaching 80 million homes... and a divided jury on the prospects for success.
“Oprah's second act appears to be confirming the old adage that there are no second acts in American life,” wrote businessinsider.com
Winfrey's newest show for the network, "Oprah's Lifeclass," which the former queen of talk has been heavily promoting, drew just 330,000 people on its first night, while the debut of "The Rosie Show" with solo guest Russell Brand drew 497,000 viewers.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 13, 2011 01:25 PM
Keith Haring was called “the Michelangelo of the New York City subway,” after five years of adorning train cars with his earliest signature chalk drawings alternately regarded as graffiti or pop art.
His bold, vivid lines and colors came to symbolize his enduring themes of life and unity. Fulfilling Haring’s desire to make his work widely accessible, his two original Pop Shop boutiques — one on Lafayette Street in New York’s Soho neighborhood, founded in 1986 (back when Soho was the hub of NYC's art world) and another in Tokyo — sold volumes of his designs and memorabilia including floor-to-ceiling murals.
While the Keith Haring Foundation maintains an online Pop Shop, for a limited time only, a retail Pop Shop is back with a special encore installation at Pace Prints opening October 13.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 29, 2011 01:01 PM
When 17-year-old Miss Nebraska, Teresa Scanlan, took on the crown of Miss America this past January, she became the youngest Miss America in the pageant’s 90-year history. She likely had absolutely no idea as the show’s host, The Bachelor’s Chris Harrison, began to sing, “There She Is, Miss America,” that things would be changing a great deal during her reign.
The Associated Press reports that “the Miss America organization is partnering with two companies, Infinity Lifestyle Brands and Hilco Consumer Capital, for licensing, sponsorship and brand creation” to create branding and revenue opportunities around the franchise. A new entity has been created entitled Miss America Properties, which will "create a licensing-driven platform focused on partnerships with leading American companies, including fashion, media, lifestyle products, and events."
"Developing Miss America into a license-based brand concept is a natural and powerful opportunity, and we are in discussions with a variety of strategic brands and sponsorship partners that are interested in influencing this transformational process from the onset," stated Cory M. Baker, Managing Director of Brand Strategy and Development, Infinity Lifestyle Brands, in a press release. "The real beauty behind this brand is its applicability and relevance in the marketplace across all product categories," added Jeffrey Branman, Managing Partner, Hilco Consumer Capital.
The beauty pageant business has been tottering on its high heels ever since TLC's Toddlers and Tiaras hit the air, so we'll be fascinated to see how the “Queen of Femininity,” as the song calls her, will evolve. Scanlan, meanwhile, continue spreading goodwill via local appearances and speeches until the next Miss America is crowned at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas on Jan. 14.
Posted by Shirley Brady on September 14, 2011 03:52 PM
Coming to Japan in December: Sony's just-unveiled Android-powered mobile entertainment player, which is being brought to market with a familiar brand name.
The Walkman Z series, a rival to the iPod touch (looks like a smartphone but doesn't feature call functionality), will be available exclusively in Japan starting December 10th, a week before the PlayStation Vita launches in the market.
Sony's Walkman line is still a decent seller in Japan, where it introduced the Walkman X, a video player, in 2007, but the company wants to re-energize the iconic brand, which also graces Sony Ericsson's Android-powered smartphone.
The Walkman device that started it all, Sony's groundbreaking (for the time) cassette tape player, was retired last October. As Interbrand's Jennifer Bassett commented at the time, "the Walkman was the key link in setting course the trend towards customization and our increasingly mobile culture. And let's not forget the device's contribution to building 'Brand Japan' at the time – fostering its reputation for creating quality, compact electronics."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 30, 2011 01:02 PM
When the forever-pajamaed Hugh Hefner opened the first Playboy Club in Chicago in 1960, it caused quite a stir -- like pretty much everything else the potent magazine publisher did at the time. The place featured young women in the classic Playboy Bunny costumes serving food and cocktails while live entertainment played. It was high-class “entertainment for men.”
Times changed and Playboy closed its club in Chicago back in 1988. It wasn’t alone. All the Clubs across the globe closed by 1998, with the final holdout in Lansing, Michigan. However, the financially struggling company that was recently privatized with Hefner’s big bucks started licensing out the brand in 2006. The Club can now be found in such places as London, Macau, and The Palms casino in Las Vegas.
Now add another Club to the mix: According to the Chicago Tribune, Tom Morgan, general counsel for Boston-based Tremont Realty Capital, has gathered a few Chicago investors and is looking to open a new Club in the Windy City in 2012.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 15, 2011 10:00 AM
Charlie Brown may have been insecure, but he dominated the comics pages for decades. Now comics pages are disappearing and the Peanuts gang has been busy fading away into the annals of pen-and-ink history.
That’s all about to change. Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Peppermint Patty, and all the rest of Charles M. Schulz's iconic characters are entering into the digital and social-media worlds.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on July 8, 2011 03:30 PM
When Harley-Davidson went from a way of life brand to a lifestyle one in the 1990s, it put itself in the perfect position to suffer severely from the 2008 economic meltdown in which its best customers saw layoffs and massive drops in their retirement accounts and home values — while at the same time those offering to loan money for purchase of, say, an $18,000 motorcycle, all but disappeared.
From a 2008 profit of $654 million, Harley saw a $55 million loss a year later, and duly dropped to #98 (from #73 a year earlier) on Interbrand's 2010 Best Global Brands ranking.
Now, a just over a year after threatening to leave its longtime headquarters in Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Business Journal reports that Harley has "begun delivering all 14 models in next year's Touring and Sportster lines to dealers in the United States and Europe, which will allow dealers to sell 2012 models throughout the peak summer selling season." But it's not open road for the iconic brand just yet.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 4, 2011 10:00 AM
Everybody loves a good turnaround story. Crocs is back in the headlines as John McCarvel, President & CEO, just received the Stevie Award for turnaround executive of the year at the recent 9th Annual 2011 American Business Awards.
Honored for his leadership role in the brand’s return to profitable growth as one of the best-performing stocks of 2010 (as he discussed with CNBC), with shares up more than 200% over three years, McCarvel shared credit with his team.Continue reading...