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their normal business, so they asked for a lot of
money. Even if the parks were prepared to pay for
it, there was still another issue in the cost of
execution and ensuring the attractions met the
quality required by the IP provider. All these were
barriers that made it quite complicated unless you
had in-house departments like Universal or
Viable Attractions
One licensor that has set up a dedicated attractions
division in recent years is HIT Entertainment, which
owns the Bob the Builder, Thomas & Friends, Barney
and Pingu licences among many others. Teri Ruffley,
who joined the company from Intamin in 2006 to
become its director of live events (now events and
attractions), soon identified the potential parks and
attractions could offer to HIT as a brand owner:
“The theme park industry is an interesting and
viable business for HIT because we have a portfolio
of preschool brands that have global recognition
and appeal as well as longevity,” she says. “We are
currently one of the only licensors to offer financially
viable attractions, and work towards structuring
deals that are mutually beneficially and sustainable
for us and the operator.”
Another IP owner dealing in preschool brands is
Entertainment Rights, based in London. The
company recently appointed 3DBA as its attractions
partner, and hopes to reveal details soon of its first
project for the amusement industry, based around
the character George of the Jungle. Mat Way, the
company’s global head of live entertainment, says it
is approaching the theme park market now for a
number of reasons: “For us there has been two key
changes,” he reveals. “Until relatively recently, TV
was always a very popular outlet for our brands, but
it is an incredibly congested market now and we
have to invest a lot more to get a place in the
market. Home entertainment (DVD sales etc) is also
See you at
in decline, so we are looking for new and innovative
ways to exploit our brands.”
It’s now nearly 30 years since Sesame Workshop
teamed up with the Busch Entertainment
Corporation to develop a complete park
based around its popular
Sesame Street television
show and characters.
Sesame Place opened in
Langhorne, Pennsylvania,
in 1980 and is now one
of nine Sesame Street-
branded parks or
attractions around the
world (see panel over the
page). Many of these are
children’s areas within
existing theme parks and
given the brand’s appeal, this
makes perfect sense.
A well-documented success
3-2-1- Penguins! – one of the licences
available from Entertainment Rights/3DBA
APRIL 2009
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