Universal Parks Forms New Products & Experiences Division

September 16, 2022, 1:00 PM · Universal's theme parks unit is doing some reshuffling, and there's a new division whose name might sound a bit familiar to fans who follow the business side of the theme park industry.

Universal Parks & Resorts announced today that it is merging its Universal Brand Development business with the Universal Parks & Resorts Merchandise Group to create its new Universal Products & Experiences division. Vince Klaseus, current president of Universal Brand Development, will head the new division and report directly to Universal Parks & Resorts Chairman and CEO Mark Woodbury.

The parks & resorts merchandise side of the new division is pretty self-explanatory, but Universal Brand Development handled licensee partnerships for the Universal theme parks and beyond. The new division will handle consumer products including games and other digital products, and Universal-themed retail and live entertainment experiences around the world.

"Joining these two talented teams into one group creates a powerhouse division focused on compelling consumer products and experiences both inside and outside our theme parks," Woodbury said. "Our goal is to create products and experiences for fans that are as innovative and compelling as our lands and attractions. This team can now deliver and execute that on a much larger scale."

"We've built a robust, successful, and expansive [consumer products] business over the last few years, and now by combining the creativity and innovation capabilities of the theme park’s direct consumer and retail skills, we’re going to take our collective business to new heights for consumers, our team, and the company overall," Klaseus said.

"2022 has been a phenomenal year for our CP business with properties like Jurassic World, Minions, and Gabby’s Dollhouse taking off to new heights. That strength plus the phenomenal theme park performance and guest experiences makes this team coming together even more powerful. I can’t wait to see what we will accomplish together with the combined team focused on new areas of growth and collaboration across physical and digital product categories and retail."

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Replies (2)

September 16, 2022 at 1:22 PM

In other words, the licensing side of the house was a net loser, so it's being combined with the side of the house that is a net gainer to streamline the book balancing. This is a purely accounting driven change to prop up the licensing side of the business.

Is Gabby's Dollhouse really that big of a brand, or are Minions and Jurassic World/Park losing their luster that they can be rattled off in the same sentence as a generic kids brand?

September 16, 2022 at 1:18 PM

And in come the auditors to see how they can streamline the new family! Where are the redundancies??? Who can we cut??? Who's going to have a bad Christmas???

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