brand revival

JCPenney Shreds Most of Martha Stewart Deal that Prompted Macy's to Sue

Posted by Dale Buss on October 21, 2013 07:16 PM

Ever since JCPenney CEO Myron Ullman said a few weeks ago that he didn't think the chain's Martha Stewart housewares were all that great, it's been obvious that he wanted to end tensions with Macy's over the rivals' litigation involving home goods designed by Stewart's company.

On Monday, JCPenney and Martha Stewart Living announced a revised agreement that eliminates Stewart's products in home-goods categories to which Macy's claims exclusive rights. In other words, JCPenney has completely backed down over Macy's central complaint in the litigation. And now the only big thing to be determined is whether Macy's will receive a damage award when the judge's final ruling in the case comes, probably later this week.

JCPenney and Stewart also are walking back other aspects of their two-year-old agreement, by swapping the 11 million shares in Stewart's company that JCPenney purchased; JCPenney also will give up its two seats on the board of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. The only remnant of the deal is that the retailer still will sell a small batch of Stewart products, including window treatments and party supplies.Continue reading...

brand revival

Like Bennigan's, Steak and Ale is Set for a Comeback

Posted by Dale Buss on October 3, 2013 01:37 PM

Paul Mangiamele already has put the Bennigan's brand on the route to a turnaround. Now, he told brandchannel, he plans to do something similar with Steak and Ale.

The last outlet in the venerable Steak and Ale chain closed about six years ago, said Mangiamele, a 30-year veteran of the restaurant-franchising business who has taken to revitalizing old brands. But by early 2014, he said, the familiar marque will be back in business. Then the rest is up to his team's execution—and the public.

"There are exactly zero Steak and Ales anywhere in the world right now," said Mangiamele, who brought Bennigan's out of a five-year bankruptcy earlier this year and has opened dozens of new restaurants and refined the Bennigan's business model in an effort to bring about a comeback. The same ill-fated parent used to own both chains.Continue reading...

brand revival

Wonder Bread Returns to Store Shelves with New Owner, Old Look

Posted by Dale Buss on September 25, 2013 06:36 PM

Twinkies have gotten all the PR, but let's face it—they've never had their own TV show. So the return of Wonder Bread (whose old TV ad inspired the title of the Nineties' nostalgic series The Wonder Years) to American store shelves is also a big story as the other major brand from now-defunct Hostess makes a comeback under its new owner, Flowers Foods. 

Georgia-based baking giant Flowers announced that it has been putting Wonder back on store shelves since Monday along with other former Hostess-owned brands that it acquired in February, along with 20 baking plants, for $355 million. Twinkies, which was aquired by Apollo Global Management, and other Hostess treats began returning to store shelves over the summer.Continue reading...

brand revival

As Competition Grows, ESPN Hopes to Bolster SportsCenter's Dominance with New Campaign

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 23, 2013 03:44 PM

ESPN often calls itself the Worldwide Leader in Sports, and there is no doubt that it is. Its market dominance is unquestioned. 

However, in recent months, a few big brands have appeared on the scene ready to make some inroads into ESPN’s longtime rule. NBC has collected its sports content under one roof and scored a big victory when it began airing English Premier League games this season. Fox Sports 1 launched in August and is happy with its progress. “I don’t know how much better it could be going,” Michael Mulvihill, senior vice president, Programming & Research told TheWrap. “We’re very pleased.”

With that in mind, the Disney-owned ESPN is launching a new ad campaign for its flagship program, SportsCenter, that will remind all sports fans who’s boss. The spots will feature fans and pro athletes such as Bubba Watson, Maria Sharapova, RG III, Patrick Kane, and Clayton Kershaw, Deadspin reports, singing the SportsCenter theme song while they go about their lives. According to the Wall Street Journal, this is the first time in about a decade that the sports juggernaut is actually paying to advertise its products on other networks, including DirecTV and Comedy Central.Continue reading...

brand revival

Kodak Emerges from Bankruptcy with Focus on Digital Imaging, Commercial Printing

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 4, 2013 04:55 PM

After filing for bankruptcy in November of last year, Kodak has re-emerged as a much smaller, business-to-business focused company that will provide commerical printing and digital imaging services. While a far cry from its years in consumer products, CEO Antonio Perez urges that the company is "working at the same intersection of materials science, digital imaging and precision technologies that it had been for decades prior to the bankruptcy."

After increasing competition from overseas companies and emerging digital technology essentially killed Kodak's business, the company sold off what it could, including its signature camera film division to its UK retirees who had a $2.8 billion debt owed on their pension plan. It sold its roughly half-billion dollar patent portfolio in return for $844 million in financing and reduced billions of dollars of debt by issuing stock at a severely reduced rate to creditors.Continue reading...

brand revival

Newsweek Finds New Life Abroad

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 2, 2013 03:25 PM

Newsweek has been dying a slow, painful death now for years, but a pair of thirty-something media magnates think they have what it takes to salvage the venerable brand.

Etienne Uzac, CEO of IBT Media, and his business partner, Jonathan Davis, “aspire to leadership of the digital media revolution,” according to CNN. The pair is already well on their way as the owners and co-founders of the International Business Times, among the top .02 percent of global URLs with an audience of over 7 million in the US and 13 million worldwide. IBT Media’s portfolio includes 10 international online news properties such as Medical Daily, Latin Times and iDigitalTimes and publishes in seven languages.

After being sold multiple times, the latest owners acquired Newsweek from Barry Diller's IAC in early August, after a failed merger between The Daily Beast and the once-venerable weekly news magazine saw just about every last supporter abandon the brand.

Even though Diller called his acquisition of Newsweek a "mistake" in a recent interview with Bloomberg, Uzac sees potential beyond the US to grow the Newsweek brand internationally. "We plan on deepening the current relationships and potentially adding more global partners," he told Ad Age.Continue reading...

brand revival

Power Rangers Enjoy Revival After 20 Years On the Air

Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 28, 2013 06:06 PM

When the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers first hit American TV screens with “Day of the Dumpster” 20 years ago today, no one would have expected over 4 million faithful viewers to be tuned-in by the end of its first season—a number that ballooned to 6.9 million by the end of season two. 

But fans loved it. The mash-up of Japanese-inspired action and US-produced drama—not to mention brightly-colored spandex—created a pop-culture phenomenon, one that many major networks at the time chose to turn away from. In fact, Fox was the only network that took a chance on the new series, which has arguably had its share of ups and downs over the nearly 800 episodes that have aired.

Still, the kids series created merchandise heaven for retailers, amounting to nearly $1 billion by 1995. The brand was eventually bought up by Disney, where it languished, cycling through themes that included Power Rangers as space cadets, ninjas and race car drivers—all of which ate away at the original brand's success. In 2010, the original owner, Saban Brands, bought it back from Disney with a mission to revive the characters and series.Continue reading...

brand revival

Marissa Mayer is Transforming Yahoo into a Full-Fledged Media Platform

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 23, 2013 02:52 PM

Perhaps we should have seen it coming when Yahoo's Marissa Mayer covered the September issue of Vogue. Mayer is busy dusting off her aging internet company and is creating quite the image for herself in the process. One thing she's made clear: her Yahoo will be nothing like what existed—and failed—before. 

Multiple sources close to the company report that Mayer has been busy securing a deal with longtime news personality and talk show host Katie Couric for an exclusive web interview show that would like on Yahoo's homepage, while others have said that Mayer is in preliminary talks with Conde Nast to feature some of Vogue's content on the site.Continue reading...

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