Universal has extended its contract with Stephanie Sperber re-upping the executive’s deal to remain as president of Universal Partnerships & Licensing through 2016.
New deal comes a year and a half before her current contact was set to expire.
Sperber has been key in growing Universal’s relationships with brands, bringing them on as promotional partners for its major tentpoles, and as strategic marketing alliances for the Universal Studios Parks and Resorts Group, which is currently expanding its Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Orlando, and adding new versions in Hollywood and Japan.
In her post, Sperber oversees all of Universal’s global consumer products, digital licensing, theatrical and home entertainment promotions across all divisions of Universal Pictures. Her team works closely with the NBCUniversal Media Innovation & Cross Company Initiatives group and with Russell Hampton, the studio’s new executive VP of Franchise Management and Global Consumer Products.
She reports to Adam Fogelson, chairman of Universal Pictures.
More recently, Sperber’s lined up more than 100 promotional partners, including McDonald’s, Kellogg’s, Chiquita and Progressive insurance around Illumination Entertainment’s “Despicable Me 2,” with the companies spending around $225 million in marketing support around the toon. The film’s global consumer products program also has more than 1,000 different products at retail tied to the film. Overall, it’s the the studio’s largest consumer effort since 2005’s “King Kong.”
This summer, her team also released the successful “Fast & Furious 6: The Game,” developed by Kabam! Games, which has gone on to become one of the most successful and profitable digital games based on a film property.
She now focuses on building out a program around Universal’s “Jurassic Park” franchise, which will involve global licensing, retail, digital and a promotional campaign for the fourth film in the series.
Sperber has led UP&L since its creation in 2009, first as executive VP of the studio’s retail-focused Consumer Products Group within the division known as Universal Studios Partnerships before she was promoted to her current position. Prior to that, she had led Universal Studios Partnerships as executive VP since 2005.
- Arts & Entertainment
- Universal Pictures