Team Baby Inks Trio of New Deals11 Jul, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold
On the heels of being acquired by Michael Eisner's The Tornante Co., Team Baby Entertainment is bulking up with three new deals it hopes will give it an even larger presence in the lucrative preschool DVD market.
Team Baby, which produces DVDs tied to college sports teams that are aimed at infants and toddlers, has entered into licensing deals with Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and NASCAR Images to develop additional Team Baby titles over the next few years.
The company also has expanded its partnership with Collegiate Images and will add more NCAA titles from high-profile colleges and universities.
Team Baby already has 20 half-hour DVDs in the market, including Baby Aggie (Texas A&M University), Baby Irish (University of Notre Dame), Baby Tiger (Louisiana State University) and Baby Wolverine (University of Michigan). The videos feature official footage of the featured college's sports teams, along with video clips of the campus stadium and other attractions and kids playing with team-themed products.
Team Baby Entertainment also is beefing up its creative plans for future releases, including a new storyline from children's sports author Jim Buckley, original music from Joe McDermott and the introduction of animated “Team Babies” from Active Imagination.
In addition, Regis Philbin has been tapped to do the narration on Baby Irish Vol. 2. Philbin is a Notre Dame alumni and last year named the original Baby Irish one of his favorite gifts of the 2005 holiday season.
Team Baby is in discussions with other celebrities to lend their voices to Team Baby titles, as well.
Greg Scheinman, the founder of Team Baby Entertainment, said the three new licensing deals “will enable Team Baby to greatly expand our national and regional presence by capitalizing on the tremendous fan bases” of the organizations.
First out of the gate will be a NASCAR Team Baby DVD, the company's first with a professional sports organization. The release, timed to hit stores in time for this year's “Chase for the Nextel Cup” championships, which start in September, will spotlight NASCAR's Stock Car and Truck series. Top drivers, tracks and teams will all be included.
Next up will be two team-specific titles featuring recent NBA Finals teams the Miami Heat (Baby Heat) and the Dallas Mavericks (Baby Maverick), both expected out in time for the holidays.
And for Major League Baseball, Team Baby will produce an overall league title featuring an assortment of MLB superstars. Also in the works are team-specific titles that will spotlight such teams as the New York Yankees, the New York Mets, the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The first titles are due in time for spring training 2007.
Team Baby Entertainment also intends on broadening its selection of college sports-themed DVDs. Under the new extended deal with Collegiate Images, Team Baby expects to release DVDs spotlighting such college football and basketball powers as Penn State, USC, Florida State University and the University of North Carolina.