June 26, 2006

Team Eisner Buys Team Baby


ex-Disney CEO Michael Eisner's investment company just announced it has acquired Team Baby Entertainment, which makes college sports-themed educational [sic] DVD's for infants and toddlers. Among the officially licensed videos in the series so far:Baby Irish (Notre Dame), Baby Longhorn (University of Texas) and Baby Wolverine (University of Michigan). To the die-hard fan parent, the press release description must sound absolutely spectacular:

Each 30-plus minute title provides a fun-filled, colorful, and stimulating visual introduction to the specific school and its sports pageantry. Officially licensed footage of the featured school's sports teams are interspersed with clips of campus attractions, traditions, stadiums and mascots, along with imagery of adorable "team babies" playing with a variety of school-specific products. Each DVD encourages family activity and interaction through exposure to basic skills such as counting and spelling by using school-specific words, numbers, and images. The DVDs also feature a soundtrack that spotlights the school's marching band in a performance of the fight song along with originally composed Team Baby music.
Sounds like a real licensing winner. Interestingly Eisner decided not to buy Baby Fanatic or Mascotopia, the companies which makes that "variety of school-specific products," such as mascot mobiles, school-specific alphabet blocks, and baby-sized mascot clothing.

Interesting, too, considering how many blackfolk feature in that licensed footage: there's only one non-white child on any of the DVD covers in TBE's lineup. But don't think of this as a flaw, but an opportunity. As part of their "major expansion plan," TBE could do a new video series targeting non-white families with college hopes, which could provide exposure to basic skills such as steroid masking and wind sprints.

[tbe via nyt & tmn]
Team Baby Entertainment: "Raising Tomorrow's Fan Today!" TM. [teambabyentertainment.com]
Baby Fanatic: "where little ones become big fans..." [babyfanatic.com, see the value of trademark? and exclamation points]
Mascot Mobiles and blocks by Mascotopia ("where spirit is born! R") are $50 direct, but $40 everywhere else. [er-concepts.com]

Update: the freshly capitalized and statesman-like CEO of Team Baby Entertainment, Greg Scheinman, writes in:

Thanks! I know and respect the owners of mascotopia and baby fanatic and agree that they have great products - that's also why we offer them on our website as many of our customers want them along with their DVD's. We also strive to be diverse in our inclusion of all children in our dvd's - both on the cover, back cover and most certainly in the DVD itself. thanks, Greg
We kid because we love, Greg. And because our brand dictates it. Go Tide!


as if we need some other media form to be inundated by the Orange & White sports team of this city. Just turn on the 6 O'clock news and there is something about the sports program on, whether it's arrests, probation or that promising new recruit... it's on. And if there's not something about UT, then let's go to someone who used to be a UT Volunteer. They LOOOVE Peyton Manning... absolutely love him...

I bet if I listen to SportsTalk today, this will be a topic...

[clearly, my not understanding this obsession is why Eisner didn't just give me $5 million. And I'm even from NC. Go Baby 'Heels. woot. -ed.]

My parents have threatened to indoctrinate my daughter with "Baby Wolverine" every time she comes to visit. I get credit for getting in (forced to apply), but they lord it over me All The Time that I didn't go there. Whatever. And what's up with all the baby college t-shirts we keep getting from friends and family? It's like they are all fighting for her soul!

I'm sorry, that has to be the dumbest idea I've ever seen for baby DVD's.

I found that a couple months ago. I'm just mad they don't have any Baby Sun Devil gear. Notice how all the stuff is all in SEC/Big 12/Big 10 country. I guess ACC and Pac 10 parents are less fanatical...or at least aren't as easy to market to?

And incidentally, I was able to get some of the Mascotopia gear for only 30 bucks just by dropping in at stores around campus, so if you're anywhere near the school you're trying to brainwash the kid with, forget ordering direct and just hit a couple of stores in person.

Yeeeeeuuuccchh. I'm so glad I went to the SCAD. There's sports now, but back in the "little one-room brick schoolhouse days" when JJ Daddy-o and I were there, all they had was like a loosley organized ultimate frisbee team for the kids that did a lot of acid.

Um, Go Bees!

Uh...Baby Gamecocks? No thanks.

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