Sony Pictures Entertainment Launches Consumer Products Office in China
The Shanghai licensing office will be lead by Sabrina Gu as director of consumer products in the territory.
Sony Pictures Entertainment is expanding its consumer products division with the establishment of its first China-based licensing operation.
The company has appointed Sabrina Gu to lead direct deals out of the new Shanghai office as director of consumer products for China. Her task is to expand SPE’s licensing opportunities in China and lead relationships with business partners in the territory.
As the Chinese government has gotten a better handle on piracy, movie merchandising has begun to emerge as one of the hottest growth sectors of the Chinese entertainment industry, where box office returns still account for the vast majority of all movie-related revenue.
“Now more than ever there is a world of opportunity in China for consumer products, which Gu will help to realize,” said Jamie Stevens, executive vp worldwide consumer products at SPE. "From a box-office standpoint and an ancillary business perspective, China has become increasingly important to the growth and long-term vision of our intellectual property, and in managing a brand’s lifecycle. As Sony Pictures broadens the global appeal of its film and television properties in a substantial way, our new China-based licensing office will support that growth."
Gu will dual-report to Stevens and Joseph Liao, chief marketing officer in Beijing. A veteran of the licensing industry, she has been active in the sector for nearly 15 years. She began her career at Disney in 2004, as licensing business was just beginning to emerge in China. In addition to her stint at Disney from 2004 to 2013, she previously worked at Nike from 2002 to 2003 and Mattel Asia Pacific from 2014 to 2016.