Cookie Jar inks deal with Varsity

Will develop programming, launch merchandise

TORONTO -- Animation producer the Cookie Jar Group is to become the exclusive licensing agent for Varsity, the cheerleading and dance team apparel and competition giant.

Toronto-based Cookie Jar's licensing group will launch Varsity-branded merchandise and entertainment product starting next year.

The indie producer also will develop original live-action and animated TV programming to appeal to Varsity's young demo.

ESPN airs Varsity's annual national cheerleading championships, while Varsity makes and distributes a host of cheerleading and dance team videos.

In other licensing news, Cookie Jar named Playmates Toys as the master toy licensee for its Mexican TV Wrestling properties Lucha Libre USA and Lucha Libre AAA.

The upcoming toy line will accompany Cookie Jar distributing the first English-language Lucha Libre AAA TV series in the U.S. market.