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UFL Needs Cheering, Sends A Call To Hollywood For Betty Boop 

Betty Boop will be cheering for the UFL this season. (Photo: UFL)July 29, 2010: The United Football League has hired a new cheerleader, and she not only breaks the mold regarding what cheerleaders look like, but she also has been breaking hearts since 1930.

The UFL said it is partnering with King Features Syndicate in a co-branded licensing program under which the iconic Hollywood legend Betty Boop become the "official fantasy cheerleader of the UFL.’ As Betty Boop herself has said on numerous occasions, "Boop-opp-a-doop!"

As part of the deal, Betty Boop will be featured on UFL team-specific merchandise. The first licensee on board to develop UFL-Betty Boop co-branded products is Trevco Sportswear, which will launch team T-shirts this Fall at retailers in UFL markets and at local stadiums. According to Jim George, CEO of Trevco Sportswear, the company will begin with junior tees and will be marketing them in UFL cities to the arenas and local businesses as well as interested retailers. Among Trevco's other products is an officially licensed line of Muhammad Ali T-shirts.

In addition to the Betty Boop merchandise, a  "mascot-style walk-around character" will lead cheers at UFL games and events throughout the 2010 fall season and beyond. The UFL's second season begins Sept. 18 with five teams: The defending champion Las Vegas Locomotives, the Florida Tuskers, Hartford Colonials, Omaha Nighthawks and Sacramento Mountain Lions.

Betty Boop was created by Max Fleischer for his “Talkartoons” series, the first “talkies” of animation, which Fleischer Studios produced for Paramount in the early 1930s. Since then, Betty Boop has starred in more than 100 Fleischer cartoons, two syndicated comic strips, two animated musical television specials for CBS and appeared in the 1988 film, Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

There currently are more than 185 licensees in the U.S. and approximately 375 internationally producing quality products bearing Betty’s likeness in virtually every category, according to King Features.
'Gimme a U, gimme an L, gimmie an F, gimme a UFL T-shirt.'“King Features has a long and impressive track record for building brands,” Bill Uglow, the UFL’s svp-consumer products and licensing, said in a statement.  “We look forward to the new opportunities their expertise in strategic licensing will bring to the UFL.  We believe that our teams’ fans of all ages will enjoy the line of Betty Boop merchandise and will have fun welcoming her to UFL stadiums at many of our games.”

According to David Golzman, licensing Manager of King Features, “This co-branded partnership marries two American icons –  football and Betty Boop – into a unique product that will have fans cheering. We are thrilled to extend Betty’s presence with the UFL through this sportswear deal with Trevco and look forward to further expanding the UFL brand in the licensing arena.”

If this alliance goes well, it would be easy to envision more in store in the way of unusual UFL cheerleaders: King Features also holds the merchandise licensing rights to Popeye the Sailor Man's girlfriend, Olive Oyl.

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