WASHINGTON (Feb. 18, 2015)—National Geographic has named toy industry veteran Christine Kelly as director of licensing, toys and games, for National Geographic’s Brand Licensing division. In this new role, Kelly has been tasked with National Geographic’s toy business, both licensing and strategic retail partnerships. She will oversee marketing, retail strategy and product development, including the exciting new franchises “Mission Animal Rescue” and “Ultimate Explorer.”
“We’re delighted to bring Christine on board to leverage our current retail partnerships and maximize our brand presence with innovative products that appeal to kids and families,” said Krista Newberry, National Geographic’s senior vice president of licensing for North America. “National Geographic has a brand that parents trust and content that appeals to kids’ sense of adventure and curiosity, and we’re looking forward to expanding our reach even further under Christine’s direction.”
Kelly comes to National Geographic from Mattel Consumer Products, where she served as senior manager of licensing for Mattel’s Infant-Preschool division. She was responsible for managing Mattel’s consumer products business in North America for its Fisher-Price and Thomas & Friends brands, and she helped launch Thomas & Friends direct-to-consumer collaborations with American Girl, Mattel and Fisher-Price. Prior to Mattel, Kelly managed the Thomas & Friends brand for HIT Entertainment and served as director of licensing at Kids with Character, LLC, where she served as the key point person with licensors Disney, Warner Bros., Care Bears and Iconix.
National Geographic’s products and experiences inspire people to explore and understand the world, and support scientists and explorers who are pushing the boundaries of what we know about the world. The Society’s Brand Licensing division works with licensees and retailers in North America and abroad to develop innovative consumer products and programs in four key categories: travel and exploration; toys and gaming; home and gift; and retail and services. National Geographic’s net proceeds from the sale of these products support vital exploration, conservation, research and education programs.
With a mission to inspire, illuminate and teach, the National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. The member-supported Society, which believes in the power of science, exploration and storytelling to change the world, reaches over 600 million people each month through its media platforms, products and events. National Geographic has funded more than 11,000 research, conservation and exploration projects, and its education programs promote geographic literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com and find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.