Universal’s theme park division is merging two subsidiaries to create a group called Universal Products and Experiences.
While it may sound like a simple corporate reshuffling on paper, the end result could be more Universal-themed experiences for consumers. The merger combines NBCUniversal’s Universal Brand Development with the Universal Parks and Resorts Merchandise Group — meaning consumer products and themed live entertainment and retail will be managed under one roof at Comcast.
Vince Klaseus, the current president of Universal Brand Development, will lead the new division. Klaseus has been in charge of the brand development division since it was created in 2014 and previously worked at Disney as head of its global toy division. He’ll now report to Mark Woodbury, chairman and CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts.
“Joining these two talented teams into one group creates a powerhouse division focused on compelling consumer products and experiences both inside and outside our theme parks,” Woodbury said in a press release. “Our goal is to create products and experiences for fans that are as innovative and compelling as our lands and attractions. This team can now deliver and execute that on a much larger scale.”
The Products and Experiences name echoes Disney’s own Parks, Experiences and Products division, which was created in a 2018 merger between its theme park and consumer products segments.
“2022 has been a phenomenal year for our CP business with properties like Jurassic World, Minions, and Gabby’s Dollhouse taking off to new heights,” Klaseus said in a statement. “That strength plus the phenomenal theme park performance and guest experiences makes this team coming together even more powerful. I can’t wait to see what we will accomplish together with the combined team focused on new areas of growth and collaboration across physical and digital product categories and retail.”