Harry Potter is also known as “the boy who lived” — and Warner Bros wants to keep it that way. The studio, which has been behind the franchise from the start way back in 2001, has now created a dedicated team to oversee its ongoing relationship with Potter creator JK Rowling. The Harry Potter Global Franchise Development team will be based in London and Burbank, and will help foster the studio’s expanded creative partnership with Rowling. Warner UK, Ireland and Spain President and Managing Director Josh Berger will add the title of President of HPGFD to his current role. The team will develop and execute a “high-level strategic vision” for the Potter brand, and its ancillary businesses, working closely with Rowling’s team at The Blair Partnership and other stakeholders and partners. Berger will be supported by Polly Cochrane in London, and Paul Condolora in Burbank.
Warner says the creation of HPGFD reflects the continuing expansion of the Potter franchise. That now includes the upcoming film series Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them; the Making of Harry Potter studio tour at Warner’s Leavesden Studios outside London; the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan and the expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida; a suite of Harry Potter digital services and products including the website Pottermore; and the Harry Potter stage play, which will open on the West End next year.
Berger says, “With Harry Potter’s consumer touch-points continuing to grow and flourish, I am confident that this talented, cross-company global team will enable us to take full advantage of the many opportunities ahead – helping to bring Harry Potter in all its future incarnations to fans all over the world.”
Cochrane, who is currently SVP and Group Marketing Director of Warner UK and Ireland, will add the titles of SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, HPGFD to her remit. Condolora takes up the newly created role of SVP, HPGFD and Harry Potter Digital in Burbank and will lead the business development around Potter, with a focus on digital opportunities. The exec is joining Warner from Turner Broadcasting System. Also moving over to the team will be London-based Suzie Boavida who will be Business Development Director. Burbank-based Xochitl Ruiz, Moira Squier, Angela Kato-Alvarez, Christine Kittelsen, Cynthia Gonzalez and Rebecca Muh, and Fiona Hickley in London, round out the HPGFD team.