Bravo Grows Merch, Publishing Efforts

Bravo Media is expanding its merchandising and publishing efforts, announcing a new raft of partnerships designed to bring the network’s brand even further beyond the linear TV space.

The majority of the deals are tied to Bravo’s Top Chef franchise, and include a luxury cruise that will set sail in May 2009, as well as a calendar and a series of cooking classes to be conducted by the Culinary Institute of America.

Also in the works is the network’s first non-series DVD release, an exclusive DVD featuring Work Out star trainer Jackie Warner. The DVD will be available on starting May 20 and Warner has already begun shilling the item in prime time and late-night TV spots.

The Warner DVD was co-produced by the video-on-demand channel Exercise TV and NBC Universal Cable Entertainment. The VOD net will premiere the video on May 6.

Bravo first began testing the merch waters in June 2007, when it launched its publishing arm. The first release under the Bravo Media imprint was April’s Top Chef: The Cookbook, which was published in conjunction with Chronicle Books. To date, the book has sold 65,000 copies.

“Bravo Media extends our programming affinity groups beyond the small screen and into the marketplace where our highly-engaged and affluent viewers can touch, feel and interact with our brand in a variety of ways,” said Frances Berwick, executive vp and general manager of Bravo Media. “Through these innovative partnerships, from consumer events to products and merchandise, our audience can experience all things Bravo, wherever and whenever they chose.”

Lastly, Bravo announced that it will embark on a multi-city promotional tour for Top Chef, which is now in its fourth season. The 20-city tour will roll out on the back of a specially painted Top Chef-branded 18-wheeler emblazoned with the likenesses of series host Padma Lakshmi and judge Tom Colicchio.

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