"Zevo-3," the first kids' animated series from the newly formed Skechers Entertainment, was launched at MipTV in April and has already signed Nicktoons as its broadcast partner in the U.S.
Robert Greenberg, chairman and chief executive officer of Skechers USA, began inserting comic books into millions of shoeboxes more than three years ago. Greenberg, who once referred to himself as "Captain Marvel," founded Skechers in 1992 and has built the company, along with his son Michael and other family members, into a global business in more than 100 countries, which reported annual sales of more than $1.4 billion in 2009.
This promotion became a big hit with customers, and the comic books and characters quickly developed a huge fan base.
In fact, it was this widespread popularity of the comic books that resulted in the formation of Skechers Entertainment last fall and the launch of its new animated series, explains Kristen Van Cott, senior vice president
In conjunction with its worldwide distribution partner Moonscoop, Skechers Entertainment unveiled "Zevo-3," its first animated series, in April at MipTV in Cannes.
The 26x22 comedy adventure series, targeted to kids ages 6 to 11, will air on Nicktoons beginning this fall.
Van Cott, along with head of worldwide licensing Eric Stein, is currently establishing a brand licensing program, which will include toys, apparel and footwear. Veteran licensing executive Stein has previously held positions with Lucasfilm, DIC and MGM.
"Zevo-3" follows the adventures of three young, ordinary teens, who are exposed to a Zevo compound that gives them super powers. The characters are Jason, Ellie and Matt, who are also known by their Zevo names: Z-Strap, Elaztika and Kewl Breeze, respectively. Z-Strap can morph any metal into a weapon, Elaztika can stretch her hair into any shape and her brother Kewl Breeze can create ice projectiles. Together they battle villain scientist Stankfoot, creator of the compound and his mutant army.
Based on the past success of its comic books, Skechers, as part of its back-to-school promotion, will insert "Zevo-3" sneak preview DVDs into 1 million shoeboxes that will hit in late summer at U.S. retailers.
"We will leverage the marketing and promotional power of the Skechers brand at retail to raise the visibility of Zevo-3 in a truly impactful way," says Van Cott. "This promotion will generate brand awareness among the exact audience we need to reach. We are confident this will result in enhanced viewership once the series takes to the airwaves."
Several other kids' programs are under development, says Van Cott, including direct-to-DVDs, for "Hydee Hy-Top" and "Twinkle Toes," both Skechers footwear brand names.
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