Monday, October 10, 2016

Sheer Genius! Kids From Voortrekker High School & St. Andrew's School Make It Through To Nickelodeon Africa's "Genius" Quiz Show Challenge; Bloemfontein Finalists Announced

Official Nickelodeon Africa Press Release via Entertainment Inside Us:

Sheer Genius! Kids From Voortrekker High School & St. Andrew's School Make It Through To Nickelodeon's Genius Quiz Show Challenge

Bloemfontein Finalists Announced

Free State’s smartest kids went head-to-head in the regional heats of Nickelodeon’s Genius brought to you by ABSA. After a gruelling 2 days of maths quizzes, science experiments and problem-solving tasks, teams from Voortrekker high school in Bethlehem and St Andrews combined school in Bloemfontein made it through to the next leg of the TV quiz show.

Heading onto the next phase of Nickelodeon’s Genius are Làneri Pretorius, Petrie Van Staden and J.C Pretorius from Voortrekker High School and Jasim Saleem, Jonathan Muteba and Keoratile Mochaki from St Andrew’s school. Each team has won a R50,000 ABSA MegaU bank account as well as a donation from Cambridge Publishing of R10,000 worth of books for their schools.

The two qualifying teams from Bloemfontein will next appear in the Nickelodeon Genius TV game show, where they will square up against teams from all over South Africa.

A total of twenty seven kids aged 11-16 from schools throughout the region gathered at the Naval Hill Planetarium from 21-22 September to take part in the Nickelodeon Genius workshop and knockout quiz, designed to test their maths and science know-how to the limit as part of the joint initiative between Nickelodeon and ABSA.

“All the kids in Bloemfontein showed great resilience and spirit. The competition was very tough, but the two finalists really knew their stuff, and 100% deserved to get through. Although only 2 teams could be selected, every child who took part should be extremely proud of themselves. We are thrilled for the winning teams and cannot wait to see them take part in the finals,” said Tasania Parsadh, Channel Director, Nickelodeon, Africa.

Nickelodeons Genius is powered by ABSA MegaU, and supported by the Government’s Department of Basic Education (DBE) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST). The winners will receive an amazing prize: a ZAR 100,000 ABSA MegaU account for each member of the winning team and an unforgettable visit to NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, USA - where the winners will eat lunch with a real, live astronaut – and a trip to Universal Studios! The winning schools will receive books and educational material worth ZAR 30, 000, courtesy of Cambridge Publishing.

Initial highlights of Nickelodeon’s Genius regional heats and workshops will air on NickToons (DStv channel 308) from December 2016, and the game show will air from March 2017.

For more information on the GENIUS quiz show, please log on to, like Nickelodeon on Facebook or follow Nickelodeon on Twitter @NickAfrica using the hashtag #NickGenius.

About Nickelodeon’s Genius
Nickelodeon’s Genius is a fun science and maths quiz from kids and family experts Nickelodeon designed to engage school age kids in Maths and Science. The first season of Nickelodeon’s Genius took place on 2013 and was won by Rameez Chicktay (13), Amin Banderker (13) and Kayur Ranchod (13) from The Grove Primary School in Grove Park, Western Cape.

Terms & Conditions
Nickelodeon’s Genius is open to South African kids aged 11-16 (Grades 6-10). To sign up for the competition go to For full terms and conditions please go to

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Nickelodeon South East Asia To Premiere "Regal Academy" On Monday 21st November 2016

Nickelodeon South East Asia has announced the exciting news that Nickelodeon South East Asia will start to premiere and show Regal Academy weekdays at 5:30pm on Nickelodeon Philippines from Monday 21st November 2016!

Regal Academy is a brand-new funny and exciting animated series (26 episodes X 26') from Winx Club creator Rainbow that brings classic fairy tale characters into the modern world. Using a a mixture of comedy, music and innovative animation techniques, the new show takes the familiar world of fairy tales and turns it upside down by adding a delicious and charming twist.

The action takes place through the eyes of Rose Cinderella, a average teenage girl who's as obsessed with shoes as she is fairy tales. But when she finds a key that unlocks a magical new world, she learns that fairy tales are not just in storybooks!

When Rose tumbles into Fairy Tale Land, she discovers something even greater--her own magical family legacy! Her grandmother Cinderella is headmistress of Regal Academy, where five famous fairy tale families come together to teach the next generation of princes and princesses how to become heroes... with a lot of help from their legendary grandparents.

Now Rose and her new best friends – Astoria Rapunzel, Joy Le Frog, Travis Beast, LingLing Iron Fan and Hawk Snowwhite, all of whom belong to the school's founding families – figure out how to fly dragons and outsmart witches, all while learning to use their magic and live up to their famous family names. Can they make the grade?

In the series premiere of Regal Academy, "A School for Fairy Tales" (#101), Rose falls into Fairy Tale Land and begins her adventure at her new school, Regal Academy!

Created and produced by Rainbow in collaboration with Rai Fiction, Regal Academy premiered in Italy last May on Rai YoYo and has been sold in more than 120 countries. Nickelodeon acquired the global broadcast rights To Regal Academy in October 2015, and is currently rolling the all-new series on Nickelodeon channels globally, including on Nick USA, where the show debuted on Saturday 13th August 2016.

Rainbow's new IP also has more than 80 licensing agreements to its name.

Giochi Preziosi, is the pan-European master toy licensee for the brand; while Auldey Toys of North America will serve as the North American master toy licensee for the property; Guangdong Alpha Animation & Culture Co., which specialises in both toys and animation, will cover the U.S., Canada and Asia; and Witty Toys, which has a strong reputation in toy production and distribution across more than 20 countries, will manage the rest of the world.

Giochi Preziosi is already developing a range that includes fashion dolls and accessories, play sets and role play toys. A range of dolls will be the first toy line on the market and will launch in Europe in the run-up to Christmas 2016, building on the strong expected response to the show's first series (season).

Other licensees already signed on include Justbridge Entertainment (DVD distribution) and Italian publisher Fabbri Editori (storybooks and activity and novelty formats). Procos has also signed a multi-territory agreement to cover the party-ware category.

Regal Academy is the latest property created and developed by Rainbow, the force behind Winx Club, whose consumer products sales generated more than US$2 billion at global retail last year.

To celebrate Nickelodeon South East Asia debuting Regal Academy on Monday 21st November 2016, Nickelodeon Philippines will be treating fans to a special sneak-peek during their Takotown: Fright Express Halloween event on Monday 31st October 2016! has launched the channels' official Regal Academy show website, which features information about Nick's brand-new show!
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Nickelodeon Asia Invites You Onto The Takotown Fright Express This Halloween

Get ready to have a frightfully good time, as Nickelodeon South East Asia is about to go off on yet another epic Halloween venture at Takotown: Fright Express, and everyone is invited for the ride!

Happening at SM Megamall – Megatrade Hall 2 on Monday 31st October 2016 at 2 p.m., Nickelodeon fans young and old get to take part in a day full of fun and surprises, especially on a Terror Tour at this year's Spook Station!

Nickelodeon’s Takotown: Fright Express is the perfect trick-or-treat activity for kids and the rest of the family to enjoy this October. With game booths and the Spook Station attraction on ground, Nickelodeon is set to give everyone a good time on Halloween.

The Spook Station offers a ton of unique and thematic areas, making the trip inside the Nickelodeon haunted structure a blast. Guests brave enough to go through the Terror Tour will surely get a feel of how Halloween is done the Nickelodeon way with the structure's varying areas filled with surprises that will make the trip memorable!

For years, Nickelodeon's been a staple in the Halloween scene with thousands of guests in attendance. This year, aside from the Terror Tour at the Spook Station, guests will be entertained at the activity area where they can take part in stage games inspired by hit Nickelodeon shows such as The Loud House, Oggy and the Cockroaches, and The Fairly OddParents.

Appearances by Nickelodeon's well-known characters like SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick Star, and PAW Patrol's Chase and Marshall also await kids and kids-at-heart. Event goers will be treated to episode screenings of Nickelodeon's brand-new shows, such as School of Rock, a live-action show based on a group of overachieving prep school students who band together and learn to rock it out, as well as Regal Academy, a hilarious and an exciting new take on some of our best-loved fairy tales and focuses on the adventures of Rose Cinderella, the newest student at Regal Academy. School of Rock airs weekdays at 3.30pm (TH), 4.30pm (HK/SG) and 8pm (PH). Regal Academy will premiere on Nickelodeon South East Asia on Monday, 21 November, and will air weekdays at 5.30pm.

Visitors to Takotown: Fright Express will also be treated to spooktacular performances, and will be invited to enter the Halo-Halo-Ween costume contest!

Tickets to Nickelodeon's Takotown: Fright Express are available at all Toy Kingdom or Toy Kingdom Express branches. With a minimum purchase of PhP1,000 of any toy (inclusive of any Halloween items) starting Saturday 1st October to Monday 31st October 2016, Toy Kingdom visitors get two (2) free tickets to Takotown: Fright Express. Nickelodeon fans also stand a chance to win tickets to the event by visiting

The Takotown: Fright Express gates open at 2 p.m., with three (3) trips scheduled from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Visit the official event site to learn more.

Venue: Megatrade Hall 2 (SM Megamall), EDSA corner Julia Vargas Ave., , Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines, SM Supermalls

Date: Monday, October 31, 2016 from 2:00 PM.

(Contest open to fans and viewers of Nickelodeon Philippines (residents of Philippines) aged 7-to-14 only)

Source: Events.
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Spirit Halloween Transforms Children's Hospitals for 10th Annual "Spirit of Children Week"

Original Spirit Halloween Press Release via PR Newswire:

Spirit Halloween Transforms Children's Hospitals for 10th Annual "Spirit of Children Week"

Spirit of Children Brings the Joy of Halloween to Brave, Young Patients by partnering with Nickelodeon's ­­­­Paw Patrol, DreamWorks' Kung Fu Panda and More

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J., Oct. 7, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Next week, Spirit Halloween will bring smiles and surprises to young heroes by throwing Halloween parties in 88 hospitals through their Spirit of Children program. The mission of the program is to make hospitals less scary for kids and their families by providing fun during Halloween and funding year round to the Child Life programs within children's hospitals.

Since 2006, with the help of vendor partners, Spirit sponsors and hosts Halloween celebrations in children's hospitals across the United States and Canada. Members of the Spirit field team bring everything needed to have the best party possible from costumes and decorations to goody bags. It's a remarkable event that touches thousands of pediatric patients and brings countless smiles and laughter to children and their families.

"Spirit of Children is a way to give back to the communities we are a part of each season. With our parties, we bring the magic of Halloween to kids and their parents who otherwise might not have been able to participate," said Steven Silverstein, President and CEO, Spirit Halloween. "And with the money raised, Spirit of Children helps year round."

Spirit of Children chooses to partner with and support Child Life whose main function is to provide developmental, educational and therapeutic support for children undergoing medical treatment. Trained Child Life Specialists help children and their families cope with the many stresses involved when a child is in the hospital. These programs are instrumental to the healing process for children and helps kids just be kids in times of fear and discomfort.

While always keeping the focus on the local community, Spirit of Children has raised more than $29 million in cash and merchandise donations nationally. 100% of the contributions made at any of the 1,200 Spirit Halloween stores go directly to that community's partner hospital. This year Spirit hopes to raise almost $8 million more for Child Life programs.

Spirit of Children Week provides a prescription for play by supplying 15,000 costumes, face painting, crafts, music and more to throw the ultimate happy Halloween party at local children's hospitals. Many of the hospital parties this year will get uplifting visits from children's favorite TV and movie characters, including Chase and Marshall from Nickelodeon's Paw Patrol, Dream Works' Kung Fu Panda, Nickelodeon's Shimmer & Shine and Saban's Power Rangers.

"For the Spirit Halloween family, this is the time of year to consider the incredible emotional and life-long impact we can make on pediatric patients and their families," reflects Silverstein. "It's inspiring to see so many people come together to deliver strength and smiles to these young patients on Halloween and year-round, helping kids be kids. We know that every dollar makes a difference."

About Spirit Halloween
Spirit Halloween ( is the largest Halloween specialty retailer in the country with more than 1,200 locations in strip centers and malls across North America. Celebrating 33 years of business, Spirit is the authority on all things Halloween, offering one-stop shopping for everything from costumes to decor and party goods to accessories. In addition to being a fun and interactive event for shoppers, Spirit stores offer complete selections of costumes and accessories for infants/toddlers, children, 'tweens, teens, and adults along with exclusive decor you won't find anywhere else.

Photo -

SOURCE Spirit Halloween

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From Nickelodeon Characters to Fossil Digging to Food Trucks, 2016 Energy Day Festival Promises a Fun-Filled Day of Energy Innovation

Official Consumer Energy Alliance Press Release via Business Wire:

From Nickelodeon Characters to Fossil Digging to Food Trucks, 2016 Energy Day Festival Promises a Fun-Filled Day of Energy Innovation

Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants Highlight the Nation’s Largest Energy Festival

October 10, 2016 02:02 PM Eastern Daylight Time

HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Those looking to learn about Caterpillar engines and machines – or catch a photo with a popular Nickelodeon character – will get a chance to do so on Saturday, October 15th, at Houston’s 6th annual Energy Day Festival, sponsored by more than 100 Houston businesses.

"Almost time for another #EnergyDay2016! Join us on 10/15 in #Houston to see exciting #STEM demos @EnergyDayFest"
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Cohosted by Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) and Consumer Energy Education Foundation (CEEF), the all-day event – the largest of its kind in the nation – will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sam Houston Park, 1000 Bagby St., in downtown Houston.

The tens of thousands expected to attend will get the chance to hang out and snap pictures with the event’s biggest attractions – popular Nickelodeon characters Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants – while playing games, winning prizes and giveaways, and partaking in science demonstrations.

Other must-see attractions for visitors include performing 'petrochemical magic tricks' with the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) – where students can conduct experiments and learn how petrochemicals are used in everyday products – and seeing the Subsea Tieback Foundation's SEATIGER, a trailer-mounted tank and mini-Remote Operating Vehicle (ROV) that provides students an opportunity to experience hands-on mini-ROV technology. In all, more than 50 interactive exhibits and scientific demonstrations showing ongoing advancements and innovations in America’s fast-growing energy sector will be on hand.

“Energy Day is known for many things: fun, music, great food, playing interactive games with hands-on exhibitors and demonstrators, and enjoying a nice, relaxing Saturday afternoon out with the family,” CEA President David Holt said. “But it’s most known for helping local students and their families understand the world a little better and get more interested in the types of classroom studies that will later lead to high-rewarding careers, especially in our country’s energy sector.”

As part of Energy Day’s educational mission, CEA and CEEF collaborate with more than 25 Houston-area academic groups to host the year-round Energy Day Academic Program (EDAP), which is aimed at motivating, challenging, and inspiring K-12 students to seek careers in science and technology. Since the program began in 2011, CEEF and CEA have provided more than $75,000 in financial awards to more than 420 K-12 students and teachers. This year, over 100 students and teachers will receive more than $13,000 in awards this year at Energy Day 2016.

Energy Day is proudly sponsored by more than 100 Houston businesses, including ConocoPhillips, Caterpillar, Anadarko, Freedom Solar, Hess, Phillips 66, Golden Pass, Nickelodeon, Torch Energy, Total, Think Energy, the University of Houston, and Just Energy.

To learn more about Energy Day and its accompanying 2016 Energy Day Academic Program, visit

About Consumer Energy Alliance

Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) brings together consumers, farmers, small businesses, producers and manufacturers to engage in a meaningful dialogue about America's energy future. With more than 400,000 members nationwide, our mission is to help ensure stable prices and energy security for households across the country. We believe energy development is something that touches everyone in our nation, and thus it is necessary for all consumers to actively engage in the conversation about how we develop and diversify our energy resources and energy's importance to the economy. CEA promotes a thoughtful dialogue to help produce our abundant energy supply, and balance our energy needs with our nation's environmental and conservation goals. Learn more at

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Nickelodeon's "The Halo Effect" Honors New Orleans Teen Princeton Carter For His Efforts In Aiding Military Veterans In "My Brother’s Keeper NOLA," Premiering Friday, Oct. 14, On Nick USA

Original Nickelodeon USA Press Release:




Follow The HALO Effect on Twitter @NickelodeonHALO and Facebook #HALOEffectChallenge

NEW YORK –OCT. 10, 2016– Nickelodeon honors extraordinary teen Princeton Carter, of New Orleans, La., for his commitment to preserving military veterans’ stories for future generations, in an all-new episode of The HALO Effect, “My Brother’s Keeper NOLA,” premiering Friday, Oct. 14, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon. The episode profiles 18-year-old Carter who created a special project through his organization, “My Brother’s Keeper NOLA,” to record and digitally preserve local veterans’ heroic stories and upload them to the Library of Congress’ website. Airing monthly, The HALO Effect highlights teens who “help and lead others” (HALO) in their community and inspire others to do the same. “My Brother’s Keeper NOLA” will encore Monday, Oct. 17, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nicktoons and Saturday, Oct. 22, at 9:30 p.m. (ET/PT) on TeenNick.

Carter was inspired to help people in his community after Hurricane Katrina damaged his city and left millions of people without homes. Through the tragedy, Carter discovered the importance of community and was inspired to create “My Brother’s Keeper NOLA,” an organization whose mission is to help bring hope to the homeless, hungry, military veterans, women and children in New Orleans and the surrounding communities in need. The organization’s newest program was born out of learning that over 20 million military veterans are living in the U.S. with stories of bravery that have never been told or documented. Hoping to preserve veterans’ legacies for future generations, Carter records their heroic stories and uploads them to the Library of Congress’ website.

Since its inception, “My Brother’s Keeper NOLA” has provided over $30,000 in resources for military families and more than 500 items of clothing, toys and books for people in need in his local community. In recognition of his commitment to helping people in need, Nickelodeon’s The HALO Effect will award a $10,000 grant to Carter’s organization.

In each episode of The HALO Effect, the profiled teen will issue a “HALO Effect Challenge,” a call-to-action encouraging inspired viewers to participate in their cause and join the HALO movement. As part of Carter’s “HALO Effect Challenge,” he is encouraging everyone to record the story of someone important in their life and/or post a selfie with them using the hashtag #HALOEffectChallenge. For more information on Carter and his challenge, viewers can visit

The HALO Effect launched in 2013 as a year-round initiative recognizing one deserving teen every month for their work to help and lead others in their community. The initiative was built upon Nickelodeon’s HALO Awards, an annual concert event honoring young community leaders with a grant for their organization and scholarship funds. To date, more than 50 teens across the country have been honored and have received more than $400,000 in grants to fund their non-profit organizations.

The HALO Effect series expands Nickelodeon’s ongoing commitment to the HALO movement by giving an in-depth look into the inspirational stories of teens who are eager to share the issues and projects important to them and excited to engage others to achieve impact. The monthly series is hosted by Sydney Park (Instant Mom) and executive produced by Nick Cannon and NCredible Entertainment, as well as Morgan Spurlock, Richard Arlook, Jeremy Chilnick, Matthew Galkin and Ethan Goldman of Warrior Poets.

Nickelodeon, now in its 37th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 90 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 20 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB).


You can find out more about Princeton Carter's good cause, "My Brother’s Keeper NOLA", here on the organizations official website,!
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Licensing Push For "Digby Dragon" Takes Flight At BLE 2016

Blue-Zoo's Digby Dragon will make its licensing programme debut at Brand Licensing Europe 2016!

Blue-Zoo will introduce the brand-new preschool property to international licensees, while Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products (NVCP) will manage licensing in the UK.

The series launched in July 2016 on Nick Jr. UK and Ireland as the top weekday premiere of all time for live viewing and was the top weekday show on Nick Jr. for that month. The animation has since been sold to over 15 territories by Aardman’s Rights and Brand Development international distribution division, including Nick Jr. USA, Nick Jr. Australia & New Zealand and Nick Jr. Latinoamérica.

"Nickelodeon is delighted but not surprised at the hugely successful launch of Digby," said James Newton, Vice President (VP) Programming, Nickelodeon UK and Ireland.

"The lovable characters' thirst for adventure often gets them into strange situations, which is proving popular with our audience. Digby is a show full of laughs, thrills and, at its core, the display of true friendship."

Adam Shaw, series producer and director, Blue-Zoo, added, "This stylish animation is a must-see property, which will go far.

"BLE is the perfect event to showcase the series and we're excited to see how we can develop it. The team have put everything into making Digby Dragon a show like no other, using new technology to bring a level of quality not seen in pre-school series animation and a creative freedom that has unleashed fantastical stories with such vibrantly animated characters."

Visitors to Brand Licensing Europe 2016, held between Monday 11th - Thursday 13th October 2016 at London's Olympia, can stop by NVCP's booth at #D10 and Blue Zoo Animation's booth at C2.

More information about Digby Dragon, as well clips from the show and creative activities inspired by the series, can be found at

Original source:
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Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Energized And Poised For Growth Throughout Asia, EMEA And Beyond

With a strong portfolio of preschool properties, the iconic MTV brand and various new initiatives, Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) is energized and poised for growth throughout Asia, EMEA and beyond, reports License! Global!

From the iconic green slime that has become an indelible signature of Nickelodeon to the new PAW Patrol live show debuting this month, Viacom International Media Networks is in a special zone that global licensors strive to achieve. And now, the international division of Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products has a more diverse and more powerful portfolio that is driving global growth in ways that simply weren't possible a few short years ago.

The licensor's business model has evolved from its evergreen brands and the recent resurgence of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise over the past several years to a lineup of new preschool properties and other initiatives that not only reach a wider range of consumer demographics, but also have acquired the attention of multi-tier retailers throughout EMEA. VIMN is committed to a strategy that leverages its content and best practices in more innovative ways to build brand awareness year-round. VIMN has broadened its approach to licensing to include more designer collaborations, events, resort hotels, theme parks, unique promotions and destination retail stores that connect fans to its brands in more ways than was otherwise possible just a few years ago. And, as a result, the licensor is entering a new phase of growth and expansion that will likely continue for the next decade and beyond.

"My goal was to become more of a consumer products company and be thought of less as a licensing company," recalls Ron Johnson, Executive Vice President (EVP), Consumer Products, VIMN, who took over the international group in March 2013. "Many entertainment companies set themselves up as a simple licensing company where it's just a financial and legal transaction in which someone goes out in the market and represents your brand."

But the former Disney and Procter & Gamble executive understands what is required to really manage a brand beyond just a few deals.

"We have to take an ownership role and really manage a brand and the long-term thinking from a franchise management perspective," Johnson explains. "What does our brand represent? How do we want to interact with the consumer? And how do the products we create increase that level of emotional contact with consumers and with our products?"

Johnson believes that you become a true consumer products company when you create a franchise and brand strategy that includes creative design, innovative products and other ancillary extensions, and continue to improve on that business year-over-year.

VIMN's portfolio consists of the following:

* Evergreen franchises - Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants;

* Preschool - Paw Patrol, Blaze and the Monster Machines, Shimmer and Shine, Rusty Rivets, Nella the Princess Knight and Sunny Day;

* Older kids - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles;

* Millennials - MTV and Slime;

* 1990s - Rugrats, Ren & Stimpy and Hey Arnold!

"Now that we have quite a broad portfolio, it gives us more weight when we are talking to both licensees and retailers. We can now launch a portfolio partnership with key licensees so they can invest more behind the Nickelodeon properties and brands," says Mark Kingston, General Manager (GM) and Senior Vice President (SVP), Nickelodeon and Viacom Consumer Products (NVCP), Europe, Middle East, Africa & Australia, who is another Disney alumnus that joined VIMN in 2011. "And when we are talking to retailers, we can focus on one voice at retail for a larger promotional space.

"We have the flexibility to offer various different looks and feels for properties, so we offer a point of a difference for each retailer which is critical for them to compete in such price-sensitive markets throughout Europe," he adds. "Therefore having a portfolio that we can diversify and differentiate for different retail channels and retailers enables us to secure increased presence on shelf."

The combined international and U.S. group ranks as the world's ninth largest licensor, reporting $5.5 billion in retail sales of licensed merchandise in 2015, according to the exclusive, annual Top 150 Global Licensors report, compiled by License Global.

"We are excited and on fire in preschool, and I don't think there's a hotter property in the world right now than 'Paw Patrol,'" says Johnson. "We are backing that up with 'Blaze,' which is taking off dramatically, and 'Shimmer and Shine.'"

"Our huge success story has been on preschool properties," adds Kingston. "'Paw Patrol' has been strong in every major market it has launched in, and the show has No. 1 status in all of the key markets across EMEA. In some markets, it is in the top three of total licensed products."

The preschool portfolio now has six properties that are all at various stages of rollout, both from a programming and licensing perspective:

* Paw Patrol, which is now in its fourth season and is a partnership with Spin Master, is at various stages of rollout throughout international markets. This Autumn/Fall, a live stage show called "Race to the Rescue," in conjunction with VStar Entertainment Group, will kickoff, visiting major international markets, including Australia;

* Blaze and the Monster Machines, also in its fourth season, combines action and rescue themes with education, utilizing STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) principles;

* Shimmer and Shine continues to perform well, and according to Kingston, "retailers' appetites are off the chart." He says partners Fisher-Price and Just Play have had great success with toys and role play, and licensing is now expanding into apparel, home and other product categories;

* Rusty Rivets is a new preschool series that is part of Nickelodeon's partnership with Spin Master. It will launch into key international markets starting in February 2017. The series, which will debut in the U.S. in November, follows Rusty, who is described as a "10-year-old, 21st century hero who always saves the day by relying on his imagination and incredible resourcefulness. He invents his way out of every jam by repurposing spare parts and found objects into the wildest, coolest, most awesome contraptions ever."

* Nella the Princess Knight marks Nick's first co-production with U.K.-based Channel 5 and will air beginning in April 2017, with consumer products launching in early 2018, according to Kingston. The series follows the adventures of an unconventional heroine and provides positive messaging that empowers preschoolers to be courageous.

* Sunny Day was unveiled at Nickelodeon Upfront 2016 in March and at June's Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, Nev., and has tapped Fisher-Price as master toy licensee. The series is set to launch in early 2017, with consumer products also planned to be released in 2017. A second season was recently commissioned, ahead of the shows debut.

Johnson believes that VIMN will be a juggernaut in the preschool space over the next 10 years as the company continues to invest in these brands.

Research is also critical for VIMN, not only with its core customers, but with Moms as well.

"The key is you can't forget Mom when you are marketing preschool, so we are always looking for ways to communicate the benefits of the show and what it teaches," says Charlotte Castillo, Senior Vice President, Brand Management and Creative, NVCP. "For example, for 'Paw Patrol,' we partnered in Benelux to create a safe swimming campaign this past summer."

In addition to preschool properties, VIMN is still very much focused on and investing in its other evergreen properties, including SpongeBob, Dora and TMNT, all of which Johnson says continue to grow in various markets.

"When you start thinking about older kids and what we have done with 'TMNT,' it is still one of the top boys' products globally that offers great reach, and we continue to invest in that property," says Johnson.

"With 'Turtles' moving into its fifth year and its recent second movie, we were provided with an uplift that gave 'Turtles' another solid year after four stellar years," points out Kingston. "We are now looking at how to bring that brand into a new generation as we move into 2017 and 2018 and look at what that means in terms of how we can potentially refresh it. Season five has some really strong story art, and that lands in various markets throughout 2017.

"We continue to expand 'SpongeBob,' which is a multi-generational brand, in various products including cereals, yogurt, milk, facial tissue and bandages, creating various retail promotions," adds Johnson.

One of VIMN's most aggressive initiatives is the recent extensions for the MTV brand and includes the launch of the MTV UP! energy drink from global food and beverage distributor Agrokor. The new beverage, which is offered in four flavors including classic as well as sugar-free, cola and orange, recently launched at select retailers in Southeast Europe and Italy, and will expand to additional markets in 2017.

Other licensing programs for the MTV brand include various audio products from licensee ABG; a new global partnership with Dr. Martens to launch a capsule collection of footwear, apparel and accessories for adults featuring MTV's classic cartoon Beavis and Butt-Head in March 2017; limited edition MTV-branded Vans retro-styled footwear, which launched in July; and a Marc Jacobs limited edition Resort 2017 collection.

"MTV is more than 30-years-old, and we have done a good job with it on a retro basis, but the product we are bringing out now really speaks to the current generation of MTV viewers and Millennials," says Johnson.

Another important part of VIMN's growth strategy is the expansion of location-based entertainment that encompasses hotels, exhibitions, events and retail stores.

"The experience of being inside Bikini Bottom or being able to interact with our characters in more immersive ways is becoming more important to families and Millennials," says Lisa Silverman Meyers, Senior Vice President, Operations and Business Planning, NVCP. "Our research reveals that kids say spending time together with parents is one of the most important things they want to do, so finding a space like the Nick Resort gives families a place to share those experiences. We spend tons of time in the research phase internally and externally learning about what would make an amazing experience, but what sets us apart is how authentic and amazing the properties really are."

Some recent location-based programs include:

Concept art: Nickelodeon Centre at intu Lakeside.

* VIMN and Sunway recently opened the first Nickelodeon-themed attraction in Asia, the Nickelodeon Lost Lagoon in Sunway Lagoon in Malaysia, which has 14 attractions that feature the entertainment company's top properties;

* In May, the company opened a themed resort hotel in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and is currently developing another resort on the Mexican Riviera. The company is also considering MTV-themed resorts;

* Smaller versions of theme park attractions, called Nickelodeon Lands, are being developed as half-day family experiences at malls throughout Europe;

* In August, a flagship 3,800-square-foot Nickelodeon Store opened in the United Arab Emirates' Dubai Mall, in partnership with Entertainment Retail Enterprises. Nickelodeon and Entertainment Retail currently operate other stores in Panama, Honduras, Chile, Colombia and London.

* Exhibits for SpongeBob launched in Taiwan and will be replicated around the world;

* A 50,000 square Nickelodeon-themed indoor family entertainment centre is set to open at intu Lakeside in the United Kingdom in 2018. The Nickelodeon centre will feature a colourful décor and be highly interactive with a large variety of adventure zones, dedicated space for the younger members of the family, numerous attractions and Nickelodeon-themed rooms perfect for birthday parties and family get-togethers. Experiences will include character meet-and-greets featuring some of Nickelodeon's most beloved characters, such as SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, PAW Patrol and The Fairly OddParents. Building on intu Lakeside's highly successful catering offer, it will have a dedicated food and beverage area and Nickelodeon retail space;

* Nickelodeon's SLIMEFEST continues to roll out internationally. Launched in Australia in 2012, Nickelodeon's SLIMEFEST is a family music festival made especially for kids, featuring headline talent, DJs and a showground festival. SLIMEFEST has grown to become the most anticipated event for families in Australia, attracting thousands of kids to experience the ‘slime of their lives’ at the Sydney and Melbourne events. Following the success of the Australian edition of SLIMEFEST, SLIMEFEST has expanded, with localised festivals are now held in the UK, Spain and Italy.

* The UK edition of SLIMEFEST will be an immersive music and entertainment festival focusing on kids aged four to 15. Featuring costume character appearances, hands-on activities, games and music, SLIMEFEST will run across 3rd and 4th September in Blackpool.

Johnson says that one of the biggest opportunities for VIMN is China.

"With no TV channel or presence, we are doing things now to introduce the brands to Chinese consumers such as "TMNT" ninja training events in malls. These are key initiatives for long-term growth, and if we execute accordingly, China could be the biggest market worldwide for consumer products (excluding the U.S.) in 10 years," says Johnson. "As Viacom continues to expand and invest internationally, the company has been incredibly supportive about what we are doing in the consumer products and location-based entertainment business. In a business that is so heavily influenced by what the big movie is, we are focused on the long haul, and we continue to invest in our evergreen brands. You may see a blip in the business impacted by a hot movie release by another company, but the consumer continues to come back to our brands, and we continue to grow our total business year-over-year.

"It's an exciting time, and I feel like I'm sitting in an awesome chair that a lot of people would love to have the opportunity to sit in," Johnson adds.
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