Sunday, December 15, 2019

Nike and Nickelodeon Launch the Kyrie x SpongeBob SquarePants Collection

Update (7/23) - Below is Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products' (VNCP) original press release announcing the sponge-tastic news!


Collaboration Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Iconic Animated Series

NEW YORK, July 23, 2019 - Nike and Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products (VNCP) today announced the launch of the Kyrie x SpongeBob SquarePants collection. The collection features five shoes inspired by the signature characters from SpongeBob SquarePants, as well as apparel and accessories, including t-shirts, a hoodie, socks and backpacks.

Basketball superstar Kyrie Irving’s latest collection is suited for on-court competition and off-court jellyfishing with dedicated colorways for SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick Star, Squidward Tentacles, Sandy Cheeks and Mr. Krabs. The three high-top sneakers in the collection showcase the signature Kyrie 5 silhouette in bright yellow for SpongeBob, pink and green tones for Patrick and turquoise accents for Squidward. The low-cut silhouette of the Kyrie Low 2 pays homage to the currency-crazy crustacean, Mr. Krabs, as well as a Sandy Cheeks version with colors inspired by her iconic space suit.

The Kyrie Irving x SpongeBob INSANE SNEAKER Collab w/ Nike YOU Can't Miss! 👟 | SpongeBob

Crafted in collaboration with Nike, the Kyrie Irving x SpongeBob SquarePants collection celebrates Kyrie’s love for one of television’s most memorable shows, officially bringing Bikini Bottom to the basketball court for the first time. Tune in as we go behind the scenes with Kyrie at Nike NYHQ for an inside look at all 5 shoes from the SpongeBob SquarePants-inspired set.

Kyrie X SpongeBob Collection:

This year marks the 20th anniversary of SpongeBob SquarePants, one of the most iconic TV series ever created. SpongeBob has made an impact on pop culture with its universe of beloved characters, viral catchphrases and memes, theatrical releases and Tony award-winning Broadway musical. The character has also influenced the worlds of fashion and streetwear with recent collaborations, including Moschino, Lisa Frank, Marlou Breuls and Chinatown Market.

“What makes our collaboration with Kyrie and Nike so special is that we are celebrating SpongeBob’s 20th Anniversary with one of SpongeBob’s biggest genuine fans,” said Jose Castro, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Collaborations, VNCP. “Everything from the characters Kyrie chose and how they were designed into the line was done from a true fan’s perspective, and it shows. The sneakers, clothes and accessories became extensions of SpongeBob’s world, and we know fans everywhere will love this collection, just as much as we loved creating it with Kyrie.”

Kyrie x SpongeBob SquarePants will be available in adult and kids sizes from August 10 on and in-store. In Europe, the collection will also be available at Kickz stores.


About Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products

Viacom Nickelodeon Consumer Products (VNCP) oversees all merchandising and retail operations for Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), one of the world’s leading multimedia entertainment companies and home to such powerhouse brands as Nickelodeon, MTV, Paramount Network, Paramount Pictures and Comedy Central. With a diverse portfolio spanning animation, preschool, youth and adult licenses, VNCP is committed to providing key partner development and innovative marketing solutions, ensuring the highest quality product offering across some of the world's most powerful TV and entertainment properties, including SpongeBob SquarePants, PAW Patrol and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles


Update (9/27) - From the Viacom Newsroom:

Spark Inclusion


SEP 19, 2019

By Stuart Winchester

Nick’s Consumer Products team on the connection between retail and regional diversity.

NBA superstar Kyrie Irving will have a whole new set of teammates when he tips off his first season with the Brooklyn Nets this fall, including one very different kind of superstar: SpongeBob SquarePants.

When Nickelodeon’s Consumer Products team joined Nike and Irving to design a new line of sneakers, they agreed to a couple of parameters: the shoes had to be available in sizes from toddler to men’s humongous, and they had to appear in women’s styles so they could be worn on a WNBA court. Most important, the partnership had to feel authentic.

“It’s important whenever we do these kinds of collaborations that there’s a natural connection between our characters and our properties and whoever we’re collaborating with,” Viacom Vice President of Specialty Retail Development and Fashion Collaborations Alana Visco told an audience of Viacom employees earlier this week. “If we have to think about it for longer than 30 seconds, we’re probably better off just not doing it, because the fan of both sides really feels that.”

The fans must have been feeling the authenticity: When Nick put up a couple thousand pairs of Kyrie SpongeBobs up for sale at San Diego Comic Con in July, they sold out in less than an hour. Later that month, the Phoenix Mercury’s Brittney Griner wore all five styles of the sneaker during the WNBA All-Star Game in Las Vegas.

"One size does not fit all, and we do make a very conscious effort to think about how our content can travel across the world." - Linda Lee, Vice President of Global Publishing for Viacom and Nickelodeon Consumer Products

Visco’s remarks came during a panel entitled “Why Inclusivity in Consumer Products Matters,” which was part of Viacom’s first Global Inclusion Week, a series of discussions and workshops dedicated to diversity and inclusion.

The panel was one of dozens planned for the multi-week, global event, and highlighted how awareness of cultural nuances and details comes into play when reaching consumers in varied cultures around the world.

This includes not just finding the right partners for products, but finding the right products and versions of products to begin with. In Europe, for example, magazines are still very popular. Activity books rule in Latin America. And a simple children’s storybook won’t work with a mere translation in Russia, where parents tend to associate a density of language with authentic learning—meaning that eight words on one page of a Paw Patrol book morph into 50-plus words and four paragraphs for the Russian-language version.

“One size does not fit all, and we do make a very conscious effort to think about how our content can travel across the world, and where it cannot, and we need to adapt the content for different markets,” said Linda Lee, vice president of global publishing for Viacom and Nickelodeon Consumer Products.

Viacom Spark Inclusion - Nickelodeon Consumer Products team

It’s also important to represent characters in an authentic way, an aspiration that can be challenging to execute across supply chains and far-flung factories.

When the toy team wanted to introduce a second “styling head” (a doll with comb-able hair that includes an assortment of brushes and barrettes) for the character Rox in Nick Jr.’s Sunny Day toy line, their product partner wanted to save money by darkening the skin of a head that had already been produced for main character Sunny. Aside from the fact that Sunny is white and Rox is black, the characters have completely different facial features.

“We insisted on a new Rox head,” said Junist Ortiz, senior director of Viacom’s Global Creative Group. “She has a more defined nose, fuller lips, and a chiseled jaw, and we also insisted that the hair rooting was thicker and fuller.”

"Our team has done a really good job of making sure that we are representing all of our characters in a really authentic way." - Pam Kaufman, President of Viacom and Nickelodeon Consumer Products

To keep costs down, the dolls do share a torso, base and styling tools. But as Nick’s characters grow more diverse, the importance of maintaining consistent skin tones across all product lines becomes more urgent. When Nick introduced Nella the Princess Knight, the brand had to work with partners to devise new colors to accurately represent the biracial character.

“Our team has done a really good job of making sure that we are representing all of our characters in a really authentic way,” says Pam Kaufman, president of Viacom and Nickelodeon Consumer Products. “Because of how we feel as a company, we’ve always pushed our partners to do the right thing and be that way.”


Original post:

July 22, 2019 - Bikini Bottom is officially making its debut on land — and on the basketball court. Taking Kyrie’s love for Nickelodeon's beloved animated series and fusing it into his shoe, the Nike Kyrie x SpongeBob SquarePants collection is ready for on-court action, and of course, jellyfishing.

SpongeBob, Patrick Star, Squidward Tentacles, Mr. Krabs and Sandy Cheeks all have their own iteration of the shoe built off their unique characteristics. The star of the show, SpongeBob, has a version featuring a porous bright-yellow upper with a brown and red sole symbolic of his everyday outfit. The lovable best friend Patrick Star is known for his cheery pink coloring and green tonal shorts, both of which are represented in his shoe. In Squidward’s, his recognizable seafoam green coloring is prevalent and his typical callous expression can be found inside the heel. Mr. Krabs and Sandy both have low versions of the shoe, incorporating their signature colors and styles.

The Nike Kyrie x SpongeBob SquarePants Collection releases globally August 10.

Which pair(s) are you planning to get? Let me know in the comments!

For more information about the Nike Kyrie x SpongeBob SquarePants collection, visit the following link:

Scroll up for a closer look at the five colorways, and click here to see what Kyrie had to say about each of the SpongeBob characters' basketball abilities.

Update (7/27): A detailed look at Kyrie Irving‘s Nike collaboration with Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants has just been released. Joining Bleacher Report for its footwear-focused series B/R Kicks, Irving unveils and then breaks down the meaning behind the “SpongeBob,” “Patrick Star,” “Squidward Tentacles,” “Mr. Krabs” and “Sandy Cheeks” colorways that are part of his forthcoming “SpongeBob” pack.

The video goes on to reveal that Irving has been following the cartoon since its debut in 1999, as well as why he continues to look to the animated series for inspiration and life lessons — he can even be heard whistling the show’s theme song near the end of the video. If you watch closely at the 6:20 mark, there’s also a colorway that hasn’t been shown before, one that closely resembles SpongeBob’s iconic 124 Conch Street pineapple house.

Fans of the NBA player and hit cartoon-series can check out the video below!:

B/R Kicks Unboxed w/ Kyrie Irving: 5 colorways of the SpongeBob x Nike Kyrie Pack

Kyrie Irving unboxes his SpongeBob x Nike Kyrie pack with B/R Kicks.



Kyrie Irving Hooks up Odell Beckham With Exclusive Surprise

Odell Beckham Jr. is feeling that Bikini Bottom vibe at Cleveland Browns training camp.

Beckham shared a video on his Instagram [Stories] on Friday unboxing pairs of the Kyrie Irving “SpongeBob SquarePants” Collection. OBJ flips through the boxes that feature SpongeBob, Patrick Star, Squidward Tentacles, Mr. Krabs and Sandy Cheeks colorways of the Kyrie 5 shoe. Both Irving and Beckham are high-profile Nike athletes.


OBJ was thrilled to get his hands on the new kicks, tagging Irving in the post saying, “Boy went brazy.”

From NetsDaily:

In the world of sneakers, Kyrie Irving reigns supreme

On Saturday, Kyrie Irving posted a video on his social media, offering his thoughts on his latest sneaker, the Kyrie 6. It wasn’t a sales pitch as much as it was an explanation of what he feels the shoe represents.

Listen up.

To say Irving puts a lot into his Nike brand sneakers would be an understatement. So would saying his line has been a success.

As Alex Schiffer pointed out in a feature this week, Irving is leading designer and sneaker guru. And it’s working. His latest is being worn by some of the league’s top players: stars like Luka Doncic, Ja Morant and Jrue Holiday as well as players with lesser followings, like Bobby Portis.

It’s a lucrative business as well, as Schiffer wrote...

Irving is quickly becoming a cult hero in the sneaker world for players and sneakerheads alike. He made $11 million from the company during the last fiscal year, according to Forbes. At the end of the 2017-18 season, Irving was the NBA’s second-leading sneaker salesman behind only LeBron James, according to the NPD Group, which tracks retail industry trends.

“He’s in the absolute epicenter of basketball culture,” said Matt Powell, a sports retail analyst for NPD Group. “And LeBron, who would have been the leader, is now (playing) in a market that doesn’t care about basketball shoes.”

The road to success began in 2016 when the then 24-year-old won an NBA championship and Olympic gold medal in the space of a few months. He wanted Nike to help him grace a Wheaties Cereal ... the Breakfast of Champions. Nike did more than that. It made a deal with General Mills, the maker of Wheaties and by 2018, Irving could be seen on Kix, Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, as Schiffer noted. And not one to leave any opportunity unseized, the sneakers were released in conjunction with his “Uncle Drew”

Next up was his arrangement with Nickelodeon, owner of the Sponge Bob brand. Like being on a Wheaties box with a Wheaties-themed shoe, Irving’s desire to be associated with a childhood memory wouldn’t be denied, despite Nick’s initial concerns about being linked to a sneaker campaign. Of course, that worked too.

Ben Nethongkome, his design partner, thought Sponge Bob would be big lure across all demographics, or at least enough to make it a big seller.

“We felt like SpongeBob transcended beyond just one age group,” Nethongkome said. “It wasn’t just your generation or my generation. I feel like SpongeBob is so iconic. It’s like ‘The Simpsons’ or ‘South Park’ where you don’t have to be a certain age limit to appreciate it. It’s for everyone. It was less about cartoons and the relevance of SpongeBob now.”

Irving saw a bit of himself in Sponge Bob as he said last August.

“I love SpongeBob because he’s a hero who doesn’t want to be a hero and learn from yourself or learn from your friends,” Irving said then. “He embodies the essence of going out and just being free.”

Now, that he’s back in the New York area, look for more creative designs based on his experiences in New Jersey and now Brooklyn. Mason Plumlee who played with Irving at Duke and knows something about the city, thinks the combination of New York and Kyrie’s creativity will work, big time.

Plumlee told Schiffer that he’s always thought Irving has had a great pulse for culture. The more he sees of Irving’s shoes, the more he’s convinced Irving’s feel has only improved.

“He’s a kid with a shoe deal.”


More Nick: Nickelodeon Marks 20 Years of "SpongeBob SquarePants" with the "Best Year Ever"!

Originally published: Monday, July 22, 2019.

Source: Nike News; H/T: HotNewHipHop; Additional source: HYPEBEAST.

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