The National Hockey League (NHL) and SLG Entertainment, LLC, led by Stan Lee (Chairman, POW! Entertainment, LLC), announced their unprecedented partnership to form Guardian Media Entertainment, LLC (GME). This partnership creates the platform from which to launch Stan Lee’s vision for his latest superhero franchise, The Guardian Project, which will encompass the creation of 30 Guardians (one to represent each NHL® team) as a new series of superheroes, with a creative concept that organically and authentically incorporates various NHL elements but is not set in the world of hockey.
“I’ve always believed that every great plan starts with a great story,” says Mr. Lee. “In the creation of GME and its unique and unprecedented relationship with the NHL, I truly believe we have the perfect combination from which to launch 30 new superheroes and excite young fans around the globe.”
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Created and developed by Stan Lee and Tony Chargin, EVP of GME Creative Affairs, and Jake Shapiro, each Guardian has been derived from its corresponding hockey team, complete with special powers representative of each team and city. These 30 Guardians will be unveiled together in a special presentation during the 2011 NHL All-Star Game on January 30 in Raleigh, NC.
“To be in business with Stan Lee and to be able to bring his latest superheroes to our fans is incredibly exciting to all of us at the NHL,” explained Brian Jennings, EVP, Marketing for National Hockey League, L.P. “We are in constant pursuit of new ways to engage our fans and to introduce new fans to hockey, and the business of GME does exactly that.”
Gill Champion, Stan’s producing partner and President and COO of POW! Entertainment said, “This is a wonderful opportunity to expand Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment brand into the sports arena.”
With an initial plan to reach tween boys, GME hopes to bring a new audience to the NHL, while engaging the existing, established hockey fan base through a compelling tale of good vs. evil.
“The NHL not only brings enormous brand equity to the partnership, but also their built-in audience of more than 70 million fans worldwide and their marketing and distribution channels,” commented Mark Terry, Chief Operating Officer of Guardian Media Entertainment. “To have the machine of the NHL, Stan Lee as an equity partner and the combined vision of all is the ultimate power play,” added Adam Baratta, GME Chief Creative Officer.
The most cutting-edge, motion-capture technology is being utilized to bring the project to life by Vicon House of Moves (IRONMAN 2). A special teaser package will be unveiled during the October 8, 2010 panel presentation of The Guardian Project at New York’s Comic Con (4:45-5:45 pm in room 1A08 of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center).
The near-term rollout plan for the Guardian Project will include an online presence, mobile applications, publishing, gaming, in-arena, broadcast, merchandise, promotional and sponsorship activities.
For more information on Guardian Media Entertainment and The Guardian Project, log on to www.guardianproject30.com.
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About Stan Lee
Stan Lee, Founder, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of POW! Entertainment, LLC Stan Lee’s famous co-creations include Spider-Man®, The Incredible Hulk®, X-Men®, The Fantastic Four® and Iron Man® among many others. Lee, known to millions as the man whose Super Heroes propelled Marvel® Comics to its preeminent position in the comic book industry, first became publisher of Marvel® Comics in 1972 and is presently the Chairman Emeritus of Marvel® Enterprises, Inc.
About SLG Entertainment, LLC
Formed in 2008, SLG Entertainment, LLC is a company whose vision is to merge the worlds of entertainment and sports by creating, developing and exploiting original superhero content derived from the intellectual property owned or controlled by professional and amateur sports organizations. It’s owners include, Stan Lee and POW! Entertainment, award-winning producer Adam Baratta, Aldo LaPietra, Mark Terry, co-creators Tony Chargin and Jake Shapiro, and Academy Award nominated producer and former owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Howard Baldwin.
About POW! Entertainment, LLC
POW! (Purveyors of Wonder) Entertainment, LLC, an advanced media and entertainment company, was founded by world famous comic book and motion picture icon Stan Lee, together with award winning producer Gill Champion and intellectual property specialist Arthur Lieberman, Esq. POW! Entertainment’s principals have extensive backgrounds in the entertainment industry encompassing the creation, production and licensing of original intellectual properties including some of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time. POW! Entertainment, capitalizing on this combined expertise specializes in franchises for the entertainment industry, including animation and live-action feature films, plus television, DVDs, video games, merchandising, and related ancillary markets all of which contribute to global expansion.
About The National Hockey League
The National Hockey League, founded in 1917, is the second-oldest of the four major professional team sports leagues in North America. Today, the NHL consists of 30 Member Clubs, each reflecting the League’s international makeup, with players from more than 20 countries represented on team rosters. According to a Simmons Market Research study, NHL fans are younger, more educated, more affluent, and access content through digital means more than any other major professional sport. The NHL entertains more than 250 million fans each season in-arena and through its partners in national television (VERSUS, NBC, TSN, CBC, RDS, RIS, ESPN America, ASN and NHL Networkâ„¢) and radio (NHL Radioâ„¢, Sirius XM Satellite Radio and XM Canada). Through the NHL Foundation, the League’s charitable arm, the NHL raises money and awareness for Hockey Fights Cancerâ„¢ and NHL Youth Development, and supports the charitable efforts of NHL players. For more information on the NHL, log on to NHL.com.
About Guardian Media Entertainment, LLC.
GME will serve as the company responsible for the creation, development and exploitation of The Guardian Project. The executive team includes Howard Baldwin, Chairman, Mark Terry, Chief Operating Officer; Adam Baratta, Chief Creative Officer; Tony Chargin, Executive Vice President of Creative Affairs; Aldo LaPietra, Executive Vice President, Production & Business Development; and Jennifer Sprague, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications.