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TheStreet Open House

Opposing Trends Drive New Product Development At SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

Stocks in this article: SEAS

ORLANDO, Fla. , June 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --  When the 2013 Licensing Expo kicks off in Las Vegas June 18, SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™ will debut a product line-up designed for today's time-starved, tech-reliant consumers, including a marine animal-inspired mobile app game.  But the company also is developing products that align with the simpler pleasures in life, recognizing consumers' growing fondness for tradition, nostalgia and real-world experiences that connect them to people and nature.   

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130607/CL28125-a ) (Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130607/CL28125-b ) (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20091201/FL19045LOGO )

"There's an interesting dichotomy in consumer buying trends that's been emerging for the past several years," said Chief Creative Officer for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, Scott Helmstedter. "Consumers remain fascinated with technology for new ways to learn, be entertained and enhance their lifestyles. Conversely, they also crave the comfort of familiar strong emotional stories and nostalgic products that create deeper connections to the world around them."    

At the Expo, a prominent licensing show that attracts more than 5,000 top-tier brands, licensors and licensees , SeaWorld® plans to promote products that demonstrate the company's active involvement in animal rescue and rehabilitation.  According to Trendwatching.com, consumers expect companies to "go beyond uttering lofty statements on 'values' or 'culture' to real, unambiguous and clear evidence ... about actual results."  As an example of products that demonstrate this deep commitment, SeaWorld launched its popular TV series, Sea Rescue and a new Saving a Species DVD collection -- both of which give consumers a first-hand view of the company's rescue, rehabilitation and release programs, and also conservation efforts all over the world.

"We've had a tremendous response to our products that tell SeaWorld's heartfelt stories of helping rescue, rehabilitate and release wild marine animals." Helmstedter said.  "Consumers connect with the emotions and passion of real people, and appreciate companies that give back."

TECHNOLOGY STILL TOPS  Technology is a top driver of product innovation for SeaWorld, as consumers show no sign of waning interest in devices and applications.  In fact, a survey released in March 2013 showed 79 percent of Smartphone users reach for their devices within 15 minutes of waking up, and most (62 percent) grab their phones immediately (IDC, March 2013.)

In a product development arrangement with Sleepy Giant, SeaWorld recently introduced Turtle Trek™, a fun, immersive mobile game featuring a plucky sea turtle that conquers a variety of challenges and discovers new friends in an ever-changing seascape. Based on the success of this game, the company plans to produce multiple kid-centric digital games and apps.



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