NEW YORK ( TheStreet) - More than 100,000 attendees are expected at this year's San Diego Comic-Con, the four-day conference that went from comic books fans and sci-fi geeks to the-place-to-be for all pop culture.
This year, newcomers including A-list movie stars like Hugh Jackman promoting The Wolverine and Hello Kitty will be attending the show, which kicks off on Thursday. New movie releases and hit TV series likes AMC's "The Walking Dead" and HBO's "Game of Thrones" will also fight for the spotlight.
Another first timer deserving particular attention from retail investors will be Best Buy (BBY - Get Report), the electronic retailer eager to be seen as cool and hip. Of course, investors have liked what they're seeing in the company, which has gained 141% this year.
Best Buy, along with Fox and Qualcomm (QCOM), is co-hosting Power-Up! Cafe, the media lounge at the Hard Rock Hotel."Anything Best Buy does to convince all their stakeholders that it's reinventing itself is a smart move," says Michael Robinson, executive vice president of Levick Communications and manager of the firm's Corporate and Public Affairs Practice Group. "You've got to go where the money is -- in this case if indeed the people going to Comic-Con are buying computers, keyboards, consoles and surface tablets then you should go there too. It makes sense.'' Glenn Kelley, owner of marketing firm Kelley & Cohorts in Wellesley, Mass., and a lecturer at Babson College, notes that attendees at Comic-Con are part of the "early adapter" crowd, referring to tech-savvy customers who are typically the first to buy new product versions. Additionally, hundreds of journalists and bloggers regularly attend the show. Sponsoring a place specifically for the media to hang out "creates buzz," Kelley says. "What this can hopefully do is create a lot of positive word of mouth and brand awareness, and increased appeal for their products."