Genius Brands Appoints Kerry Phelan as EVP & General Manager of Global Franchise Management to Drive Brand Development in the Retail Marketplace Worldwide

Tuesday, 06. July 2021 15:15

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., July 06, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Continuing its mission to bring quality children’s content and branded products to screens and shelves around the world, Genius Brands International, Inc. (“Genius Brands” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: GNUS), a global brand management company that creates and licenses multimedia entertainment content for children, announced today the appointment of Kerry Phelan, a 30-year consumer branding executive, to the newly created position of Executive Vice President & General Manager of Global Franchise Management. Phelan will report to both Andy Heyward, Chairman & CEO, and Harold Chizick, President of Global Content Sales, Marketing & Consumer Products.

After she successfully launched the Star Wars brand at LEGO Systems Inc., Phelan was recruited directly to Lucasfilm Ltd. where she led the global consumer products & promotional licensing business for the multi-billion-dollar Star Wars franchise in over 60 countries worldwide. She then joined Pixar Animation Studios, reporting directly to Steve Jobs, where she launched, in concert with Disney Consumer Products, the original Cars consumer product program, which became a top tier, blockbuster franchise totaling more than $8B in retail sales. Following Pixar, Phelan spent seven years at DreamWorks Animation as head of consumer products and licensing, driving the development of franchise management plans for the studio’s film and television properties, including Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon & others. At DreamWorks, she managed the retail consumer products business and doubled the consumer products revenue in just three years. Most recently, she served as President of Global Franchise Management at Lionsgate Entertainment, where under her leadership, the studio created brand extensions spanning location-based and live entertainment venues, consumer products, licensed merchandise, brand partnerships and an array of promotional ventures for such blockbuster franchises as The Hunger Games and Twilight.

In her new role at Genius Brands, Phelan will be responsible for global management of the Company’s existing IP across licensing, merchandising, retail and promotions, including Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, Shaq’s Garage, Stan Lee Universe, and Rainbow Rangers, as well as properties currently in development.

“Kerry’s pedigree and reputation in entertainment branding is unparalleled as she has driven the global revenue streams of some of the most lucrative franchises in history,” stated Chizick. “In the coming year, we have multiple properties launching into the global retail marketplace, including Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, which just premiered on Kartoon Channel!, as well as Shaq’s Garage and Stan Lee Universe plus more categories coming to market around Rainbow Rangers. Kerry’s leadership and strategic guidance will be instrumental in driving the growth of our brands around the world. She is a dream executive to have on board to help us achieve our long-term goals.”

“The majority of my career has been spent building properties into global franchises, specifically in the children’s space. Having had a peek at the coming pipeline, I am excited about the future at Genius Brands and the opportunity to build bigger brand ecosystems around their properties,” said Phelan

About Genius Brands International
Genius Brands International, Inc. (Nasdaq: GNUS) is a leading global kids media company developing, producing, marketing and licensing branded children’s entertainment properties and consumer products for media and retail distribution. The Company’s ‘content with a purpose’ portfolio includes Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, on Kartoon Channel!; Shaq’s Garage, starring Shaquille O’Neal on Kartoon Channel!; Rainbow Rangers on Kartoon Channel! and Netflix; Llama Llama, starring Jennifer Garner, on Netflix; award-winning toddler brand Baby Genius; adventure comedy STEM series Thomas Edison's Secret Lab; and entrepreneurship series Warren Buffett's Secret Millionaires Club. Through licensing agreements with leading partners, characters from Genius Brands’ IP also appear on a wide range of consumer products for the worldwide retail marketplace. The Company’s Kartoon Channel! and Kartoon Classroom! are available in over 100 million U.S. television households via a broad range of distribution platforms, including Comcast, Cox, DISH, Sling TV, Amazon Prime, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Apple iOS, Android TV, Android Mobil, Google Play, Xumo, Roku, Tubi, YouTube, KartoonChannel.com, Samsung Smart TVs and LG TVs. For additional information, please visit www.gnusbrands.com.

Forward Looking Statements: Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Words such as "may," "might," "will," "should," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "continue," "predict," "forecast," "project," "plan," "intend" or similar expressions, or statements regarding intent, belief, or current expectations, are forward-looking statements. While the Company believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward looking statements are based upon current estimates and assumptions and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including without limitation, our ability to generate revenue or achieve profitability; our ability to obtain additional financing on acceptable terms, if at all; the potential issuance of a significant number of shares, which will dilute our equity holders; fluctuations in the results of our operations from period to period; general economic and financial conditions; our ability to anticipate changes in popular culture, media and movies, fashion and technology; competitive pressure from other distributors of content and within the retail market; our reliance on and relationships with third-party production and animation studios; our ability to market and advertise our products; our reliance on third-parties to promote our products; our ability to keep pace with technological advances; our ability to protect our intellectual property and those other risk factors set forth in the “Risk Factors” section of the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and in the Company's subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). Thus, actual results could be materially different. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.

MEDIA CONTACT:
pr@gnusbrands.com

INVESTOR RELATIONS CONTACT:
ir@gnusbrands.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/c0abd3d4-0eef-4680-afe4-d40e3b8a9fce 


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GENIUS BRANDS APPOINTS KERRY PHELAN AS EVP & GENERAL MANAGER OF GLOBAL FRANCHISE MANAGEMENT TO DRIVE BRAND DEVELOPMENT IN THE RETAIL MARKETPLACE WORLDWIDE

Former Consumer Products & Retail Executive at DreamWorks Animation and Pixar Built Global Campaigns for Multi-Billion Dollar Brands, Including the Star Wars and Cars Franchises
Related Links: Genius Brands International Inc.
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