Retheming nickelodeon areas at Cedar Fair parks

Wednesday, August 19, 2009 9:58 AM

Unless the deal Nickelodeon is asking for to re-up the license is ridiculously high, it makes more financial sense to pay it and keep a good thing going. If CF loses Nick, I suspect they will most definitely pay a painful price, both in terms of feet not walking through their gates and declining per cap on merchandise not being bought.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 10:38 AM

Personally, I'd love to see Nintendo used as a brand theme. The handheld gaming market has been dominated by kids in the last 10 years and Nintendo holds the keys. It couldn't cost more than Nick does, right?

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 11:12 AM

I know that when they started selling all the Nick stuff at 50%-75% is when the fury of Nick getting replaced started. We were at Dorney yesterday and all Peanuts stuff was 75% off. Take this for what ever it is worth.

Maybe they are getting rid of all affiliations, or just trying to get rid of inventory.

Last edited by DaveStroem, Wednesday, August 19, 2009 11:13 AM
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 12:02 PM

As strong as the Nickelodeon brand is, it does still have its problems.

The first problem is that Nickelodeon will willingly whore themselves out to anybody who will pony up the cash. The result is that as strong as it is, I think it makes a lousy co-brand. That is, you can't build the association that Nickelodeon is at Kings Island, because Nickelodeon is also everywhere else. Having Nickelodeon in the park helps to build the Nickelodeon brand, but what does it do for the host park, if there is nothing unique about hosting that brand? It's actually worse for Scooby Doo, who, because of corporate affiliations with Taft AND with Time-Warner (via Turner), ended up in both the Paramount and in the Six Flags parks.

The second problem is that because Nickelodeon is television programming that has to be kept fresh, there is a certain amount of "churn" in the characters and programs. I'm too old to remember the Wild Thornberries or the Rugrats, but now I hear that both have actually been off the schedule for years. This is where Disney, Six Flags and Cedar Fair have all been pretty smart with their co-branding: Disney characters go on forever, the Warner Bros. cartoons have been around since the 1940's and are still on television, and even though Charles Schulz has been dead for nearly ten years, the Peanuts cartoon reruns are still in the newspaper every day. Almost nothing from Nickelodeon has had the kind of shelf-life that Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny and Charlie Brown have had.

(Of course, I remember when Nickelodeon played silent movies and was hosted by a mime. Yeah, we were the first on our block to get Qube back in 1977...and now you know why it is called, "Nickelodeon".)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 12:07 PM

I woulden't say that Dave.

What about sponge Bob, and Dora? Both have been on the air for years now.

There is also the sprout cartoons as well. Like wonderpets asd caillou.

Last edited by crazy horse, Wednesday, August 19, 2009 12:09 PM
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 12:14 PM

RideMan said:
The first problem is that Nickelodeon will willingly whore themselves out to anybody who will pony up the cash. The result is that as strong as it is, I think it makes a lousy co-brand. That is, you can't build the association that Nickelodeon is at Kings Island, because Nickelodeon is also everywhere else. Having Nickelodeon in the park helps to build the Nickelodeon brand, but what does it do for the host park, if there is nothing unique about hosting that brand?

But the beauty of kids is that they don't care about oversaturation. All they want is more SpongeBob, more Dora, etc. There is no such thing as too much of one thing for kids. Granted it is a different story for adults.

And I agree with LG - where is an ICarly tie-in?

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 1:16 PM

re: iCarly. Talk about a natural - the Hurlers become iHurl, freefalls become iDrops, and the KI/KD focal points become the iFfel Towers.

CF ought to come up with their own mascots and logos so they can keep all the licensing money. They could have the Less brothers - Shade, Tree and Charm, and that sweetheart couple, Connie Crete and C. Ment. ;)

Last edited by BogeyMon, Wednesday, August 19, 2009 1:17 PM
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 1:25 PM

Being in my 20's and having 2 kids who happen to watch Dora and SpongBob, we are planning a trip to King's Island next year just so they can see these brands...so Cedar Fair would lose alot if they pulled the plug on Nickelodeon

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 2:04 PM

What's fresh about the Peanuts? How much are they on TV?

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 2:13 PM

I'm not sure it matters how fresh any of it is. Does the cartoon licensing really matter to a child's good time at the amusement park? Yeah, kids are drawn more to Nickelodeon today than the Peanuts.... in their television sets and play things. Is a kid really not going to go to the park and have a good time because they can't see their favorite characters?

Hershey hosts a ton of kids having a great time and there are no television cartoon characters to speak of.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 2:19 PM

RideMan said:
Almost nothing from Nickelodeon has had the kind of shelf-life that Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny and Charlie Brown have had.

Yes, but something sitting on the shelf that long is just stale. ;)

I think relevance is an issue.

If my kids and their firends are any indicator, Nick as a brand is very relevant. Meanwhile, Mickey is just that mouse in Orlando (he was in movies and cartoons!?), Bugs Bunny is that stupid rabbit in the cartoons dad keep trying to make us watch on DVD and Charlie Brown is the little weird kid that everyone picks on in the holiday specials.

Those characters may still be around in varying capacities, but none of them are relevant to kids today.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 2:22 PM

Carrie M. said:
Is a kid really not going to go to the park and have a good time because they can't see their favorite characters?

No, but they very well might want to go to a park because they can see their favorite character.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 2:30 PM

Mario is relevant. ;)

You'd think the Peanuts folks would realize they are losing relevance every year. I'm sure they must be the cheapest option, unless you switch to Garfield.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 2:30 PM

Ah, yes. And then we can get into a discussion about who the real consumers are in a household. I suppose kids are driving those decisions more today than ever. I don't get that, per se. But it seems to be the reality.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 2:33 PM

Paris said:
The beauty of a Nick license -- unlike past Cedar Fair ties with Peanuts, Berenstein Bears, etc. -- is that it's not dated. It's not putting all of its eggs in one basket, because it can always refresh its rides to the latest shows and have meet and greets with the hottest characters.

We have a winner! The turn around on new characters is amazing and fast paced. You have "classic" characters that can sustain a ride or show for several years, and a few secondary characters that'll be popular for a handful of years that they can skin to some basic flat rides and such. You can keep pushing in new characters for stage shows, meet and greets, and so much more. You can do so much with the characters and they keep COMING. As long as Nick makes shows, you have characters.

So what if they whore themselves out? Is there a close Nick place in the Ohio area? Or do you think there ever will be?

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 4:13 PM

Jeff said:
What's fresh about the Peanuts? How much are they on TV?

I'd ask the same thing about the Warner Bros. characters, yet kids still know who Bugs and Daffy are.

I always chuckle when I see people predicting doom and gloom if the Nick characters are pulled out of the parks. Each year at WDW, I see kids run excitedly to some of the most obscure characters in the Disney library. I guarantee those kids don't know the Aristocats, B'rer critters, or most of Pochahantas' supporting animals, but that doesn't stop them from a hug, photo, and autograph.

I'd argue that the Peanuts are a better fit than the Nick characters in the parks because it's something "special" at the park. Nick saturation is everywhere, but the Peanuts, save for Holiday specials and PEZ dispensers, are fairly exclusive to the Cedar Fair parks.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 4:29 PM

Wow...their mascots are made of candy?! Sweet! But don't they melt when it gets hot? Do kids lick them? Does the park have a problem with bees when their mascots are out?

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 4:37 PM

Mamoosh said:
Wow...their mascots are made of candy?! Sweet! But don't they melt when it gets hot? Do kids lick them? Does the park have a problem with bees when their mascots are out?

Very funny, I meant the mascots are costumes that represent the parks many products. Kids love them and they don't have to pay to use the name. Sorry for the bad wording

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 4:39 PM

Don't be sorry...it provided me with an opportunity to tease you! ;)

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 4:51 PM

Carrie M. said:
Ah, yes. And then we can get into a discussion about who the real consumers are in a household. I suppose kids are driving those decisions more today than ever. I don't get that, per se. But it seems to be the reality.

Speaking as a dad, yes, they are the real consumers in the household. Trust me, Ava has immense buying power. She already knows that Dad is nothing but a big lever. A tool, if you will. :)

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