World Poker Tour(TM) and U.S. Playing Card Chosen Sports/Special Brand Licensee of the Year at International Licensing Excellence Awards.
The International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association (LIMA) Wednesday honored WPT Enterprises Inc. (Nasdaq:WPTE) and its licensing partner U.S. Playing Card (USPC) as the Sports/Special Brands Licensee of the Year for 2004 at the LIMA International Licensing Excellence Awards. The event, held in New York at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, salutes the industry's premier licensed products.
LIMA paid tribute to U.S. Playing Card's Official WORLD POKER TOUR(TM) (WPT) poker sets, which were one of the hottest selling items at retail for the 2004 holiday season. The sought-after sets bear the logo of the smash hit WORLD POKER TOUR(R) television show, the Travel Channel series that launched the worldwide poker phenomenon. The poker sets include 11.5-gram heavyweight, professional quality clay-filled poker chips -- known as the true poker player's chip -- and two WPT logo decks of playing cards.
The deal that brought WPT Enterprises Inc. and USPC together was brokered by Brandgenuity LLC, a New York based licensing agency. The two companies were cited for both the appeal of the product and the marketing campaign that supported the sales effort.
"We are extremely honored to be chosen for this singular achievement," said Andrea Green, Director of Global Consumer Products for WPT Enterprises, Inc. "Given that we are still a very young company and that this was our first year in the market, it says a lot about the quality of the partnerships we are endeavoring to develop, thanks to Brandgenuity, which is spearheading our entire licensing campaign to build the WPTE Global Consumer Products division.
"Our success here at the LIMA Excellence Awards is a credit to our relationship with U.S. Playing Card, which faithfully interpreted our brand into a splendid product that was just right for the market and then drove the sales with an all-out effort. In addition we are particularly pleased that the award was given in the sports category, a connection we continue to advocate. WPTE is positioning poker as the next major international sport."
The U.S. Playing Card products honored were among the first in a full line of WPT merchandise that the company markets. The line now includes poker sets, cards, chips, portable folding poker table and other items.
Scott Kling, Vice President of Business Development for USPC, notes: "Our licensing partnership with WORLD POKER TOUR has proven to be a creative and highly successful venture for U.S. Playing Card. This honor from the leading luminaries in the licensing world is truly like hitting a royal flush on the river."
LIMA stages its annual tribute to recognize the licensing industry's "best and brightest."
"As the industry increasingly continues to generate momentum at retail each year, it becomes more and more challenging to select the very best nominees in each category," says Neil Friedman, Awards Committee chair and president of Fisher-Price Brands. "The LIMA awards represent the diversity of the industry and convey the importance of licensing in the successful marketing campaigns that define today's marketplace."
USPC's Official WORLD POKER TOUR merchandise can be purchased at major retailers including Sam's Club, Wal-Mart, Nordstrom, FAO Schwarz and many others, as well as on the webstore at www.worldpokertour.com.
The WPT launched the poker phenomenon when it began airing on the Travel Channel on March 30, 2003, and it continues to lead the way in developing poker as a major international sport. The highest rated show ever on The Travel Channel, the WPT is now seen in over 100 countries and territories. WORLD POKER TOUR(R) airs every Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the Travel Channel.
About US Playing Card Company
Founded in 1876, The United States Playing Card Company ("USPC") is the world's largest manufacturer and distributor of playing cards and a leader in the marketing of poker chips and sets, collectible tins, puzzles, and card accessories for the North American retail market. USPC is also the largest supplier of premium playing cards to casinos worldwide. USPC brands include Bee(R), Bicycle(R), Hoyle(R), and Aviator(R). USPC's International holdings include Naipes Heraclio Fournier, S.A., a leading playing card manufacturer in Europe. USPC is a division of Jarden Corporation (NYSE:JAH).
About WPT Enterprises, Inc.
The World Poker Tour is the creation of media and entertainment company WPT Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ:WPTE). WPT Enterprises is engaged in the formulation of branded entertainment through the development, production and marketing of televised programming based on poker and other gaming themes. To date, operations have principally revolved around the creation of the World Poker Tour brand through the production and licensing of a television series exhibited on the Travel Channel that is based on a circuit of previously established high-stakes poker tournaments under the "World Poker Tour" brand. WPT Enterprises, Inc. is a majority owned subsidiary of Lakes Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ:LACO). Photos and media information can be found online at: www.worldpokertour.com.
Brandgenuity LLC, a New York based licensing agency, has assisted the WPT in the negotiations and manages the WPT's strategic licensing program. For more information on World Poker Tour licenses, contact Brandgenuity at 212-925-0730 or email email@example.com
The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor" for forward-looking statements. Certain information included in this press release (as well as information included in oral statements or other written statements made or to be made by WPT Enterprises, Inc.) contains statements that are forward-looking, such as statements relating to the expansion of WPT's brand licensing, the development of new television and film projects, the development of WPT corporate sponsors and other business development activities, as well as statements regarding other capital spending, financing sources and the effects of competition. Such forward-looking information involves important risks and uncertainties that could significantly affect anticipated results in the future and, accordingly, such results may differ from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of WPT. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, WPT's significant dependence on the Travel Channel as a source of revenue; the potential that our television programming will fail to maintain a sufficient audience; the risk that competitors with greater financial resources or marketplace presence might develop television programming that would directly compete with WPT's television programming; the risk that WPT may not be able to protect its entertainment concepts, current and future brands and other intellectual property rights; risks associated with future expansion into new or complementary businesses; the termination or impairment of WPT's relationships with key licensing and strategic partners; and WPT's dependence on its senior management team. For more information, review WPT's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Editors Note: 300 dpi downloadable images of the poker sets available at www.media.usplayingcard.com
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|Date:||Jun 28, 2005|
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