Shark Week isn’t just for presidents any more.
Discovery is launching a merchandising program to go along with its popular summer programming stunt featuring the toothy denizens of the deep, which is now in its 30th year.
The merchandise includes apparel, accessories, books, toys and packaged goods. Highlighting Stormy Daniels’ claim that she watched Shark Week with President Trump is not part of the program.
“Over the last 30 years Shark Week has transformed into a pop culture phenomenon,” said Leigh Anne Brodsky, executive VP, Discovery Global Enterprises. “We are excited to have such incredible partnerships on board to give Shark Week fans the opportunity to see and experience this week of amazing, family-friendly content as we celebrate these fearsome and captivating ocean creatures.”
With ad sales flat and distribution challenged by cord cutting, media companies are looking at live events and consumer products as new ways to connect with fans and generate revenues.
One of the Discovery’s Shark Week deals is with Vineyard Vines, a company that makes whimsical neckties with a smiling pink whale logo. Vineyard Vines will be making more than 40 Shark Week products including apparel, ties, headwear, swimwear, towels, beach bags and drinkwear.
The companies said 20% of all process from camouflage-printed bikinis and board shorts will be donated to Oceana, a charitable organization dedicated to protecting and restoring the world’s oceans.
Discovery is also working with Build-A-Bear, which will have two special offerings for Shark Week. One is a make-your-own- Great White plush. The other is a make-your-own Hammerhead. Both have coordinated clothing options, including tank tops, board, board shorts and a Shark Week hoodie.
Walmart is also diving into the Shark Week tank with an in-store pallet train of products including toys, t-shirts, towels, snacks, books and DVDs, including an exclusive 30th anniversary DVD and Blu-ray combo pack.
Some stores will display a life-sized shark tank outfitted with a photo booth that takes pictures that can be shared on social media. An augmented reality experience will also be offered in some stores.
The Shark Week toys will include pool inflatables by Bestway that will be sold exclusively at Walmart. There will also be figure sets from Bright Kingdom from Dandee and novelties from Magic Time.
As part of the Discovery at Sea Program, Princess Cruises will offer a variety of Shark Week activities this summer. Guests sailing out of Fort Lauderdale will get a fully immersive experience, including restaurant and casino tables marking 30 years of Shark Week.
There will also be Shark Week boxer shorts created by Crazyboxer, t-shirts from Fifth Sun, socks from Sock Fancy, watches from Freestyle, throws and beach towels from Jay Franco, sunglasses from Knockaround and backpacks from Sprayground.
Bulu will have an official limited-edition Shak Week Box full of Shark Week apparel and collectibles, Everi will have a new Shark Week-themed slot machine that will be in select casinos and Shark Strike, the official app of Discovery’s Shark Week will be in the App Store and Google Play.
Apparel and accessories by The Rodnick Band will be featured in a pop-up store in London.
For readers, there will be books from Felwel and Friends and Time Inc. Books. A special collector’s magazine is being published by Topix Media Lab.
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Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.