SeaWorld has been in the business of rescuing sea life and animals for years. There is no subsidization, no funding. It’s generated from within. SeaWorld sees itself as a steward of the sea and its creatures. A little known fact is that there are holding pools that the public never sees. They are reserved for recuperating animals that were rescued by Sea World’s many teams in place. They’ve been rescuing animals for almost 50 years-over 22,000 animals. Amongst the many animals rescued is a pilot whale whose spinal curvature was almost at a 90 degree angle.
SeaWorld was also the first entertainment park to excise plastic bags. And the entertainment park bridges education and entertainment like no other.
And yet the perception is that SeaWorld displays animals and that it doesn’t save animals. And it has gotten a bad rap, reps maintain, recently by being lumped into animal event venues that capture species. In fact, reps maintain that 80% of Sea World’s animals were born in the park.
The successful television series, Sea Rescuers, has helped align the nature of SeaWorld’s nurturing spirit and bring it to the forefront. SeaWorld was at the Licensing Expo 2013 in Vegas to seek out license partners to expand its growth in the consumer retail space outside of the park.
Sea Rescuers has garnered 27 million viewers and won numerous awards. Like the partners SeaWorld seeks, Sea Rescuers keeps the brand a top focus such that viewers and consumers of its products will think fondly of the brand and say, “I can go to Sea World.”
With the brand’s reputation, it’s surprising that it has yet to venture significantly into a major entertainment brand. It occupies the space between National Geographic and Disney, so grounded in its commitment to animals and the planet. The tradition with animals makes it a natural producer of animal-focused movies.
Chief Creative Officer for SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment Scott Helmstedter says that if Disney and Animal Planet had a baby, it would be Sea World.
In an exclusive briefing about licensing ventures at the Expo, Helmstedter talked about the exciting avenues it currently has and the possibilities of the future.
Just two years of Helmstedter being in the position, SeaWorld has already seen movement into digital games and apps, made their first movie and first TV series, and experienced an increased presence at retailers with characters and games such as Penguin Puck and Turtle Trek Adventures.
SeaWorld is not one to slap their logo onto the first product that comes knocking on their door. Eco-responsibility is a must for a company hoping for a partnership, and the product must maintain the value system inherent to the brand of SeaWorld.
Everyone knows SeaWorld. With the forward presence into the consumer market and entertainment, the company hopes that the real SeaWorld is what remains in consumers’ minds and memories.