'SpongeBob SquarePants,' 'Dora the Explorer' and 'South Park' to Be Repped in Russia by Riki Group

SpongeBob Squarepants - cartoon still - 2010
Courtesy of Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon Consumer Products signs exclusive agreement with the Russian giant.

LONDON – Consumer products and program deals featuring SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, iCarly and Avatar, as well as the MTV logo and adult brands, including South Park are all to be repped exclusively in Russia and the CIS countries by Russian company Riki Group.

Nickelodeon Consumer Products, a division of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) has signed an exclusive agreement with the Russian multi-media production, licensing, event and publishing organisation to rep Nickelodeon’s consumer goods in the region.

The deal, covering Nick goods in Russia and CIS countries marks a move away from a traditional licensing agreement to enable Riki Group to become a master licensee for VIMN in Russia.

It follows the recent acquisition of channel distribution, digital media and program sales rights for Kikoriki, the animated property known in Russia as Smeshariki, across Central and Eastern Europe (excluding Russia), the Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific region (excluding Greater China).

Kikoriki recently became part of the VIMN programme sales portfolio at MIPCOM.

The partnership between VIMN and Riki Group also encompass international programme sales and channel programming businesses in the RCIS market.

“This is a further step in our already strong partnership and opens the door to further possibilities for collaboration across our businesses. Our RCIS business has expanded dramatically in 2011 and we are pleased to bring Russian fans even more opportunities to connect with SpongeBob, Dora and all of their favourite Nickelodeon characters,” said Michael Connolly, svp, consumer products, VIMN.

“The Riki Group’s expertise in the Russian marketplace, together with VIMN’s vast global experience, will make for an extremely successful partnership in the licensing arena,” said Ilya Popov, CEO and executive producer, The Riki Group.