OAK BROOK, Ill. – February 14, 2006 – Walt Disney World Co. and Sharpie, a division of Sanford LP, a Newell Rubbermaid company, announced today a strategic alliance that joins Sharpie® markers with the magic of the Walt Disney World® Resort.
Sharpie’s agreement with Walt Disney World Co. includes marketing and promotional rights, sponsorship of several popular Walt Disney World Resort events and experiences, and on-site promotional presence for the Sharpie® marker brand at the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.
“Sharpie is a natural fit for Walt Disney World Resort given the millions of autograph seekers who frequent the resort each year,” said Rory Leyden, president of Sanford North America, Sharpie’s parent company. “Sharpie also draws parallels to the Disney brand strategically. Both Sharpie and Walt Disney World Resort offer experiences that deliver on the promise of fun and family.”
Al Weiss, president of Walt Disney World Resort and president of Worldwide Operations for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, added: “We are excited to align ourselves with a brand so many of our families recognize and have enjoyed with their children for years. We welcome Sharpie as our newest alliance partner.”
As part of the agreement, Sharpie will become the title sponsor of the resort’s Kidcot Fun Stops at Epcot® theme park, where craftspeople from around the world teach children how to create one-of-a-kind face masks and enjoy arts and crafts. Sharpie also becomes the title sponsor for Walt Disney World Resort’s annual art event, “Festival of the Masters.”
In addition, Sharpie joins as a participating sponsor for well-known, annual events such as the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, ESPN The Weekend, ABC Super Soap Weekend, the FUNAI Golf Classic on the PGA TOUR, Grad Nite celebrating high school graduates each spring, and Disney’s Magic Music Days, which provides high school bands nationwide the opportunity to showcase their talents at Walt Disney World Resort. Sharpie® markers also will enjoy greater visibility with key branding and displays at Disney’s Wide World of Sports® Complex.
Consumer promotions in connection with the partnership are in development and will include the chance to win a Walt Disney World Resort vacation package and a full complement of Sharpie® products.
About the Walt Disney World® Resort
The Walt Disney World® Resort is a contiguous 47-square-mile, world-class entertainment and recreation center featuring four theme parks (Magic Kingdom® Park, Epcot®, Disney-MGM Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park); two water adventure parks; 32 resort hotels; 99 holes of golf on six courses; two full-service spas; Disney's Wedding Pavilion; Disney’s Wide World of Sports® complex; and Downtown Disney®, an entertainment-shopping-dining complex. Located at Lake Buena Vista, Fla., 20 miles southwest of Orlando, the resort opened Oct. 1, 1971, and currently employs approximately 57,000 Cast Members.
About Sharpie® permanent markers
Sharpie® is the popular brand of permanent markers long associated with the autograph experience. Sanford L.P., maker of Sharpie® markers for more than 40 years, is a division of Newell Rubbermaid (NYSE: NWL), a worldwide leader in the manufacturing and marketing of writing instruments, art products and office organization. Sanford offers a full stable of recognizable brands, including Paper Mate®, Sharpie®, Parker®, Waterman®, EXPO®, Foohy®, uni-ball®, and Rolodex®, among others. Sanford makes more than 6,000 products, ranging from markers, pens and pencils to professional art products, fine writing instruments and office organization products. Visit sharpie.com or sanfordcorp.com for more information.