SeaWorld® Signs Licensing Agreement with Ruckus Media Group to Create Digital Storybooks for Mobile Platforms & Devices

Orlando, Fla. and Wilton, Conn. (January 17, 2012)—SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment™, a leader in nature-based family entertainment, and Ruckus Media Group, the global children's digital media company, today announced a multi-year licensing deal to create digital storybooks that will inspire kids and families to connect with animals and the natural world. The stories will be based on SeaWorld’s® animals, attractions and education and conservation efforts. 

This is the first digital publishing venture for SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. Under the agreement, Ruckus has been granted worldwide rights for these new consumer products and applications.

Reflecting SeaWorld’s commitment to conservation, a portion of all the proceeds from the digital interactive books will be donated to the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens® Conservation Fund. The Fund is a non-profit charitable foundation that supports wildlife research, habitat protection, animal rescue and conservation education around the world.

“We’re honored to bring SeaWorld into the Ruckus family of mobile educational entertainment, and look forward to creating digital stories and unique experiences that capture the excitement and wonder of the sea. Our stories continue to spark children’s never-ending interest in the natural world,” says Rick Richter, CEO, Ruckus Media Group.

The first three books in the SeaWorld series will launch this spring, including three interactive storybooks for kids ages 3 to 8 that appeal to emerging, beginning and independent readers. The interactive storybooks will connect kids with SeaWorld’s killer whales, penguins and sharks and will be available at the App store for Apple mobile devices. New children’s storybook apps will be released throughout the year. 

 “For 50 years we have been creating nature-based entertainment and educational experiences for kids and families, and these storybooks are a new avenue to inspire future generations to care for animals,” said Jim Atchison, president and chief executive officer of SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. “Our parks, our animals and our team members make for fascinating stories that entertain as well as educate for a greater purpose.”

The education and narrative-driven stories, based on nationally recognized curricula, are designed to inspire enthusiasm for the natural world and will include exclusive photo, video and audio content from SeaWorld.

Available for a variety of digital and mobile platforms and devices, the storybooks will inspire children and families to visit SeaWorld virtually and learn about animals and the natural world we all share.

About Ruckus Media Group

Ruckus Media Group introduces traditional storytelling for today’s ways of telling stories by creating applications for mobile devices that entertain toddlers to teens from their fingers to their minds, at home or on the road—and invite their imaginations to grow. Launched in September 2010, Ruckus is now home to 17 children’s interactive storybooks, including the iTunes-bestselling MY LITTLE PONY: TWILIGHT SPARKLE, TEACHER FOR A DAY, based on the ever-popular Hasbro toy characters; Parents’ Choice and Mom’s Choice award winners SPOT THE DOT by pop-up legend David A. Carter and CHUCK & FRIENDS: FRIENDS FOR THE LONG HAUL; Readers’ Choice Award Winner and Best App award finalist A PRESENT FOR MILO, written and illustrated by Mike Austin; THE VELVETEEN RABBIT: TOLD BY MERYL STREEP and other Read-Play-and-Record-Along classic animated storybook apps; and forthcoming projects with Hasbro, Crayola, and other beloved brands. For a full listing of titles and additional information, see our website and the Ruckus Media Group iTunes page and follow Ruckus on Facebook and Twitter. 

About SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment

SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment owns and operates 10 U.S. theme parks including the well-known SeaWorld, Busch Gardens and Sesame Place® brands and inspires 23 million guests a year to celebrate and conserve the natural world through up-close animal encounters, educational attractions and innovative entertainment. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment also is a global leader in animal care and conservation. The company cares for one of the world’s largest zoological collections -- more than 60,000 animals – and has rescued more than 18,000 orphaned, injured or ill wild animals over the past four decades. SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment has contributed more than $50 million to conservation, wildlife rescue and environmental stewardship programs worldwide.  It is a portfolio company of Blackstone and employs 20,000 people nationwide.