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International Entertainment News

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Two of the Largest U.S. Entertainment Brands Unite: Mall of America and Nickelodeon Announce New Partnership

Two of the Largest U.S. Entertainment Brands Unite: Mall of America and Nickelodeon Announce New Partnership

Top Nick Properties Such as SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, and Avatar will be Part of the First Ever Nickelodeon Theme Park in Mall of America

Nickelodeon to Launch Its Largest Retail Store in the World and Themed Healthy Eateries in Mall

BLOOMINGTON, Minn., and NEW YORK, Feb. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Mall of America and Nickelodeon announced a partnership today combining the country's largest shopping and entertainment destination with the number-one entertainment brand for kids. Under the new agreement, various Nickelodeon properties and characters will come to life in the first-ever Nickelodeon themed park, part of a re-branding of the Mall's seven-acre amusement park. Fresh designs and exciting new rides and attractions, inspired by Nickelodeon's popular shows and characters, are just a few of the anticipated changes. Construction will begin after the architectural plans are complete, with the grand opening of the newly re-themed anticipated in spring 2008.

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"Nickelodeon's family-friendly focused entertainment is a perfect fit for Mall of America, and we are thrilled about what this means for the Mall and Minnesota," said Maureen Bausch, vice president of business development for Mall of America. "We expect the newly themed park will draw even more new visitors from around the United States, as well as international travel markets."

"Both Nickelodeon and Mall of America have tremendous family and kid appeal. This is the perfect marriage of two entertainment entities: Nickelodeon, the number-one brand for kids, and Mall of America, the top shopping and entertainment destination in the country," said Howard Smith, senior vice president of Nickelodeon Recreation. "We're absolutely thrilled to expand our brand with our first stand alone Nickelodeon theme park and our largest retail presence in such a wonderful destination."

As part of the partnership, Nickelodeon will bring an assortment of its top characters, interactivity, and its signature iconic green slime to Mall of America. The newly revamped park, and the first ever Nickelodeon theme park, will feature new rides, live shows, attractions, retail, games and entertainment, and food service establishments themed with top ranking network properties including: SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go!, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Danny Phantom, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, The Backyardigans and many more. Costumed characters and live interactive entertainment from these Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. shows will also find a home at the Mall.

Nickelodeon will also establish its largest retail presence in the world at Mall of America, with a brand new Nick store occupying more than 4,000 square foot space, offering consumers items such as branded tee-shirts, souvenirs, novelties and more. And the network will introduce healthy dining options throughout the parks' eateries, in line with its four year old health and wellness pro-social initiative for kids and families, Let's Just Play.

Though the majority of the creative elements are in development, including the official name of the new park, one of the first rides to be introduced in the park is a roller coaster based the animated Nick series, Avatar: The Last Airbender. Located in the northwest corner of the park, the "Avatar Airbender" will be the park's first upside down roller coaster. Construction is expected to begin in 2007.

During the transitional period and the construction, the amusement park, current attractions and rides will remain open.

Mall of America and Nickelodeon have also announced immediate plans for one additional ride, a free-fall tower for teens and adults. Plans are still being finalized for the free-fall tower, which could drop from up to 70 feet.

Throughout the design and creative process, Mall of America and Nickelodeon will conduct research and gain feedback on different concepts and designs by working with an advisory panel of kid experts to weigh in on key decisions and issues. Look for guidelines on Mall of America's website in the coming weeks, .

About Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon Recreation began in 1990 and since has grown to include a diverse range of complex and specialized business segments including hotel resorts, touring family theatricals and theme park attractions.

Nickelodeon, in its 27th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in almost 92 million households and has been the number-one- rated basic cable network for almost 12 consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE:VIA)(NYSE:VIA.B).

About Mall of America

Mall of America is the nation's largest retail and entertainment complex. The 4.2 million square foot complex is home to more than 520 world-class shops; the nation's largest indoor family amusement park; Underwater Adventures, a 1.2 million gallon walk-though aquarium; a 14-screen movie theater and more. The Mall opened in August of 1992 and is located in Bloomington, Minn., just minutes from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. For more information visit .

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Photo: NewsCom:
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AP PhotoExpress Network: PRN6
PRN Photo Desk,
Source: Mall of America

CONTACT: Dan Jasper of Mall of America, +1-952-883-8829, ; or Joanna Roses of Nickelodeon, +1-212-846-7326
(work), +1-917-363-4160 (cell),

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