Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Lilo, left, teaches Stitch to hula in Walt Disney Pictures' new animated feature "Lilo & Stitch."

HVCB touts
Disney deal

The marketing plan for
"Lilo & Stitch" hinges on funding

By Tim Ruel

The Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau today announced a wide-ranging agreement with the Walt Disney Co. to market the upcoming animated film "Lilo & Stitch."

The agreement is contingent on funding, the companies said.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority plans to have a special board meeting Monday to review the agreement, said Frank Haas, consultant to the authority. The HTA is seeking specific details on how the arrangement will benefit Hawaii, and the staff will give a recommendation to the board for funding, he said. He declined to release financial terms of the arrangement.

The film opens June 21, with a premiere in Hollywood set for June 16 and a special screening at the Waikiki Twins June 18. The HVCB's slogan appears on the "Lilo & Stitch" trailer on Disney's Web site. Other initiatives in the agreement include trade support, sweepstakes prizing and premiere sponsorship, the companies said.

The deal will support the film's release in theaters, video, DVD and on television, both domestically and internationally.

"Disney's alliance with HVCB is a first for us, as it spans all areas of promotions and marketing," said Cherise McVicar, senior vice president of national promotions for Walt Disney Studios.

Other companies involved the agreement are Hilton; Hilo Hattie; and Hawaiian, United and Japan airlines.

The relationship will provide HVCB with ways to encourage people to visit Hawaii, said Tony Vericella, president and chief executive of the HVCB.

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