FactoryMade to Operate and Extend Wrestling League’s IP in U.S. and International Territories Outside Mexico; Starlight Runner Entertainment to Lead Innovative Transmedia Development Initiative
FactoryMade Ventures has formed a joint venture with the leading Mexican wrestling experience, Lucha Libre AAA. The boutique entertainment and media incubator announced today its partnership with the owners of Lucha Libre AAA, the Roldan Pena family ( Marisela Pena Herrada , Joaquin Roldan Retana and Dorian Roldan Pena ) and Antonio Cue Sanchez-Navarro , a real estate, finance and sports entrepreneur in Mexico and a former owner of a Major League Soccer team. The partners will reimagine, operate and expand the league on multiple platforms and entertainment experiences in the U.S. and select international territories.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Roldan Pena family and Antonio to take the classic Lucha Libre AAA experience from household name in the Latino community to a dynamic, general audience entertainment brand in the U.S.,” said FactoryMade’s CEO John Fogelman and Co-CEO Cristina Patwa .
The professional wrestling sport Lucha Libre (meaning “free fighting”) began in Mexico in the 1930s, and its popularity has grown to become the second largest sport in the country behind soccer. Founded in 1992 by its creator, Antonio Pena Herrada , Lucha Libre AAA rose to become Mexico’s dominant wrestling league with an audience of 1 million people for more than 1,000 live events per year and a significant television presence on Televisa with a reach of 52 million viewers. The league has also branched to ancillary platforms across merchandise, licensing, gaming, movies and digital media, and it receives sponsorship from leading consumer product advertisers such as Corona, Ford, Telcel and Comex.
“Our partnership with FactoryMade enables us to transform our league for viewers beyond Mexico in a way that leverages the rich history and legacy of one of Latin America’s most popular entertainment experiences over the last 20 years,” said Dorian Roldan . “Taking a page from my grandfather’s heritage with Hispanic brands, I personally see this as a unique opportunity to bring an exciting, credible and authentic brand to second and third generation Latinos in the U.S.,” added Cue Sanchez-Navarro.
The joint venture will hold exclusive licenses in all territories excluding Mexico to the wrestling league’s intellectual property, which includes its renowned brand, over 250 characters (Luchadores) and its multi-platform entertainment formats. The partners will initially focus on expanding its presence in the U.S. through live events and sponsorship, pay-per-view television, scripted and non-scripted series, licensing and merchandise.
FactoryMade and Lucha Libre AAA have also brought onboard Starlight Runner Entertainment, a New York-based production company specializing in the global transmedia growth of leading entertainment properties. Lucha Libre AAA will be the first entertainment-sports league to be reimagined for the American and global market and launched with Starlight Runner’s proprietary franchise development methodology embedded in its DNA at inception.
“The team united behind bringing Lucha Libre AAA to the United States has provided us with an extraordinary opportunity to use our transmedia techniques to build an exciting multi-platform world of heroes, villains and spectacle,” said Starlight Runner CEO Jeff Gomez . “This new experience will resonate with the aspirations of the powerful emerging Latino audience and the youth market beyond.”
Starlight Runner Entertainment, which Fast Company listed as one of “The 10 Most Innovative Companies in Media” in 2011, has done similar transmedia work for large multi-platform entertainment properties including Avatar, Pirates of the Caribbean, Transformers and Microsoft’s Halo. While Starlight Runner works with premiere Hollywood studios such as Sony, The Walt Disney Company and 20th Century Fox, the company has also been brought onboard by global brands such as Coca-Cola, Mattel and Pepperidge Farm to create storylines and multi-platform extensions for their products.
In addition to its partnership with Lucha Libre AAA, FactoryMade co-owns ventures Tres Pistoleros Studios and the El Rey Network with acclaimed filmmaker Robert Rodriguez . El Rey is a new general entertainment, English-language US cable channel backed and carried by Comcast Corp that will launch in January 1, 2014.
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