Irv Holender, the chairman of Multicom Entertainment Group, talks to TV Kids about the volleyball-themed animated series Spike Team.
Late last year, Multicom Entertainment Group inked a global distribution deal with Italy’s Team Entertainment for Spike Team. The animated show follows six female volleyball players and their coach as they compete in tournaments around the globe and train for the Olympics, while solving problems along the way. Each teenage girl is meant to represent a different special quality: Jo is strength, Patty is spirit of sacrifice, Beth is courage, Susan is balance, Ann Mary is perseverance and Victoria is loyalty. Spike Team originally premiered on Rai in Italy.
“We saw a gap in the marketplace for 10-, 11-, 12-year-old girls,” says Irv Holender, the chairman of Multicom Entertainment Group, regarding how the decision came about for Spike Team to join the company’s catalog. “We saw the potential not only on the television broadcast side, but also with the digital platforms that we are involved in, and the merchandising.”
There are more than a dozen licensees on board for Spike Team, spanning such categories as publishing, stationery/back-to-school, shoes, sports apparel, watches, umbrellas, PVC balls, books, salty snacks and chocolate products, in countries around the world.
“The fact that it’s three seasons helped us make the decision, because most series don’t last beyond one,” Holender continues. “And if you look at the friendliness and the interactions among the kids and the coach, you would think you’re watching a live situation comedy.”
Spike Team was created by Volleyball World Champion Andrea Lucky Lucchetta, who teamed up with authors Andrea Fazzini, Alessandro Pavanelli and Alessandro Belli. Lucky Dreams and Rai Fiction have produced the show under the executive and artistic direction of Belli and Marco Storani, and the executive production supervision of Lucky Dreams and Team Entertainment. The third season, which brings the series to a total of 78 half-hours, was co-produced by U.S. audio post house Audioworks Producers Group.
“Right now, we see it as a show that travels,” says Holender. “It transcends language [barriers] because Audioworks has done a great job of dubbing it into various languages.”
Spike Team also features a musical element, with newly composed songs from Canadian duo HighDiamond in the latest season. “The series has a fantastic musical group featured throughout,” says Holender. “It is really updated, thematic music that kids can sing and hum along to.”
Multicom will be presenting Spike Team for international sales at L.A. Screenings later this month. “We’re currently positioning the show to go on various platforms, and negotiating with some of the kids’ channels as well as some of the satellite channels that not only deal with kids and family, but deal with sports as well, because volleyball is a hot topic,” adds Holender.