September 30, 2008
The Topps Company, Inc. Launches First Scripted Internet Comedy Back On Topps Starring Award Winning Comedians Randy and Jason Sklar
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The Topps Company, Inc. and the Emmy(R)-nominated new media studio Vuguru (http://www.vuguru.com/), today launched Back on Topps, a twice a week Internet series created by and starring the comedy duo of Jason and Randy Sklar (ESPN Cheap Seats, Layers). The series premieres today at 7 a.m. ET, exclusively at FOXSports.com on MSN (http://msn.foxsports.com/).
Back on Topps is a hilarious, behind-the-scenes journey into one of the world's most recognizable sports companies. When The Topps Company falls into new ownership, sports-loving twin brothers Leyland and Leif Topps are forced to prove their worth to their new boss. They enlist the help of many of today's biggest athletes including the basketball players Baron Davis, Kevin Love and Greg Oden and baseball stars David Wright, Joba Chamberlain and Russell Martin and others.
"I have long admired the Sklar Brothers' inventive and hilarious take on sports and pop culture," said Michael Eisner. "Their love and respect for the game and the athlete make them the perfect partner for Topps' first online scripted series."
"Never before have twin brothers, a stalker who stalks with his baby, the brother of former Kansas City Royals slugger, Steve Balboni, and Dennis Rodman come together to make trading cards funny...until now," said Randy Sklar.
FOXSports.com will post new episodes of Back on Topps each Tuesday and Thursday and will provide fans an exclusive 12-hour window to view the new episode first on their site. In addition to the series' dedicated website http://www.backontopps.com/, Back on Topps will also be distributed on leading video sites such as YouTube, Veoh, Blip.tv, hulu, Bebo and iTunes. The series will also be available to mobile phone users through MobiTV, the live and made-for-mobile TV service featuring over 40 channels of content available on most U.S. wireless carriers.
"We're excited to bring the Sklar brothers' offbeat humor to FOXSports.com's millions of users through this exclusive relationship with Vuguru," said Ed Bunnell, VP of Programming for FOX Sports Interactive. "Our goal is to deliver the best content experience for sports fans on the Web, and Back on Topps will be a great, entertaining fit next to our news, highlights and analysis."
Skype will serve as the lead sponsor of the series and Skype video calling technology will be showcased in fun and unique ways during the episodes. Adconion Media Group will initiate broader syndication for Back on Topps through its online video content syndication and advertising network as well as support continued advertising sales for the series worldwide.
Randy and Jason Sklar have built a strong following in both the comedy and sports worlds. Recently they have made guest appearances in several TV shows, including an Emmy(R) Award winning episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Grey's Anatomy and HBO's Entourage. In November of 2006 they wrapped their fourth and final season of their critically acclaimed comedy series, Cheap Seats on ESPN Classic and currently write and appear in a regular segment on ESPN's SportsCenter titled The Bracket.
In addition to having high profile athletes, Back on Topps features recognizable comedic actors from television and film including -- Ed Helms from the Daily Show and The Office; Phil Morris of Seinfeld fame; and Brian Huskey from the movie Semi-Pro.
About The Topps Company, Inc.
Founded in 1938, Topps is a leading creator and marketer of sports and related cards, entertainment products, and distinctive confectionery. Topps entertainment products include Major League Baseball, NFL, NBA and other trading cards, sticker album collections, and collectible games. The Company's confectionery brands include "Bazooka" bubble gum, "Ring Pop,""Push Pop,""Baby Bottle Pop" and "Juicy Drop Pop" lollipops. For additional information, visit http://www.topps.com/.
Vuguru is a new media studio for Michael Eisner's The Tornante Company. The studio produces and distributes innovative story-driven content for current new media and emerging platforms. The studio is uniquely positioned between the taste and storytelling of traditional media and the exciting flexibility of the changing entertainment landscape. Vuguru's inaugural series Prom Queen pioneered the online serial space with its unique format and distribution. Follow-up series have included Prom Queen: Summer Heat, The All-For-Nots and Foreign Body. Privately held, The Tornante Company makes investments in and incubates companies and opportunities in the media and entertainment space. Tornante holds ownership stakes in Veoh Networks and Team Baby Entertainment and acquired The Topps Company in 2007.
Founded in 2003, Skype is revolutionizing the way people communicate around the world. Skype has more than 338 million registered users globally who use Skype software to communicate for free through voice and video calls as well as instant messages. Skype generates revenue through its premium offerings, such as calls made to and from landlines and mobiles, voicemail, call forwarding, and SMS. Skype is used in almost every country on Earth, and people have made more than 100 billion minutes worth of free Skype-to-Skype calls. Conversations over Skype can take place on computers, mobile devices and Skype Certified(TM) hardware. Skype certifies and sells hundreds of hardware products from more than 50 partners, and works with hundreds of third-party developers who have created plug-ins to extend Skype's functionality.
Skype is an eBay company . Learn more and download Skype at http://www.skype.com/.
Access to a broadband Internet connection is required. Skype is not a replacement for your traditional telephone service and cannot be used for emergency calling.
Skype, associated trademarks and logos and the "S" symbol are trademarks of Skype Limited.
MobiTV (http://www.mobitv.com/), the market maker and leader in the delivery of mobile content and services, develops and offers technology solutions that power an end-to-end managed network for content ingestion, encoding and optimized delivery over mobile and broadband networks. MobiTV's platform technology delivers live television, premium and primetime programming, video-on-demand, satellite and digital music services from top broadcast and cable television networks and major music labels through its carrier and operator partners to more than four million subscribers worldwide. Founded in 1999, MobiTV is a privately held company with headquarters in Emeryville, California.
ABOUT ADCONION MEDIA GROUP
Adconion Media Group is the only independent global advertising network. The company completed a record $80 million Series C round of funding led by Index Ventures in February 2008. Since its founding in 2005 Adconion has focused on the realization of performance-driven branding campaigns that deliver massive global reach. Adconion's clients consist of advertising agencies and direct advertisers as well as its partner base of premium websites from a wide range of sectors. Adconion combines its in-house technology and high touch client service with quality media to exceed its partners' campaign objectives. The company has offices around the world in London, Munich, Hamburg, Paris, Madrid, Melbourne, Sydney, New York, Toronto, Santa Monica, San Diego, Chicago and Detroit. Adconion is member of the International Advertising Bureau (IAB) and a founding member of IASH Europe. Visit Adconion at http://www.adconion.com/
The Topps Company, Inc.
CONTACT: Adam Schiff, +1-212-981-5216, [email protected], orCourtney Greenberg, +1-212-981-5108, [email protected], or JoelShadle, +1-703-812-4730, [email protected], all of Dan KloresCommunications for The Topps Company, Inc.
Web Site: http://msn.foxsports.com/http://www.adconion.com/http://www.mobitv.com/http://www.skype.com/http://www.topps.com/http://www.vuguru.com/