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Pokémon Celebrates 25 Years With Music Deal, Licensing Campaign

Katy Perry Headlines ‘P25 Music’, a Year of Surprise Music Events and Superstar Collaborations

The Pokémon Company International officially launched its 25th anniversary celebration on Jan. 13, marking a quarter century of fun and games with a massive music collaboration, including a partnership with pop star Katy Perry.

The Japanese video game and entertainment franchise created one of the most enduring virtual worlds in the  business of video gaming since its launch in 1996, and was among the earliest companies to see massive success outside the game itself by combining the collectible Pokémon card game with the digital video game experience.

The company says, in 2021, Pokémon will continue that tradition by aligning with another universal unifying force: music. Headlined by Katy Perry, the star-studded program created in partnership with Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, accompanies fan-focused activations celebrating 25 years of Pokémon across the franchise’s portfolio of video games, mobile apps, animation, merchandise and more.

To help fans kick off this celebration, a live-action video, uniquely highlighting moments in the brand’s 25-year history and a journey through the Pokémon world’s many regions, can be viewed beginning today on the official Pokémon YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/l_ZHajviuAY/
 
Global Music Celebration: P25 Music
As Pokémon puts it, “Every party needs a great playlist.” To celebrate 25 years in gaming, The Pokémon Company International is teaming up with UMG through their brands strategies division, Universal Music Group for Brands, to make 2021 the biggest Pokémon party in history. Pokémon is working with some of the biggest names in music, from rising artists to award-winning global superstars, for a program entitled P25 Music. Perry, a huge fan of Pokémon games, was revealed on Jan. 13 as a primary collaborator in the massive, year-long music campaign.

“Pokémon has been a constant in my life from playing the original video games on my Game Boy, to trading Pokémon TCG cards at lunch, to the adventures of catching Pokémon on the street with Pokémon GO,” said Perry. “I’ve even visited the Pokémon Café in Japan while on tour! It is an honor to be chosen to help celebrate a franchise that has given me so much joy in the last 25 years, and to be able to watch it evolve in the ways it’s provided that kind of electric joy for the kids in my life and around the world.”

For their part, Pokémon saw the games loving, upbeat Perry as an ideal brand ambassador. “In Katy Perry, we see a kindred spirit to Pokémon, whose world is bright, fun and uplifting,” said Colin Palmer, vice president of marketing at The Pokémon Company International. “Katy is a wonderful ambassador to help us celebrate 25 years of Pokémon, and we can’t wait for music fans everywhere to experience the exciting collaborations we have planned.”

Universal Music has been focused in recent years on expanding the licensing of its expansive list of music properties and artists, which includes working with video gaming and social media companies. The partnership with Pokémon is perhaps the greatest example of that broader vision to date.

“We are honored to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Pokémon and the significant cultural impact this beloved franchise continues to have around the world,” said LJ Gutierrez, General Manager, UMGB. “Working together, we have developed dynamic year-round programming involving artists from across UMG’s labels—because what better way to create a global celebration than through the power of music?” 

Details about Katy Perry’s participation, additional artist surprises and more about the P25 Music program will be announced throughout the year.

Another campaign being launched by Pokémon this year involves a program that allows players and fans to explore the many ‘regions’ created through the many Pokémon games introduced over the past quarter-century. Since the first video games launched in 1996, the franchise has explored a new region in the Pokémon world with the introduction of each core series game. In 2021, The Pokémon Company International will invite fans to relive their journeys through each of these regions in a year-long program, beginning with the most recently discovered Galar region from Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield and ending with the classic Kanto region from the original Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue games. Beginning today, fans can visit a new website that will serve as the hub for this and all fan celebration activities as they are announced throughout the year, located here: https://pokemon.com/25
 
Anniversary Partners: Celebratory Programs and Merchandise
Pokémon adventures are always better with friends, so The Pokémon Company International is teaming up with other iconic brands to help fans celebrate the journey throughout the year with unique promotions and merchandise. Collaborations in the brand’s 25th anniversary year include programs from Build-A-Bear Workshop®, General Mills, Levi’s, McDonald’s and more. Fans can also look forward to even more special merchandise tied to the anniversary celebrations from licensees including Jazwares, Scholastic, Mattel, Funko, PowerA, and The Wand Company. Additional partners and the ways they will celebrate the anniversary will be announced throughout the year.
 
Special Collections: The Pokémon Trading Card Game & Pokémon Center
The Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) is a cornerstone of the brand, and fans can look forward to special 25th anniversary-themed collections of the Pokémon TCG later in 2021. In the meantime, fans will soon be able to collect oversized cards featuring Pikachu and beloved first partner Pokémon characters from the various regions featured in the franchise-spanning retrospective. Fans can also expect 25th anniversary-themed products from Pokémon Center, the premier destination for official, high-quality Pokémon merchandise in the US and Canada. To kick off the celebrations on Pokémon Center, fans will be able to preorder a limited-edition 25th anniversary-themed skateboard by industry craftsman Bear Walker starting Jan. 19.

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