Lionsgate inks contract with Kathy Smith

MUMBAI: Reflecting an overall strategy of allying itself with brand partners in all of its businesses, Lionsgate has entered into a multi-year partnership with one of the top names in fitness – Kathy Smith.

Through the agreement with Smith, Lionsgate has acquired the North American distribution rights to the fitness legend’s innovative and top-selling line of DVDs. The deal was announced today by Lionsgate Home Entertainment EVP of marketing and family entertainment Anne Parducci.

Lionsgate has built one of the most extensive fitness DVD libraries in the industry and already boasts the top four fitness DVDs in 2007. Dancing With The Stars: Cardio Dance has accounted for more than $1 million in consumer spending in its first month of release, including higher week one sales than any other fitness DVD to date.

Lionsgate’s fitness DVD releases of The Biggest Loser – The Workout, Volume 1 and 2 have earned more than $4 million, making it one of the most successful fitness brands on DVD today.

In addition, Denise Austin claims two of the top four titles for the year, according to Nielsen data, building on her success as a top fitness brand.

The studio is scheduled to release two new Kathy Smith titles later in the year. Smith has been in the forefront of the fitness and lifestyle market since 1980 and, during that time, she has helped shape and inspire the lives of millions.

A member of the Video Hall of Fame, she has sold over 16 million DVDs, and each of her more than 35 titles has reached platinum or gold status. Additionally, Smith headlined the 2007 Got Milk? campaign with a $15 million initiative including TV spots, print ads, web-based interactive consumer programs and grocery POS support from January through May. An author of eight books, her newest diet book is scheduled to hit shelves in spring 2008 through Meredith Publications.

“Lionsgate understands how lucrative the fitness DVD industry is, and we are committed to making sure we maintain our leadership position through the distribution of unique and quality product that people will trust to lead them in their workouts at home. As a motivator and role model, Kathy Smith has a unique connection with her audience that stems from her own personal journey for wellness. Kathy is a wonderful addition to our library, and we look forward to developing the same type of long and healthy relationship with her that she has had with her fan base for more than 25 years,” said Parducci.

“I am so excited to be working with the Lionsgate team as their keen knowledge and passion for the fitness industry really provides tremendous support and focus to the public. They are expert partners in answering our consumer and retail needs and key in the on-going efforts to keep America fit,” Smith said.