Lionsgate promotes Michael Rathauser to SVP, Mktg


Mumbai: Michael Rathauser has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Marketing for Lionsgate’s home entertainment businesses, recognizing the nine-year veteran’s significant contributions to the

company’s fast-growing family home entertainment business, it was announced by executive vice president of marketing Anne Parducci, to whom he will continue to report.

Rathauser will continue to oversee the strategy, marketing and management for Lionsgate Family Entertainment as well as the StudioCanal library. Lionsgate is the fourth largest distributor in the children’s home entertainment category and, with its current 13.5% market share, has more than doubled its market share in the past few years. Rathauser has played a key role in helping to develop partnerships with some of the best known and most relevant brands in children’s entertainment including Marvel, Scholastic, American Greetings, Mattel, MGA Entertainment and many more.

“Michael has been a loyal and valuable part of Lionsgate for almost a decade. He has shown an uncanny ability to market our family entertainment brands, and it is largely through his innovative ideas that our family business has grown to become one of the largest distributors of children’s non-theatrical product in the industry.” said Parducci. “Michael’s contributions will guide us through a very exciting time as we continue to grow our family business and prepare ourselves to capitalize on the continued growth of digital technology and Blu-ray.”

Under Rathauer’s guidance, each of the first four Marvel animated direct to DVD features debuted as the number one title on the children’s non-theatrical charts, and the four Marvel features have cumulatively shipped more than three million units. One of the division’s other major brands, Bratz, has achieved sales of over 3.5 million DVDs since Lionsgate took over the brand in 2007. Rathauser also spearheaded the home entertainment launch of the Speed Racer: The Next Generation franchise, which marked Lionsgate’s first-ever self-produced animated television series.

Lionsgate has recently continued its momentum in the family genre with the announcement of the studio’s recent multiyear agreements with family entertainment leader HIT Entertainment, leading developer of technology-based learning products LeapFrog Enterprises and leading  consumer entertainment products company MGA Entertainment for the ever-popular Little Tikes brand. In addition, Lionsgate releases to DVD a virtual who’s-who in family entertainment brands, including Speed Racer and Speed Racer: The Next Generation, Marvel Animated Features, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, MGA’s Bratz, Scholastic’s Clifford the Big Red Dog, American Greetings’ The Care Bears,. HIT Entertainment’s Thomas & Friends, Bob the Builder, Barney, Angelina Ballerina, Cookie Jar Entertainment’s The Doodlebops and Nelvana’s Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends.

Rathauser has also been responsible for overseeing the prestigious StudioCanal library, which contains many of Lionsgate’s most lucrative library titles including Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Total Recall, Basic Instinct, Rambo, and others. Under Rathauser’s tenure, Lionsgate has been innovative in marketing and distributing the StudioCanal titles, most notably through the creation of a number of different umbrella labels to group the releases and give them a distinctive look at retail including Meridian Collection (Mondays In The Sun, The Red Violin, Diva, etc.), The Director’s Series (Jean-Luc Godard, Jean Renoir, Alfred Hitchcock, etc.), and The Celebrity Series (Brigitte Bardot, Catherine Deneuve, Sophia Loren, etc.). At a time when catalog sales overall are flat, Lionsgate has achieved double digit growth in sales of the impressive catalog through a combination of gift set launches with distinctive packaging, packaging refreshes and BD launches.

Rathauser joined the company as a brand manager at Artisan Entertainment (which was subsequently acquired by Lionsgate). Some of his first duties with the company were to oversee the marketing and mass launch of the highly successful Baby Einstein brand. His duties also included the home entertainment release of many of the studio’s biggest theatrical titles and DVD premieres including Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows, Requiem For A Dream and National Lampoon’s Van Wilder.

Prior to arriving at Lionsgate/Artisan, Rathauser began his professional career in advertising as he spent four years as an account executive with Grey Advertising and DDB in New York City. While at these agencies, he worked on a wide variety of high profile accounts including Post Cereal, Procter & Gamble, Pepsi Foods International and Anheuser Busch.

Michael graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Foreign Affairs. He received a Masters of Business Administration degree from UCLA in 1999. He currently resides in Beverly Hills, California with his wife Juliana and daughter Sofia.