Sega Amusements, the new theme park arm of the Japanese games giant, is
gearing up for an agency search following the appointment of its first
head of marketing.
James Bidwell, who joined from Walt Disney Attractions early this month,
is charged with launching a new concept in Sega entertainment in the UK,
known as ‘indoor hi-tech family theme parks’. The first of these will
open at London’s Trocadero Centre next summer with an estimated
marketing budget of pounds 1 to pounds 2 million.
Work has already begun on Sega’s joint venture with the Trocadero, which
will be based on the Joypolis theme park in Japan. This has attractions
and rides based around the latest developments in virtual reality,
taking many of its themes from popular computer games. When it opens,
the 100,000 square-foot Trocadero site will be the largest in the world
and the first in Europe.
Bidwell is responsible for developing marketing strategy in the UK and
overseeing its subsequent spread through the rest of Europe as more
parks are built. However, although the successful agency would ideally
have European links, its performance in the UK would be the most
important factor, Bidwell explained.
‘My remit is to cover Europe, but the Trocadero is a template for Europe
and the brief will be to get the UK right. I know agencies very well and
so I already know the sort of people I’ll be talking to,’ he said.
Bidwell, who worked closely with Saatchi and Saatchi during his time at
Walt Disney, will begin putting together his marketing team in the new
year, after which the hunt is expected to begin.