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Licensed experience specialist CityNeon grows creative team with triple hire

The experiential licensing specialists, CityNeon, a company known for developing live experiences and exhibitions with some of the world’s biggest IP, is growing its creative team with a sweep of key new hires.

The global outfit will welcome Eddie Newquist, Robin Stapley, and Gene Lubas to its US subsidiary, Vicotry Hill Exhibitions, as its new executive creative directors from August this year. Nwquist and Stapley will be based in Los Angeles, while Lubas will be based in Las Vegas.

Newquist was previously the chief creative officer and executive vice president, special projects design, of GES-Global Experience Specialists (GES). GES is a subsidiary of Viad Corp, listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Newquist is an industry veteran with close to 30 years of experience as an award-winning creative executive, designer, filmmaker and inventor.  He has worked on some of the world’s most successful brands and entertainment franchises, including Warner Bro’s Harry Potter, Walt Disney/Pixar’s Cars, James Cameron’s The Terminator, and Universal Pictures/Amblin Entertainment’s Jurassic Park.

Notable projects previously completed by Newquist include the HBO series Game of Thrones global tour, Harry Potter: The Exhibition global tour, Harry Potter: Christmas in the Wizarding World, Avatar: Discover Pandora global tour, Narnia: The Exhibition global tour, and more.

Meanwhile, Stapley was previously the vice president of creative and design at GES and brings with him over 20 years of design experience. He has created numerous, award-winning exhibitions and attractions for several blockbuster-type, high-profile projects belonging to a diverse list of clients, including Warner Bros., HBO, Walt Disney Studios, Pixar, 20th Century Fox and National Geographic.

He has guided multiple design and production teams from concept to opening, developing immersive branded retail experiences across shopping centres, casinos and theme parks.  He has also collaborated with many major property developers to produce award winning programs from the Taubman Centers’ dazzling Ice Palaces to the Harry Potter themed retail experiences that wowed guests and increased foot traffic.

Finally, Lubas has built up a career over close to three decades. He was last the artistic director for the Cirque Du Soleil.  In his time with Caesars Entertainment, Lubas was responsible for producing shows at Caesars Palace Cleopatra’s Barge with the musical revues Cocktail Cabaret and Paul Shaffer and the Shaffshifters.

The executive creative directors will report to Welby Altidor, group chief creative officer of Cityneon Holdings.

Altidor said: “I do not doubt that Eddie, Robin and Gene will bring a new level of creative courage to our work. I believe Cityneon is even better placed to continue being the industry trailblazer in creating immersive, experiential entertainment that keeps audiences worldwide engaged with the global brands we work with.”

Executive chairman and group chief executive officer, Ron Tan added: “Creative is Cityneon’s DNA. We are very excited to bring on board Eddie, Robin, and Gene. As we continue to grow, we are able to enhance the breadth and quality of our product offerings to our clients.

“This is yet another new chapter for Cityneon – to stay ahead of our competition, en route to be the world’s largest in the experience entertainment industry.”

Cityneon currently partners major movie and gaming studios globally to secure Intellectual Properties to hold experience exhibitions for their audience. These global studios include Disney, Marvel, Hasbro, Universal, and Lionsgate.

To date, the group has toured the IPs in 37 cities globally and, by the end of this year, will have 12 permanent and travelling exhibition sets. It plans to boost the number of global relationships it has with major studios and further secure new IPs by the end of 2019.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent some six years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@bizmedia.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobHutchins3 if ranting is your thing...

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