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Nick Brings SpongeBob SquarePants To Moscow In Interactive Exhibit

Nickelodeon Russia, a unit of Viacom International Media Networks, today announced SpongeBob SquarePants, the iconic character from Nickelodeon's global hit series, is coming to Moscow in a new and glamorous way.

Press Release from Nickelodeon Russia

London, 2011, August, 5th:  Nickelodeon Russia, a unit of Viacom International Media Networks,  today announced SpongeBob SquarePants, the iconic character from Nickelodeon's global hit series, is coming to Moscow in a new and glamorous way. ‘Absorbent: A SpongeBob Exhibit’, a unique and immersive modern art exhibition presented by Nickelodeon working in partnership with Beeline, will be offered free-of-charge to visitors from September 16 to October 2, 2011 at the Flacon Design Plant, Moscow.

As Russia’s first-ever interactive SpongeBob exhibition, ‘Absorbent: A SpongeBob Exhibit’ will invite visitors to see firsthand how Nickelodeon’s most famous character has influenced fashion, culture and modern media. Fans (big and small) will have the opportunity to view fashion and art installations inspired by SpongeBob’s positive, happy-go-lucky perspective, as well as a multimedia zone dedicated to the world’s most famous sponge. In addition to showcasing Nickelodeon’s number one property in a sophisticated light, the fun and bold exhibition will provide young visitors with a range of opportunities for creative and educational growth through a number of workshops – all featuring the sponge that has become a global phenomenon.

To mark the opening of ‘Absorbent: A SpongeBob Exhibit’, Nickelodeon will host an exclusive auction with all funds raised going to the Naked Heart Foundation, a children’s charity headed by supermodel Natalia Vodianova, to build playgrounds across Russia and develop programs for children with special needs.

As part of the Naked Heart Foundation partnership, exhibition visitors will have the opportunity to donate to the foundation by purchasing one-of-a-kind charity bracelets. Nickelodeon will also help create Russia’s first ever SpongeBob SquarePants themed playground, to be built in one of the orphanages the Naked Heart Foundation supports. Fans will get a sneak peek of the playground at the exhibit.

Nicholas Walters, VP General Manager, Viacom International Media Networks Russia and CIS, said: “SpongeBob has a staggering level of awareness and popularity in Russia, and ‘Absorbent: A SpongeBob Exhibit’ is a special way of sharing this beloved character with Moscow-based fans of all ages. We’re delighted to be partnering with Natalia Vodianova and the Naked Heart Foundation, and are proud to support this amazing organization’s commendable work.”

“We are happy to partner with Nickelodeon, a brand that recognizes the importance of play and knows how to bring smiles to kids’ faces. Play is a necessity, not a luxury. It is through play that children at a very early age engage with the world around them. A child's greatest achievements are possible in play, achievements that tomorrow will form the foundations of their social interactions," said Natalia Vodianova.

SpongeBob SquarePants reaches viewers in more than 170 countries in 35+ languages across a multimedia platform, including television, digital media and retail sales of over $8 billion. The series debuted in the US in 1999 and was first introduced to Russia audiences in 2000. SpongeBob SquarePants is the most widely-distributed property in MTV Networks history, winning dozens of prestigious awards along with the hearts of both kids and adults across the globe.

‘Absorbent: A SpongeBob Exhibit’ was developed by Nickelodeon and global design consultancy FITCH through its studios in North America.

*Recent research carried out by Viacom International Media Networks showed that 87% of young Russians know and love SpongeBob. The study was conducted between February 18th to March 9th, 2011, gauging awareness of SpongeBob among 2400 parents and 2400 kids from 12 countries (AU, BR, CN, DE, ES, FR, KR, MX, PL, RU, UK, US).

About NickelodeonNickelodeon, now in its 32nd year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 16 consecutive years. Nickelodeon was recognized as the best foreign television channel for kids in Russia: it won in the nomination “Television Channel for Kids” at the National Big Digit Award in the sphere of multichannel digital television. For more information or artwork, please visit Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA .B)

About VIMN’s Emerging Markets GroupVIMN’s Emerging Markets Group is one of the fastest growing regions in the company’s portfolio of multi-platform businesses. The Emerging Markets Group manages 32 television channels, 30 websites, one video portal and four mobile TV channels encompassing the MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon, VIVA and Comedy Central and COLORS brands in Central & Eastern Europe, Russia, Africa, the Middle East and India. Additionally, the Emerging Markets portfolio includes MTV Live HD, VIMN’s first international high definition channel dedicated to music and kids which is operated by the Emerging Markets Group of behalf of VIMN. VIMN is a unit of Viacom Inc (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B). About Natalia Vodianova’s  Naked Heart FoundationFounded by model and philanthropist, Natalia Vodianova in 2005, the Naked Heart Foundation (NHF) is a Russian, not-for-profit charity registered in both the United States and United Kingdom. The Naked Heart’s mission is to provide safe outdoor Play Parks inspiring those underprivileged children living in Russian cities where more than 25% of all families raise children below the poverty line. To date the foundation has built 60 play parks in 44 Russian cities, including facilities in orphanages, rehabilitation centers and children’s hospitals.

In addition, this year the Naked Heart Foundation will launch a new programme providing essential support to the implementation and development of existing organisations and new family support centres for children with special needs, foster families and families at social risk.

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