Quite a big hire at DC, as Steve Rotterdam is appointed Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing. Perusing the press release, Rotterdam comes more from a marketing/agency background rather than a bookselling and/or circulation background, in line with the general emphasis these days on branding. We’ve been hearing good things about Rotterdam from various folks, including the fact that he likes comics, which is always a good start.
Steve Rotterdam, formerly the Chief Creative Officer of Eastwest Marketing Group, joins the DC Comics staff as Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, it was announced today by Paul Levitz, President & Publisher of DC Comics. In this position, Rotterdam will run both the direct sales and the book trade sales divisions of the company, supervise the marketing and publicity efforts of DC Comics’ publishing and oversee the company’s advertising sales and custom publishing department. Rotterdam will report directly to Levitz.
Rotterdam steps into the role of SVP, Sales & Marketing at a time when DC Comics is experiencing substantial growth for the graphic novel category and will be aggressively expanding its distribution. In recent years, comic shops have experienced increased sales, while graphic novels have become a leading category in the book trade market. As of spring 2008, DC Comics will be distributed in the book trade market by industry leader Random House.
In recent years, DC Comics, already the largest English-language publisher of comics in the world and home to such iconic characters as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, has further diversified its creative output and its publishing formats:
· DC Comics, which traditionally publishes superhero adventures in monthly comic book periodicals, has achieved tremendous commercial success publishing two weekly comic book series, 52 and COUNTDOWN.
· Vertigo has solidified its prestigious reputation with the publication of a number of critically acclaimed original graphic novels, including the New York Times bestseller SANDMAN: ENDLESS NIGHTS, PRIDE OF BAGHDAD and FABLES: 1,001 NIGHTS OF SNOWFALL.
· WildStorm has expanded its publishing vision to include licensed publishing agreements for the HEROES graphic novel and the WORLD OF WARCRAFT mini-series, both to be released this fall.
· MAD Magazine, America’s longest-running humor publication, has broadened the range of its Usual Gang of Idiots, both in the monthly magazine and in the recently published MAD WAR ON BUSH.
· DC Comics has aggressively launched imprints marketed to new readers, outside of its core target audience: In 2004, DC started CMX, its manga imprint. In the spring of 2007 the company launched MINX, the first imprint from a major American comic book publisher devoted to reaching the teenage girl reader. This fall, the company will launch zudacomics.com, DC’s first web comics imprint.
· DC Direct, DC Comics’ toy and collectibles brand which produces authentic representations of the company’s characters, now also licenses pop culture properties, including World of Warcraft, for distribution under DC Unlimited.
Rotterdam will guide the marketing and sales efforts for each of these diverse imprints, in a rapidly changing marketplace.
Levitz said, “It’s an exciting time for DC as our characters and creativity are having an increased presence in the popular culture, and we welcome Steve to the team. We’re reaching more new readers and customers, and look forward to his accelerating our growth.”
At Eastwest Marketing Group, Rotterdam was instrumental in the agency’s evolution from design shop to full service marketing firm, an ongoing initiative that has let to greater recognition of the agency within and outside of the promotional marketing community, exemplified by the winning of five Entertainment Marketing Awards and a PRO Award in the span of three years. Having worked on behalf of CPG brands including Kraft’s Post Cereals and Reckitt Benckiser’s Electrasol, his most recent focus at Eastwest was in the entertainment space, developing integrated marketing opportunities and brand partnerships for various divisions of Warner Bros. Entertainment, Universal Studios, Paramount Home Entertainment, Genius Products and Discovery Kids.
Before joining Eastwest, Rotterdam spent two years as VP, Group Creative Director at the Guild Group, establishing both a West Coast presence and entertainment practice for that agency. Prior to that, Rotterdam founded GB!/The Chelsea Group, a promotional marketing division of Griffin Bacal/DDB Worldwide with an expertise in youth and families. During his five-year tenure there as Senior Vice-President and Creative Director, he worked with a wide range of clients, including Nestle, Stride Rite, Celestial Seasonings, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Disney Publishing, Hasbro, Showtime, Sharp, Topps and Warner Bros., among others.