NEW YORK and PARK CITY, Utah, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Simmons Jewelry Co. and Nickelodeon & Viacom Consumer Products (NVCP) are partnering to create a fine-jewelry and watch line -all inspired by the pop-culture phenomenon SpongeBob SquarePants, which is now celebrating its landmark 10th anniversary year. Led by the creation of an exclusive, 12-carat total weight diamond-encrusted SpongeBob pendant to be auctioned off for charity, the entire retail collection will feature a variety of fashionable, distinctive and avant-garde designs utilizing materials such as enamel, gold, silver, and diamonds under the design direction of 2009 GEM Award recipient for Jewelry Style, Russell Simmons.

The diamond encrusted SpongeBob by Simmons Jewelry Co. pendant containing a total of 12 carats of white diamonds as well as color enhanced yellow, red and blue diamonds set in 18KT yellow and white gold–will make its debut display in Park City, Utah, during the 2009 Film Festival and will be auctioned off at a later date with proceeds benefiting the Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F.). This pendant will be displayed in a one of a kind, custom made abstract box.

«We are always looking for innovative ideas to develop fine jewelry and the Nickelodeon partnership to license SpongeBob is the perfect addition to the Simmons Jewelry Co. family,» said Russell Simmons, who will be on-hand to announce the partnership in Park City.

Marking the first luxury brand jewelry partner for SpongeBob SquarePants, the collection will be available for both men and women. Available at fine jewelry and specialty retailers in fall 2009, the products will retail from $150 to $75,000.

«We are so thrilled to partner with the innovators at Simmons Jewelry Co. for such a creative, and absolutely beautiful SpongeBob SquarePants jewelry collection in celebration of its 10th Anniversary year,» said Hal Snik, Senior Vice President of Domestic Licensing, NVCP. «Simmons Jewelry Co. has a unique ability to reinterpret iconic brands into beautifully crafted jewelry, and their work with SpongeBob is going to yield an absolutely gorgeous line appealing to die-hard fans and trendsetters.»

«Simmons Jewelry Co. is very excited for the opportunity to work with a global empire such as Nickelodeon, and are thrilled about combining SpongeBob’s universal appeal with our creativity and industry knowledge,» said Scott Rauch, President and CEO of Simmons Jewelry Co. «The development of SpongeBob jewelry has been a tremendous creative experience which we are excited to share with our retail partners and consumers. This fine jewelry collection will help further fill a void in the marketplace for the trendy and fashion forward consumer.»

Yellow is the new black this year, so it’s time to get ‘Happy Squared’ in honor of the landmark 10th anniversary of SpongeBob SquarePants. Kicking off during the 2009 Film Festival in Park City with the first-ever SpongeBob live cast reading, Nickelodeon will celebrate the pop culture icon throughout the year with TV specials, original online content and new lines of apparel, toys and games. SpongeBob also will be a featured part of Nick’s multi-year pro-social campaign, The Big Green Help.

SpongeBob SquarePants is one of the most popular series in kids’ television history. It has been the number-one animated program with Kids 2-11 for more than six consecutive years and its Saturday morning airing ranks as the top-rated program on television among Kids 2-11. Adult viewers also continue to tune in and have increased by 121% since the premiere of the show in July 1999 (Nielsen Media Research, based on A18-34 (000), September 2008 vs. July 1999, all SB telecasts combined). Nearly 70 million viewers watch SpongeBob SquareP

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