Thanks to the skills and the winning ways (not to mention the looks) of team ‘Azkals,‘ the sport of football is finally gaining attention in the country. This is why Chevron Philippines Inc. (Caltex) saw it as the perfect time to introduce the football to young kids by launching a comic book that deals with the excitement and values one can learn from the sport.
The comic book series Supa Strikas made its debut during the 16th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga last weekend.
Created by South African comic book and animation studio Strika Entertainment, the series recounts the adventures of the world’s greatest football team—the Supa Strikas.
The comic’s global headline sponsor is Chevron and the Caltex and Texaco brands appear on Supa Strikas’ match and uniforms.
“We conceptualized it about 10 years ago to try and get young people into reading again,” said Richard John Morgan-Grenville, chief executive officer of Strika Entertainment. “Because US-based comics were “culturally, a long way away from where we were,” the challenge was to pick out a subject that young people would be excited to read about, so we thought of football, a very famous sport in South Africa and a sport that has gained a lot of global attention,” he explained.
To make it more culturally suitable for the global market the company has decided to modify the comic book issues’ language and some of the locations to suit those of its readers.
“Here, the Supa Strikas has been localized by using Filipino phrases,” states Veronica Pangilinan, Caltex brand manager told reporters. “The Caltex stations that appear in the comic books were also changed to show how our local gas stations look,” she adds.
“We are overjoyed to be launching in the Philippines,” said Morgan-Grenville, saying they have observed a good demand for the comic book from Filipino fans of the Supa Strikas TV show.
“The Philippines is the second country in SEA [Southeast Asia] and 12th country globally to launch Supa Strikas under Chevron’s endorsement. The animated show is broadcast in over 30 countries globally and has been Disney’s second-most popular youth show in markets,” states Sean Flanagan, Strika Entertainment’s Client Service director. Flanagan also revealed that they are also planning of developing a game for the series initially for the iPhone and iPad.
Supa Strikas, is the serialized story of the world’s greatest football team, following the players’ adventures both on and off the pitch as they travel to football-loving destinations around the world.
The series tells the inspirational and aspirational rags-to-riches tale of the talented young striker, Shakes, and his steady rise to the star striker position for his team. It’s about more than soccer—it’s about the drama of life surrounding soccer.
The series harnesses the global passion for football and universal appeal of comics to engage the local youth market. Already a huge hit on Disney, Supa Strikas will be chronicled in a monthly 16-page comic, every last Saturday of each month.
Catering to young technophiles, the sophisticated fictional team also boasts a dedicated website www.supastrikas.com.ph, featuring online comics, animation and “create your own comic” applications. Fans can also interact with favorite team players via the popular social network tools such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.