Air Hogs Partners with World Champion Drone Pilot Luke Bannister

Spin Master's iconic remote-control brand continues pushing the limits of flight with new sponsorship and continued innovation in FPV race drones for the masses

TORONTO, July 13, 2017 /CNW/ - Spin Master Corp. (TSX: TOY), a leading global children's entertainment company, announces the addition of Luke Bannister to the Air Hogs® roster of world class drone pilots. The partnership will see Bannister, known as BanniUK, support the RC brand's growing drone race portfolio through event appearances, advertising and digital content.

A self-taught drone pilot, Bannister joined the XBlades Racing team in 2016 and took the drone race world by storm, beating 150 international challengers to win the inaugural World Drone Prix at only 15 years old. In the months following, the British teen continued to dominate the race circuit, taking home European and UK National championship titles and placing first at the DR1 Invitational in Los Angeles. Amidst his successes, Bannister continues his A level studies while racing internationally and aims to inspire young pilots to try their hand at the rapidly growing international sport.

"I'm excited to be teaming up with Air Hogs to help bring this exhilarating sport to kids around the world," said Bannister. "Drone racing has exploded in popularity since coming on to the scene just a few years ago and it offers kids an incredible freedom to explore. In partnering with Air Hogs, I hope to give more young pilots the chance to access the sport and hopefully, meet me on the race track in the near future." 

Bannister joins fellow FPV drone pilot Johnny Schaer on the Air Hogs race roster. Atlanta-based Schaer, who flies under the moniker Johnny FPV, kicked off his partnership with the brand in 2016, starring in commercials for the brand's first race product. In 2017, the two pilots will team up to showcase Air Hogs' latest innovation – the Air Hogs DR1 FPV Race Drone and Air Hogs DR1 Micro Race Drone, created in partnership with premier drone race league DR1 Racing. Set to hit shelves in major retailers this Fall, the drone revolutionizes the racing industry by creating an FPV experience that's accessible to fans of all ages.

"Luke and Johnny represent the essence of Air Hogs. They are visionaries in a growing global sport -- pushing the boundaries of flight and constantly striving for greatness," said Ben Gadbois, President and COO, Spin Master Ltd. "Air Hogs is designed to deliver adrenaline fueled excitement, and through this partnership we aim to inspire kids to race like the pros."

To kick off his partnership with Air Hogs, Bannister joined VIP, media and retailers, along with his NEXXBlades teammates at the UK launch of the Air Hogs DR1 race drones in Westfield London on July 12.

About Spin Master
Spin Master (TSX:TOY; www.spinmaster.com) is a leading global children's entertainment company that creates, designs, manufactures, licenses and markets a diversified portfolio of innovative toys, games, products and entertainment properties. Spin Master is best known for award-winning brands including Zoomer®, Bakugan®, Meccano®, and 2017 Toys of the Year, Hatchimals®, Air Hogs® and PAW Patrol®. Since 2005, Spin Master has received 82 TIA Toy of The Year (TOTY) nominations with 21 wins across a variety of product categories, including 13 TOTY nominations for Innovative Toy of the Year, more than any of its competitors. To date, Spin Master has produced six television series, including 2007 success Bakugan Battle Brawlers and current hit PAW Patrol, which is broadcast in over 160 countries and territories globally. Spin Master employs over 1,500 people globally with offices in Canada, United States, Mexico, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Slovakia, Poland, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Vietnam and Australia.

SOURCE Spin Master

For further information: FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES CONTACT: Tara Tucker, Vice President, Global Marketing Communications, Spin Master Ltd., tarat@spinmaster.com

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