Nerdist And Lucasfilm's Course of the Force Charity Run Attracts Exciting Array Of Partnerships

Qualcomm, Ford, Cinemark, Real D, State Farm, Otter Pops, Virgin America, Rubie's Costumes and Hasbro Among Brands Sponsoring Lightsaber Relay Run

Jun 03, 2013, 09:00 ET from Octagon

SAN FRANCISCO, June 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Course of the Force (COTF) – the Olympic-style lightsaber relay run is returning for a 2nd epic journey, beginning at the famed Skywalker Ranch, ending at San Diego's Comic-Con and benefitting Make-A-Wish Foundation, from July 9th-16th. The run spans much of the California coastline with city-stops along the way, featuring post-run "Conival" celebrations in San Francisco, Santa Monica, Huntington Beach and Oceanside, where fans can celebrate their love of the Saga with live entertainment, expo booths, giveaways and much more. The fete has attracted a range of notable partnerships, engaging fans in a multitude of ways whether on-site or from afar.  

"We're thrilled to welcome these incredible partnerships to this year's Course of the Force," said Peter Levin, CEO Nerdist Industries. "It's a testament to the amazing fans that we've been able to attract such quality and diversity of sponsors who are all eager to engage with and enhance the Course of the Force experience. With the help of these partners, we're putting together a one-of-a-kind event for Star Wars and pop culture fans everywhere, raising money for a wonderful cause and making sure our runners and participants create lasting memories." 

As a part of the collaboration between Qualcomm Incorporated and Nerdist, the official Course of the Force mobile app, powered by technologies of Qualcomm and its subsidiaries, will provide a digital experience hub for participants and fans of the race. The app, developed by Signature Creative™ and published by Nerdist Industries, will harness the power of the smartphone, enabling fans to bridge the digital and physical worlds to create a digital sixth sense experience with timely, personalized information and experiences. In addition to viewing and sharing all content produced around Course of the Force, the app will track the relay's progress in real time and send special messages and offers at select Conival locations. Vision functionality of the app will unlock exclusive content. Qualcomm will provide attendees with hands-on activities and demonstrations of the latest technologies at all five Conival stops. A world leader in 3G, 4G and next-generation wireless technologies, Qualcomm ideas and inventions have driven the evolution of digital communications, linking people everywhere more closely to information, entertainment and each other.

Ford is the official vehicle partner of COTF, showing off a line of vehicles that personify recognizable Star Wars characters, as they provide official transportation for the motorcade and set up the Conivals at each stop. Conival attendees will also be able to experience Ford products and their in-car technologies firsthand, including SYNC and MyFord Touch. In addition, Ford will be the subject of an episode of "Nerdy Jobs," a new Nerdist Industries show hosted by Matt Bennett, which celebrates nerdy occupations and the people who make it look easy to keep us connected, entertained and informed.  

Cinemark Theatres will host three RealD 3D Pacific Rim movie screenings in their Cinemark and Century-branded multi-plexes located in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Huntington Beach. RealD will be the 3D technology provider for all these screenings. In addition, RealD's Boulder, Colorado research and development facility will be featured in an episode of "Nerdy Jobs," a new Nerdist Industries show to celebrate nerdy occupations and the people who make it look easy to keep us connected, entertained and informed. The episode will be released prior to COTF launch to build anticipation for Course of the Force and RealD as one of its sponsors. Both Cinemark and RealD will also play a role in the 6-piece short film narrative.

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company will be on site at all five Conivals with Photo Booths to offer attendees a fun experience and opportunity to capture a moment of the event as a souvenir. They'll also promote their contest to send one lucky fan and a guest to the next big celebration of pop culture and destination for this fan base, New York Comic-Con in October 2013.

Otter Pops, the fun, iconic freezer pop brand from The Jel Sert Company, will be on location throughout the Course to create an original otterly awesome experience for COTF participants. Otter Pops will be at each relay stop, offering item giveaways and keeping both event-goers and runners cool with free freezer pops.  Limited-edition lightsaber Otter Pops will be given to participants at select times during the event. In addition, Otter Pops will provide an exciting opportunity for fans to win a relay slot through an exclusive Twitter contest launching late May.

Virgin America is the official airline for COTF. On July 11th, Virgin America will also transport the official COTF lightsaber in its own plush First Class seat under the airline's signature moodlighting with Boba Fett and The Nerdist himself, Chris Hardwick, on a commercial flight from San Francisco to LA, over the terrain that cannot be physically run, to begin the 4th day of its journey in the Pacific Palisades. Also, one lucky contest winner will win a trip for two to San Francisco to participate in the Bay Area leg of the relay. Furthermore, as the entertainment fan's airline of choice, Virgin America will be distributing content produced around COTF on its state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system, Red™.

Rubie's Costume Company is the official costume provider for the entire COTF staff each day of the event and will present a special segment of the COTF daily wrap-up show, which will highlight the best costumes of the relay. Course of the Force is an excellent opportunity for Star Wars fans to show off their Cosplay.  

"We are delighted to partner with Nerdist and Lucasfilm on Course of the Force," said Howard Beige, Rubie's Executive Vice President. "Star Wars has been one of our most beloved and sought after licenses for decades so it's an honor to share these costumes with the fans while benefiting such a worthy cause like Make-A-Wish."

For the second year, a Hasbro lightsaber will be the official lightsaber of the Course of the Force. Over 500 limited-edition, custom Course of the Force branded units of the soon to be released STAR WARS ANAKINTM TO DARTH VADERTM COLOR CHANGE LIGHTSABERTM will be created, including the official lightsaber that will be handed off between the runners along the route.

"Hasbro is thrilled to once again provide the official Course of the Force Lightsaber as the relay enters its second year," said Derryl DePriest, Vice President of STAR WARS marketing, Hasbro, Inc. "The Course of the Force is a tremendous celebration of the Star Wars fandom and we're excited to have Hasbro's new STAR WARS ANAKINTM TO DARTH VADERTM COLOR CHANGE LIGHTSABERTM leading the way."

In addition to helping grant wishes for Make-A-Wish children, participants of Course of the Force will run quarter-mile segments down the California coast, passing off the official Course of the Force lightsaber. Registration is now open at Each relay spot is $150, which includes a customized Hasbro lightsaber, exclusive Course of the Force swag bag and the experience of a lifetime.  Runners are encouraged to be creative and wear their best Star Wars gear.  

All Course of the Force video content will be distributed via at, and hosted on the Nerdist YouTube channel at More details about the official COTF mobile application, which launches June 10th, will be available early June.

For more information on Course of the Force, please visit

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Nerdist Industries is a multi-platform creator of genre and popular culture content. Its online presence includes a website at, a premium YouTube channel (, Nerdist News daily e-newsletters, 1.8 million Twitter followers, and a Podcast Network including the flagship Nerdist Podcast, also produced as a TV show on BBC America.  Nerdist also hosts live events around the country such as The Nerdist Podcast Live! and Course of the Force, an annual lightsaber relay in partnership with Lucasfilm LTD and Octagon which leads up to San Diego Comic-Con International.  Nerdist Industries was founded in 2008 by comedian, author, podcaster and AMC's The Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick.  Hardwick serves as Founder & Chief Creative Officer and digital media entrepreneur Peter Levin serves as Chief Executive Officer.  In July 2012, Legendary Entertainment, the company behind such genre films as Inception, Watchmen, 300, Man Of Steel and The Dark Knight Trilogy, acquired Nerdist Industries.  Hardwick and Levin serve as Co-Presidents of Digital for Legendary, in dual roles with their Nerdist positions. Nerdist Industries is headquartered at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood, CA.

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Lucasfilm Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is a global leader in film, television and digital entertainment production.  In addition to its motion-picture and television production operations, Lucasfilm's global activities include Industrial Light & Magic and Skywalker Sound, serving the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual effects and audio post-production; LucasArts, a leading developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software worldwide; Lucasfilm Animation, which produces cutting-edge digital entertainment; and Lucas Licensing which manages the global merchandising activities for Lucasfilm's entertainment properties including the legendary STAR WARS and INDIANA JONES franchises.  Lucasfilm Ltd. is headquartered in northern California.

SOURCE Octagon