SM unites 12 brands into SM Lifestyle Entertainment

SM, the country’s largest mall operator, has consolidated its food, education, sports and recreational brands under its cinema arm West Avenue Theaters Corporation (WATC) to create a new business unit called SM Lifestyle Entertainment Incorporated (SMLEI).

SMLEI will oversee a total of 12 major brands under SM Prime Holdings and will be led by Edgar Tejerero as president together with seven executives handling specific business groups.

The rebrand was in response to WATC’s rapid growth in the last five years which saw the entrance of new businesses outside its theater roots. From SM Cinema in 1986, WATC has been entrusted to oversee SM’s booming ventures in ticket sales, food, sports and leisure and MICE.

With a slew of businesses now under its watch, Tejerero shared with Marketing that it was getting harder to explain to the public what WATC stood for and its partnership with SM.

“As early as 2009, we already had our food service, sales, SM Tickets and then SM MOA Arena and E-Plus and it has become more difficult for us to make people understand.”

“People ask us why we are a company managing theaters but also manage an arena. The best move is to make people understand from the name itself what the company really stands for,” he adds.

A trade exhibit held 18 March formally showcased the SMLEI brands that include SM Cinemas, IMAX Theatre, Director’s Club Cinema, WM Cinemas, Snack Time, SM Tickets, Mall of Asia Arena, e-PLUS Tap to Pay, e-PLUS Digital, SM Bowling, SM Skating Rink and SM Science Center.

SM’s answer to Amazon?

SMLEI outlined major upcoming plans to ramp up its services. Nicole Deato, AVP Entertainment and Leisure Center, said that it is currently renovating 90% of the SM Science Center, a science museum primarily for kids, to add three more exhibits to its current lineup of 11.

Formerly known as The Nido Fortified Science Discovery Center, the new name for the museum may indicate that its co-branding deal with Nestlé and its powdered drink brand was discontinued, though SM execs did not elaborate on the detail during the press conference.

Most interesting for digital marketers and e-commerce businesses, Asheesh Mandhyan, senior manager of E-plus digital, said that SM is planning to launch an online market similar to soon. Details are scant but the project will be developed by E-plus digital, which started as SM’s in-house digital marketing team.

Below is a list of the respective heads of SMLEI’s business divisions:

Cristina Tolentino – AVP Sales and Sponsorship

Nicole Deato, AVP Entertainment and Leisure Center (SM Bowling, SM Skating Rink and SM Science Center)

Arnel Gonzales , AVP of Mall of Asia Arena (MOA)

Henry Lapis, AVP SM Tickets.

Ailene Llado – AVP Food service and merchandise (Snack Time)

Christiana Caparas – Senior AVP Cinema and Exhibition (SM Cinemas, IMAX Theatre, Director’s Club Cinema, WM Cinemas)

Sahara Jean Garnica – AVP e-Plus Tap to Pay

Asheesh Mandhyan – Senior Manager e-Plus Digital

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