Has the Angry Birds franchise jumped the shark and hit those dastardly pigs yet? The ornery feathered video game stars have seen their mugs plastered across just about every retail good we can think of. We've seen everything from mundane merchandise like t-shirts, plush dolls and keychains to inflatable funhouse castles, streaming media players and gummy candies.

Thus, perhaps we shouldn't be surprised that Rovio Entertainment's birds have slingshotted into the world of Formula One sponsorship, slathered on the brain bucket of Caterham racer Heikki Kovalainen. The Finn says he's a big fan of the game – and not just because Rovio is from Finland.

Word has it that Angry Birds will get a racing-themed update sometime this summer (as well as even more branded merchandise), so fans of the flying fowl should keep their eyes peeled.

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Angry Birds flies into Formula 1 with Heikki Kovalainen Kovalainen and Rovio to collaborate on an innovative and novel merchandise and webgame partnership.

March 15, 2012 -- Espoo, Finland -- Rovio Entertainment announced today their merchandising and webgame partnership with Finnish Formula 1 star Heikki Kovalainen. Kovalainen will also be sporting a brand new co-branded Angry Birds helmet, which will debut at this weekend's inaugural Formula 1 race in Melbourne, Australia.

"This is a great partnership on many levels," said Heikki Kovalainen. "It's the first time that I've partnered with a gaming company, and it fits with my larger focus on partnering with unique brands. As a Finn, I'm also happy to be backing a Finnish company on a global platform. Most importantly, I'm a big Angry Birds fan!"

"We're so excited to be working with Heikki on this, the first partnership of its kind in F1," said Harri Koponen, EVP Consumer Products at Rovio Entertainment. "The helmet looks amazing, and we think people are really going to enjoy the webgame and merchandise."

Martin Anayi of IMG Worldwide worked closely with Mikael Hästbacka of Numea Consulting to bring Heikki and Rovio Entertainment together, based on Heikki's enthusiasm for supporting Finnish companies looking for an international platform. With Angry Birds being a true online phenomenon, having recently flown through 17mn 'likes' on Facebook alone, a collaboration with Heikki and the Finnish company seemed like a natural fit.

The co-branded merchandise line will be released later this spring with the webgame, which will feature fun Angry Birds game levels with a racing theme in addition to other bespoke content, launching later in the summer.

For more information, check www.rovio.com or contact media@rovio.com andwww.heikkikovalainen.com.

About Rovio Entertainment
Rovio is an industry-changing entertainment media company based in Finland, and the creator of the globally successful Angry Birds franchise. Angry Birds, a casual puzzle game, became an international phenomenon within a year of release, and is now the number one paid app of all time. Following this success in mobile gaming, Angry Birds has expanded rapidly in entertainment, publishing, and licensing to become a beloved international brand. For more information, seewww.rovio.com.