Bob Campbell got the shout-out of a lifetime on Sunday night.
The charismatic founder, chairman and CEO of BBC International was featured in the most recent episode of the long-running Fox animated series “The Simpsons.” In a flashback scene depicting the Simpson family many years in the past, a much younger, full-haired Homer Simpson expresses admiration and awe of his then toddler-aged daughter, Lisa, who is already talking up a storm and using big vocabulary words.
“She’s a genius,” Homer says, “just like the guy who invented shoes with lights in them.” A thought bubble then appears in the corner of the screen, showing an Einstein-inspired animated character, dressed in a suit and colorful, light-up sneakers, dancing and doing the moonwalk.
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Indeed, it was Campbell who first dreamed up the idea to put lights in shoes. In 1992, he revolutionized the industry with the introduction of the LA Lights collection under the LA Gear brand, selling millions of pairs. Today, lighted shoes remain a staple in the kids’ market, featured in many brands’ collections.
Campbell told Footwear News it was a thrill to have a little cameo on “The Simpsons.”
“It was an honor to be featured in the episode. I will be up and dancing in my lighted shoes again really soon,” he said, referring to his recovery from his recent leg amputation following several unsuccessful surgeries.
“And next season, I hope to see Homer Simpson in Heelys [one of BBC’s many licensed brands],” he quipped.
It’s been a year of memorable tributes for Campbell. In May, the executive was bestowed with an honorary doctorate degree by Florida Atlantic University, recognizing his significant business achievements and philanthropic contributions to the Boca Raton community, where BBC has its main office headquarters. Last week, Campbell and his son, Seth Campbell, BBC’s SVP of business development, were lauded for their tireless efforts as co-chairs of the annual Two Ten Footwear Foundation gala, which this year raised a record $3.6 million in a single evening.