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Express launches mobile promotion with GQ

BY Dan Berthiaume

Columbus, Ohio – Express Inc. will be using Rich Media Messaging (RMM) technology from Iris Mobile to drive the fashion retailer’s seasonal “Back-to-Business” sweepstakes campaign with GQ Magazine. A combination of both a participant-based sweepstakes and a voting-based contest, this campaign will award one emerging startup entrepreneur with a grant from Express based on public votes.

In-store signage and a spread in the September issue of GQ will showcase the four startup finalists and prompt participants to text to vote for their favorite entrepreneur. Express and GQ will also leverage their respective websites and social media platforms to promote the sweepstakes. Each of the four Back-to-Business finalists have a unique code that participants can text to enter their vote and automatically opt in to the sweepstakes and all future Express messaging campaigns. Participants will then receive an RMM with a shareable video message from their chosen contestant that can then be shared via Facebook and Twitter.

Iris Mobile, a Chicago-based mobile marketing platform, enables brands to send interactive messages containing pictures, videos, coupons, promotions, extended text and web links, and to track campaign analytics for consumer behavior.

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PetSmart expands its Pop-Up Park (P.U.P.) program

BY CSA STAFF

PetSmart has partnered with the City of Sacramento to bring a portable, popup dog park to Sacramento. The dog park, which provides more than 9,000 sq. ft. of space for pet owners and their pets, is now open.

There are currently two other PetSmart P.U.P.s in the country: one in Phoenix, Arizona, and a second in downtown Detroit (Detroit’s first urban dog park). In addition, PetSmart plans to bring a P.U.P. to one more community by the end of 2014.

This newest park, officially called the PetSmart P.U.P. Small Dog Park, is located at 1900 University Ave. in Sacramento, California.

"At PetSmart, we believe in enriching people’s lives through the power of pets, and this is centered on giving back to the communities where we all live and work,” said David Lenhardt, president and CEO of PetSmart. “The PetSmart P.U.P. will provide the pet parents of Sacramento with a place to let their pets run and play while improving the community.”

PetSmart’s P.U.P. is a shipping container that contains everything that is needed for a temporary dog park, including 340 feet of fencing, three Oops clean-up Stations, three moveable benches and lighting on and inside the container. The shipping container serves as the park’s point of entry and exit. PetSmart provided all of the equipment required to set-up the park, and City of Sacramento will maintain it.

“PetSmart’s innovative P.U.P. gives Sacramento pet parents a place to play with their dogs and build a stronger community,” said Kevin Johnson, Mayor of the City of Sacramento. "The City of Sacramento is a great place to live and the good work PetSmart has done with the City is another example of how we can truly meet our residents’ needs. We are excited for this park and look forward to our residents using it for years to come.”

PetSmart’s P.U.P. is one of several national programs PetSmart runs under its community relations program, PetSmart Gives Back.

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Amazon to acquire live video platform Twitch

BY CSA STAFF

Amazon has reached an agreement to acquire Twitch Interactive, a leading live video platform for gamers. In July, more than 55 million unique visitors viewed more than 15 billion minutes of content on Twitch produced by more than 1 million broadcasters, including individual gamers, pro players, publishers, developers, media outlets, conventions and stadium-filling e-sports organizations.

“Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon and Twitch has built a platform that brings together tens of millions of people who watch billions of minutes of games each month — from The International, to breaking the world record for Mario, to gaming conferences like E3. And, amazingly, Twitch is only three years old,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “Like Twitch, we obsess over customers and like to think differently, and we look forward to learning from them and helping them move even faster to build new services for the gaming community.”

“Amazon and Twitch optimize for our customers first and are both believers in the future of gaming,” said Twitch CEO Emmett Shear. “Being part of Amazon will let us do even more for our community. We will be able to create tools and services faster than we could have independently. This change will mean great things for our community, and will let us bring Twitch to even more people around the world.”

Twitch launched in June 2011 to focus exclusively on live video for gamers. Under the terms of the agreement, which has been approved by Twitch’s shareholders, Amazon will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Twitch for approximately $970 million in cash, as adjusted for the assumption of options and other items. Subject to customary closing conditions, the acquisition is expected to close in the second half of 2014.

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