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by kenn on 11/18/2004 06:36:00 PM

Swagger Wireless Launches with Jay-Z 'Holla at Ya Boyz' Mobile Promotion; First Travelling Text-to-Big Screen Application


Swagger Wireless, a wireless marketing, promotions, and production company focused on the urban entertainment industry, today announced the launch of its business with the delivery of the innovative 'Holla at Ya Boyz' promotion, which appears on the current 'Jay-Z and Friends' tour with acclaimed rapper Jay-Z.

Swagger Wireless, headed by music, film, and television industry production and marketing experts, will be headquartered in New York City, and will serve the needs of the growing urban mobile media industry, enabling brands associated with hip-hop, rap, Latino, dance, reggae, pop, rock and other music segments to deliver exciting cross-promotions, contests, and advertising campaigns through Swagger's growing community of urban mobile content users. Swagger is backed by i-Hatch Ventures.

Swagger will manage relationships with music, film, and television artists and producers, as well as music publishers, to ensure seamless concept creation, production, and content delivery from the firm's specialized boutique approach to mobile marketing. The firm will work with a wide variety of wireless technology firms, including application developers and systems integrators, as well as mobile carriers to deliver maximum entertainment value for the urban wireless subscriber.

Swagger's 'Holla at Ya Boyz' campaign, currently on the national 'Jay-Z and Friends' tour, Wireless, features an on-screen chat application, in which text messages are displayed on large video screens installed in the concert venues. Swagger created what is the first travelling text-to-big screen application, which enables marketers to develop truly interactive promotional programs with consumers. ThumbPlay, a mobile content technology developer, built the billing application for the promotion and integrated the system for Swagger.

The application covers all major U.S. carriers, at a cost of 99 cents per message sent up to the big screen. The promotion runs for 30 minutes before each of the 40 concerts on the current U.S. Jay-Z tour, providing a revenue source for the artist as well as a fun, interactive promotional program for audience members.

"The first travelling text to big screen application illustrates that, as long as you have the audience in the palms of your hands, you can deliver something directly to the palms of their hands, too," said Briant Biggs, the CEO and founder of Swagger Wireless. "We believe that we've reached an inflection point in the urban mobile marketing arena in the U.S., and Jay-Z was the ideal partner with which to deliver this promotion."

Swagger will deliver a wide range of promotions for the urban market, ranging from customized ringtones, screens, and games, all delivered through a growing community of users that the company has developed. The company plans to launch several large-scale wireless promotions with major national brands in 2005, and will partner with leading music producers and artists in co-promotions as well as stand-alone campaigns to further enhance the value of urban mobile marketing for advertisers, wireless carriers, and artist management firms.

"We are involved in a transcendent demographic; the urban market is leading the U.S. mobile marketing charge, and we are seeing a torrent of creativity unleashed into the airwaves. This is the next wave of one-to-one marketing," said Loreal Coppedge, co-founder of Swagger Wireless. "There is an implicit understanding that a mobile campaign is a necessity for anything touching the urban media market, and the level of production capabilities that we can access is unlimited, for our clients and their partners."

Both Biggs and Coppedge are music-industry veterans. Biggs maintains a music management firm that is affiliated with Roc-a-Fella Records. Coppedge manages an impressive roster of recording engineers and producers, mostly in the hip-hop industry. The two founded Swagger Wireless in September, 2004.

"There is a personal, even physical, connection between the artist and the wireless user, as we are never separated from our handsets. To create new forms of artistic self-expression, using wireless technology, in a creative marketing platform is the next level of urban entertainment," said Jay-Z. "We believe that 'Holla at Ya Boyz,' with Swagger, demonstrates clearly that urban music fans want to collaborate with artists and marketers in a community-based application that requires participation on a number of levels. We have the technology--and we can make it swing."

To contact Swagger Wireless, call 212-376-3352 or send email to Loreal@swagger.com.

i-Hatch Ventures

i-Hatch Ventures, formed in February, 1999, provides experienced capital to early-stage technology ventures, primarily in the mobile and broadband sectors. The firm, based in New York City, was founded by Chip Austin and Brad Farkas. For more information, visit www.i-hatch.com.

Swagger Wireless

Swagger Wireless, launched in September, 2004, provides full-service marketing, promotions, and production services for urban mobile content progams, including contests and live applications, through its mobile community. The company helps create and deliver successful mobile applications - including ringtones, wallpapers, screensavers, MP3 files, and videogames - through uniquely targeted, brand-powered programs that serve every aspect of the growing urban marketing industry. For more information, visit www.swagger.com.

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