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by kenn on 1/09/2005 04:19:00 PM

Swagger Wireless to Provide Wireless Promotions for Upcoming Alicia Keys U.S.


Swagger Wireless, a wireless marketing, promotions, and production company focused on the trendsetting urban entertainment industry, today announced that the company will provide a series of wireless promotions for the upcoming Alicia Keys tour of the United States, set to kick off in February. Swagger will provide a series of innovative mobile applications for Alicia Keys fans and concertgoers, and will announce the package prior to the launch of the tour. In addition to in-venue mobile promotions for concertgoers, Swagger will create and manage a mobile fan club for Alicia Keys that will include ringtones, beats, and exclusive content.

The relationship with Alicia Keys extends the urban mobile marketing reach of Swagger, based in New York City, which set a record for SMS messages on a concert tour on the recently-concluded 'Jay-Z and Friends' tour with acclaimed rapper Jay-Z, which garnered more than 100,000 SMS messages sent during the tour's 40 shows. The promotion, called 'Holla at Ya Boyz,' was the first travelling text-to-big screen application, in which participants could send text messages that would appear on large video screens installed in front of the stage for 30 minutes prior to every show on the 'Jay-Z and Friends' tour. The community-based in-venue application complemented the Jay-Z fan base's sophisticated interests in wireless technology with a premium application that enabled messages to be sent across all major U.S. carriers, at the cost of only 99 cents per message. ThumbPlay, a mobile content technology developer, built the billing application for the promotion and integrated the system for Swagger.

"Based on our previous experience with the Jay-Z tour, we have tremendous confidence in the overwhelming interest that urban mobile users have for innovative music applications," said Briant Briggs, the CEO and founder of Swagger. "We expect that the Alicia Keys fan base will help us introduce several new applications, and further promote the fact that urban music and fashion trends dominate the mobile market."

Hip-hop, according to the second edition of "The Hip-Hop Lifestyle" from Interep Research, commanded 25% of U.S. record sales in 2003.

The 'Holla' application, over the course of the 'Jay-Z and Friends' tour, aggregated 100,000 messages, with an average of 2,500 messages per show. Participants used all major carriers to send their messages. While 'Holla at Ya Boyz' was initially proposed as a pilot to determine interest levels for short-form mobile text applications, the promotion very quickly exceeded all expectations.

"The mobile urban user wants a personalized content experience that cannot be accessed anywhere else; having an artist with the stature of Alicia Keys provides an added incentive for users to get on board with the promotions that we'll offer for the upcoming tour," said Loreal Coppedge, co-founder of Swagger. "This is another stepping stone in the growing build-out of mobile loyalty programs for the urban market, both in terms of how the musical artist sells the concept and how the program reaches beyond traditional hip-hop audiences, both as a result of word-of-mouth buzz around this campaign and given Alicia's extensive cross-over appeal."

Swagger Wireless, headed by music, film, and television industry production and marketing experts, is headquartered in New York City, and serves the needs of the growing 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 trendsetting mobile content users. Swagger is backed by i-Hatch Ventures.

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.

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