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StoryTap Partners with NRF 2022 to Become Retail’s Big Show’s Video Story Platform

StoryTap Technologies Inc.

For the second year, StoryTap has partnered with the National Retail Federation (NRF) to produce authentic video stories at scale. StoryTap is the patented video platform that enables leading organizations to easily create and share authentic storytelling experiences from speakers, exhibitors, and attendees. NRF will be leveraging StoryTap’s innovative technology to secure pre-show videos from attendees and speakers and will be on-site from January 16th to 18th, 2022, to produce over 250 videos throughout Retail’s Big Show. In 2020, StoryTap partnered with NRF to collect and distribute 252 authentic video reviews and rank on the first page of Google through video SEO resulting in a 3x increase in brand engagement on the NRF’s Exhibitor Testimonials webpage. “StoryTap has been an amazing addition to Retail’s Big Show,” shared Paul Kriebs, Senior Director, Brand Marketing at the National Retail Federation. “It has been so easy to collect videos, sort through them and arm them with SEO tags that we can host on our website. It has been phenomenal to get so much extra feedback and content thanks to StoryTap, and we are excited to see what NRF 2022 will bring.” StoryTap is a video story platform that simplifies video creation, curation, and distribution. The easy-to-use platform offers enterprise brands the opportunity to create brand-directed high-value and high-volume video content at a fraction of the cost of traditional video production. Our white-glove curation meets brand criteria for quality, messaging, SEO optimization, and social distribution. After submitting the videos, attendees can socially share their videos with their audiences with a single click— driving engagement and awareness about NRF 2022. “We’re thrilled to partner with Retail’s Big Show again,” shares Bernadette Butler, co-founder and CEO of StoryTap. “This conference will be our return to in-person events, and I’m certain this year will be more special than ever. I’m excited that StoryTap will capture the tradeshow with video stories from those attending, exhibiting, and speaking at NRF 2022.” As a special offer, attendees at NRF 2022 are eligible to receive an extra 20 free videos with a one-year license with StoryTap. For more information, interview opportunities or to schedule a demo, please contact: Caleigh Alleyne Public Relations Manager caleigh@storytap.com (416) 271-6196 About StoryTap StoryTap is the patented video story platform that enables you to easily create and distribute authentic experiences from real customers and employees at scale. Using our platform, you can create compelling and highly searchable video content for your organization—all without the high production costs. And by doing so, you can increase conversion rates, brand awareness, connect with more customers and prospects, and boost bottom-line results. See how Fortune 500 brands like UCLA, Danone, Enfamil and Veet are using StoryTap to build trust, loyalty and triple engagement at www.storytap.com. About NRF The National Retail Federation, the world’s largest retail trade association, passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail thrive. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $3.9 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 52 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies. Contact Details StoryTap Caleigh Alleyne +1 416-271-6196 caleigh@storytap.com Company Website https://storytap.com/

December 09, 2021 11:55 AM Eastern Standard Time

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How A Camp Network Founded By Paul Newman Continues To Serve Sick Children

YourUpdateTV

A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/n0Seg6W1dME Over three decades ago, Paul Newman, the Hollywood icon and founder of Newman’s Own food company and Newman’s Own Foundation, envisioned a camp where kids living with serious and life-limiting medical conditions could break away from the everyday challenges of their illness to, as he said, “raise a little hell.” Today, Serious Fun Children’s Network, made up of 30 camps and programs around the world, has delivered more than 1.4 million life-changing camp experiences to kids living with more than 50 medical conditions and their families, totally free of charge. On November 30 th, live from New York City SeriousFun CEO Blake Maher and Newman’s Own Foundation President & CEO Miriam Nelson conducted a media tour discussing how Paul Newman’s vision has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of camp alumni who are living fuller lives because of their camp experiences. A key focus of the media tour was a first-of-its-kind study conducted by SeriousFun that examined the influence and lasting impact of residential camp participation With the help of the American Institutes for Research, SeriousFun set out to look at personal, social, and health-related outcomes that are influenced by SeriousFun camps, as well as the elements of the camp and camper's experiences that affect those outcomes Most notably, that SeriousFun camp experience had meaningful impacts that lasted throughout their adolescent and adult lives. Among 2,200 alumni campers aged 17-30, significant findings included: More than 80% reported that the SeriousFun camp experience had positive and lasting impacts on a variety of aspects of their life, including the willingness to try new things, appreciation for diversity, and self-identity and confidence. And, when it comes to health-related outcomes, more than 65% reported that camp influenced their health-related quality of life, medical self-advocacy and medical-related self care. For more information, visit SeriousFun.org About YourUpdateTV: YourUpdateTV is a social media video portal for organizations to share their content. It includes separate channels for Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Media and Entertainment, and Finance, Social Responsibility, Sports and Technology. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727 yourupdatetv@gmail.com

December 08, 2021 05:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Holiday Season Survival Guide

YourUpdateTV

With the holiday season well underway, it’s time to talk holiday gifting, decorating, entertaining, personalization, home styling, and more. And with in-person gatherings resuming, time spent with family and friends this holiday season is more precious than ever before. Recently, Lifestyle Expert and Star of Netflix’s Queer Eye, Bobby Berk, teamed with Shutterfly on a nationwide SMT to discuss his tips on gifting, decorating, and more. A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/hjidEp0O0Zs More than two thirds of consumers are planning in-person gatherings, more holiday parties, and bigger celebrations this year and Shutterfly makes it easy to unleash your creativity after a year of being apart. According to Bobby, it’s all about giving something a bit more personal rather than something generic or store bought. It’s more meaningful and is such a great way to connect with friends and family after being apart. Shutterfly has so many good options that for people to customize. For example, if your friends love a good game night, create personalized playing cards, pencils and notebooks to really elevate game play. Not only is a personalized gift more meaningful to the recipient, it’s also easy to make whether you’re adding a photo, name, monogram, or unique saying. From custom blankets and candles to coffee mugs and wall art, Shutterfly has something for everyone. Some of Bobby’s favorite ways to add the perfect personal touches to holiday entertaining and decorating include color. Choose a color pallet of 2-3 colors and use them throughout your home. Lighting is also so important. Keep the lighting simple by using white lights and candles that are great for any space and candles can add a nice personal touch as well. Additionally, photos are a great way to decorate for the holidays. Whether that’s adding temporary photo tiles with your favorite holiday memories or decorating your tree with customized ornaments. Or finding the best photos of your party guests and using them as name tags or place cards. For more information, visit Shutterfly.com About Bobby Berk: Berk is best known as the design guru on Netflix’s Queer Eye, but his rise to fame didn’t happen overnight. After years in the creative and design field, he took the leap to start his own brand. Epitomizing hip, urban luxury, Berk’s designs reflect a stylish and youthful spirit that perfectly fits any lifestyle. About YourUpdateTV: YourUpdateTV is a social media video portal for organizations to share their content. It includes separate channels for Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Media and Entertainment, Money and Finance, Social Responsibility, Sports and Technology. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727 yourupdatetv@gmail.com

December 08, 2021 12:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

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H Code Selects Keanna Sheu as Vice President of Client Services to Strengthen Partnerships and Success

H Code

H Code, the leading multicultural digital media company, announced today the appointment of Keanna Sheu as Vice President of Client Services. Sheu’s appointment coincides with a period of strategic growth for H Code where she will help drive multicultural programs for clients, continue to drive their growing product suite, boost client retention and optimize efficiency in developing targeted marketing and advertising campaigns. Sheu brings 16 years of marketing and advertising leadership experience to H Code with a track record of driving successful digital advertising and marketing campaigns and bolstering pre-sales and account management teams. In her new role, Sheu will collaborate with team members and senior leadership across H Code’s suite of media solutions to streamline internal efficiencies and match client goals with detailed action plans. In doing so, Sheu will be responsible for servicing and expanding client portfolios as well as strengthening H Code’s business development goals. Additionally, Sheu will focus on expanding H Code’s offerings in U.S. and Mexico markets while working alongside sales teams to increase revenue and year-over-year growth. “Keanna has an impressive background of exceeding client expectations while managing team members to drive productivity and scale and we’re elated to bring her skills and insights to H Code as we look to streamline and enhance our offerings and operations,” said Jennifer White, Chief Operating Officer of H Code. In her most recent role, Sheu served as the Senior Director of Account Management at Leaf Group where she oversaw the pre and post-sale execution of direct-sold brand partnerships and managed a growing team that executed on campaigns with increased year-over-year revenue. Prior to that, Sheu operated as Senior Manager of the Strategy and Partnerships team at Participant Media where she worked with brands to produce custom content and storytelling opportunities including a project that was nominated in 2018 for the Best Single Spot Emmy. “Having expertise that matches genuine desires to advance multicultural representation in media is paramount in today’s digital landscape and I’m excited to lead H Code in building stronger client relationships and to work alongside team members who are dedicated to enhancing media engagement of diverse demographics,” said Sheu. Sheu joins H Code during a period of rapid growth for the company as the demand for multicultural media strategies continues to accelerate. H Code will use this momentum to utilize its research and insights capabilities to help brands understand the nuances behind multicultural attitudes to implement actionable marketing and advertising tactics that deliver ROI for clients. The company plans to further develop partnerships that target under-represented demographics alongside its newly launched entities; A Code, focused on developing solutions for the AAPI community, and B Code, created to develop solutions for advertisers and agencies to reach, inform and connect with Black audiences at scale. To learn more about H Code, please visit: https://hcodemedia.com/ About H Code Founded in 2015, H Code has solidified its place as the largest Hispanic digital media company in the United States. Committed to reaching Hispanic audiences at scale, H Code strives to leverage its learnings, brand equity, and expertise to shape the future of media by unlocking diverse audiences through data and authentic creative and content. Today, H Code’s employee base is 84% multicultural, 65% Hispanic/Latinx, and 49% female across its offices in the U.S. and Latin America. Named one of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation by multiple outlets, H Code strategically brings together targetable data, exclusive inventory, authentic creative and custom content, and more to influence powerful Hispanic consumers every day through digital and integrated campaigns. Backed by its proprietary intelligence platform that derives insights from a robust influencer network and the largest Hispanic digital panel, H Code delivers the most impactful, data-driven strategies to effectively reach and influence multicultural audiences online with unmatched authenticity. Contact Details North 6th Agency for H Code Paolo Ramos +1 212-334-9753 hcode@n6a.com Company Website https://hcodemedia.com/

December 08, 2021 09:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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WhatsApp customer engagement tool WATI.io raises $10m

WATI

WATI.io (WhatsApp Team Inbox), a comprehensive WhatsApp customer engagement tool for small businesses, has raised $8.3Mn in Series A led by Sequoia Capital India with participation from Surge, Base Partners and several prominent angels including Gokul Rajaram, a member of the DoorDash executive team and and board member at Coinbase and Pinterest. WATI.io has over 3,000 customers across 54 countries including India, Indonesia and Brazil. Over the last 6 months, WATI’s customer base has seen a 4x growth, revenue has grown 5x and 100 million messages have been processed. They are now a 41 member team across seven countries. With this fundraise, they have raised a total of $10M in the last six months. The funds raised will be used to bolster technology and product development by expanding product integrations. It will also be used to double the team size and improve their presence in Latin America. Messaging is the most pervasive way humans connect today. COVID-19 has shifted our lives online. Customers expect brands to serve them on channels they are most comfortable with. So, when customers are able to reach out to brands on platforms like WhatsApp that they are already familiar with, it builds a higher level of trust for the brand. While many solutions for enterprises to achieve this shift exist, tens of millions of SMBs globally are left underserved. To meet customer expectations, SMBs resort to using WhatsApp on their personal phones. This leads to bottlenecks with relevance of the support and the inability to scale. WATI.io, launched by Ken Yeung and Bianca Ho in late 2020, addresses this gap. Built on WhatsApp’s API, it helps small businesses personalize conversations with customers at scale. WATI.io helps ​​customer support, marketing and sales teams engage with customers using a single WhatsApp number. Since brands are able to get a holistic view of customer conversations across teams, they are also able to provide a better user experience. WATI.io solely focuses on building tailored experiences on WhatsApp enabling them to quickly iterate on new features on the platform as well. “WATI’s mission is to help businesses do more with less. Our one-click integration with the most commonly used tools like Shopify, WooCommerce, etc. enables businesses to provide holistic customer experience at scale. We look to use this funding to attract world class talent to help us build this.” Ken Yeung, CEO Businesses love WATI.io because it helps improve customer satisfaction without additional workforce and in turn helps improve revenue. This is possible with automation through WATI’s low-code workflow builder without being dependent on developers. Through WATI’s API, SMBs can send programmatic personalised notifications from their system. Especially in the case of ecommerce businesses, WATI’s one-click integrations with tools like Shopify, reduces abandoned cart rate and helps increase revenues. Marketers also rely heavily on sending targeted notifications to drive sales. High growth startups are able to derive value with WATI’s suite of tools which empower them to collaborate and move fast. In addition to thousands of SMBs, WATI’s clients include Dukaan, Oppo, VU TV, Gojek, Grab, Aerostreet. “WATI is on a mission to help hundreds of millions of SMBs across the world communicate more effectively with their customers on one of the most ubiquitous messaging platforms - WhatsApp. They’ve achieved terrific growth rates this past year while breaking even, but what is more exciting is the expansive set of product possibilities in front of the company as they capitalise on the market opportunity. Sequoia Capital India is excited to deepen the partnership with Ken and Bianca in the next stage of their journey of building WATI.” Abheek Anand, MD, Sequoia India About WATI Founded in 2020 in Hong Kong, WATI.io helps companies have personalised conversations with customers at scale. Built on WhatsApp’s Business API, it is an easy-to-use customer engagement software that focuses on automation and one-click integrations to help businesses do more with less. WATI.io has been an official partner of WhatsApp since 2019, and was part of Surge 05, Sequoia India’s rapid scale up program for early stage startups. Contact Details WATI Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257 b.mahmood@stockwoodstrategy.com Company Website https://www.wati.io/

December 08, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Expo 2020 Dubai Enters The Metaverse World Connecting Millions Across The Physical & Digital Globally

Magnopus

From today, anyone anywhere can experience the magic of Expo 2020 Dubai with friends and family. The World Expo has teamed up with Magnopus to offer an enriching digital experience for millions of on-site and remote visitors from around the world. Expo Dubai Xplorer sets a new standard for accessibility and inclusivity to large events and expands the World Expo’s vision of ‘​​Connecting Minds and Creating the Future’ into the virtual world of Metaverse. The multi-player experience is available on iOS and Android powered by cloud-hosted services developed by Magnopus. Unique features include: Real-time connectivity between on-site and remote users across the physical and digital divide. One of the largest deployments in the world of persistent Cloud Anchors which allow millions of on-site visitors to experience AR spectacles aligned accurately to real world locations. A social, interactive digital twin of the 4.38km² Expo site—a living world built from the architectural files of the site and enriched with content and experiences. Uniting The Physical & Digital Users can customize their own AI-powered avatar and connect with others in real-time across the physical and digital divide. Standing on the Expo site, a visitor may see a friend from the other side of the world (viewed through the lens of their phone) as an avatar they can share experiences with, and communicate with via group creation and messaging. On-site hardware will also link the physical and digital worlds. Smart screens called “Digital World Viewers” show views of digital content to enhance the physical landscape for visitors. The desktop application is designed to mimic the capabilities of the mobile applications by connecting to the same cloud services for local content and avatar display. Augmented Reality Aligned To Real World Locations By using ARCore Cloud Anchors by Google for hundreds of location-specific activations around the site, visitors will experience entertaining and educational AR content relevant to wherever they are at Expo 2020 Dubai. AR activations including mysterious portals to far-off places, treasure hunts through history, and magical creature encounters are all aligned to real world locations with centimeter accuracy. This is currently one of the largest deployments of ARCore Cloud Anchors in the world. Geospatial authoring interfaces and global content delivery networks for updating and publishing new content in real-time enable designers to release new interactive AR experiences anywhere on the site during the run of Expo 2020 Dubai. Powered by a set of cloud-hosted services, content is automatically streamed down to the user's device when they approach a location or interact with an experience, without impacting the application’s install size. This enables users to experience any number of magical AR moments, all from a relatively small application on their device, and new or updated experiences can be pushed while the visitor is still in the app. Remote visitors can access the same AR content and experiences, over a connected digital twin of the site, via an interface similar to popular mobile games like Fortnite or Roblox. A Live, Social Digital Twin The digital twin of the Expo site covers more than 200 buildings from the world’s leading architects across a huge 4.38km 2 site, including 192 unique country pavilions. Hundreds of artists working around the world spent more than two years creating the living digital replica, enhancing it with dynamic lighting, art installations, animated experiences, and stunning spectacles. Virtual reality was used to collaboratively develop the designs and experiences so they could be tested before the physical site was even built. The visitor experience geolocates content on the site in real-time, so the digital twin has been built to a high degree of accuracy, at 1:1 scale from the architect’s CAD files, and confirmed with “as-builts”. Due to the size and detail of the site, it can’t be stored on visitor’s devices in its entirety and is streamed to visitors based on their location and proximity. The system also accounts for the performance capabilities of the visitor’s device to deliver the highest quality representation possible. Ben Grossmann, CEO of Magnopus, says, “This is the biggest space to date, connected across the physical and digital worlds. These ‘connected spaces’ are the building blocks of the new immersive web, or Metaverse. We’ve been working on these kinds of experiences and technologies for many years, and it was thrilling to take things to the next level to bring this grand vision to life with the Innovation and Future Technologies team at Expo 2020 Dubai." Rehan Asad, Chief Program Officer for Expo 2020 Dubai, says, “The Virtual Expo is an important part of delivering Expo 2020 Dubai’s promise and purpose— ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future ’. In 2013, Expo 2020 Dubai promised the world to host not only the best ever physical Expo but also the very best virtual Expo. That commitment and COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us to find innovative ways to share the Expo experience and content of our once-in-a-lifetime World Expo with a larger global audience who may not be able to travel from around the world. Magnopus and the wider team have unified the most innovative technologies into one integrated experience that truly brings Expo 2020’s creative vision to life in the digital and virtual world.” Daisy Leak, the project’s Executive Producer, says, “The global pandemic has affirmed that events can no longer be purely physical, or with only a perfunctory video streaming presence. By uniting 200 countries in a common experience, and making that experience available to visitors both on-site in Dubai and around the world, in an engaging and spatial context, we hope to serve as an example of what the future offers to unite people and places in a better way.” The multiplayer experience has been in development for nearly three years with world-class partners including Google, Unity Technologies, and Amazon Web Services with key contributions from: REWIND (experience design and platform development) Virtuos (3D asset development) Hexagram (quest narrative design and technology) Pinscreen (avatar technology with AI-driven face synthesis) Dog Studio (web development for Virtual Expo connected to content databases) VIM (BIM conversion technology) Terahard (activation development) Activated Realities (activation development) Source Sound (audio design and development) Expo Dubai Xplorer is available to download now on iOS and Android. About Magnopus Founded in 2013, Magnopus creates experiences and technologies that unite the physical and digital worlds. Magnopus is known for its continuous innovation in the entertainment industry; its Emmy-nominated VR projects; its role as a leader in virtual production through its groundbreaking work on Disney’s The Lion King (2019); and its pioneering work in AR. This year Magnopus acquired REWIND, a UK spatial design and innovation company, to further its mission to merge the physical and digital and lay the foundation for the new immersive web. About Expo 2020 Dubai From 1 October 2021 to 31 March 2022, Expo 2020 Dubai welcomes visitors from every corner of the globe to join the making of a new world, as it brings together the planet in one place to reimagine tomorrow @ www.virtualexpodubai.com With the purpose of ‘ Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, Expo 2020 is the world’s most impactful global incubator for new ideas, catalysing an exchange of new perspectives and inspiring action to deliver real-life solutions to real-world challenges Expo 2020 is the biggest cultural gathering in the world, presenting a visually striking and emotionally inspiring 182 days, as more than 200 participants – including nations, multilateral organisations, businesses, and educational institutions, as well as millions of visitors – create the largest and most diverse World Expo ever Expo 2020’s sub themes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability inspire visitors to preserve and protect our planet, explore new frontiers and build a better future for everyone For six months, Expo 2020 is be a must-visit family destination, with thousands of events, amazing exploratory experiences, and free entry for children up to age 18 Expo is committed to building a more equitable and just world for everyone, while keeping visitors safe by following the latest guidance of the world’s leading medical, science and health experts Expo 2020 is the first World Expo to take place in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, located on a 4.38 sqkm site adjacent to Al Maktoum International Airport in Dubai South Built with a meaningful and measurable long-term legacy in mind, the Expo site will transform into District 2020 – a model global community that will rethink the cities of the future – after Expo 2020 closes its doors Contact Details Clear Andrew Graham +1 646-385-0189 asg@agencyclear.com Rewind Jude Forbes +44 1727 261007 jude@rewind.co Company Website https://www.magnopus.com/

December 07, 2021 02:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

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U.S. Sees Sharpest Rise in Independent Workforce in More Than 50 Years

MBO Partners

MBO Partners released its 11th Annual State of Independence in America report, the country’s longest-running end-to-end study of the American independent workforce. In the year of the Great Resignation, there was a record-breaking 34% surge in people choosing independent work. This segment jumped from 38.2 million in 2020 to a whopping 51.1 million in 2021. “This year may be remembered as the seminal moment when work forever changed,” said Miles Everson, CEO of MBO Partners. “An undercurrent that has been simmering reached a boiling point when people were forced out of the office and into alternative work arrangements. This is the largest shift we have seen in the workforce in decades.” Below are five trends revealed in this year’s data report. Workers cut the cord on fixed locations. Freed from the confines of working in a single onsite location, many took remote work on the road. The number of digital nomads rose from 10.9 million in 2020 to 15.5 million in 2021, a 42% increase. Most of the nomads were traditional workers, but the number of independent digital nomads rose 15%, from 4.6 million in 2020 to 5.3 million in 2021. Collaborators are the new colleagues. Independents refer work and share the load with other independents. Twenty-five percent find assignments through other independents. And in the past 12 months, 25% of full-time independents said they had teamed up with independent workers or microbusinesses in their work, up from 19% in 2020. Collaboration is even higher for independents in the creator economy with over half (55%) reporting that they are teaming up with other content creators on projects. Even independents are haunted by the 1%. The U.S. has long been seen as a two-tier economy, with those at the very top thriving while many at the bottom struggle. We see this effect replicated in the independent workforce with those having in-demand skills and credentials able to charge a premium for their work. Inflation drives moonlighting 2.0. The rising cost of living and the loss of payroll jobs is driving more people to supplement their income with independent work. Part-time and occasional independents are the fastest-growing portion of the independent workforce. For those who became part-time independents in the past year, 73% cited supplementing their income as the reason. Platforms become independent launching pad. As independent work has become more mainstream, we have seen a rise in businesses that facilitate this way of work. Online platforms and marketplaces are powerful facilitators that let independents find work, learn new skills, and explore new markets. The trajectory of these platforms has been one of the most powerful growth stories in this survey. In 2011, only 3% of independents reported using an online talent platform in the previous 12 months. But in 2021, an impressive 40% said they had done so in the past year. And an even higher number – 43% – said they planned to use an online talent platform in the coming 12 months. For more information or to obtain a copy of the 11th annual State of Independence report, please visit https://www.mbopartners.com/state-of-independence/​. About MBO Partners®​ MBO Partners is a deep job platform that connects and enables independent professionals and microbusiness owners to do business safely and effectively with enterprise organizations. Its unmatched experience and industry leadership enable it to operate on the forefront of the independent economy and consistently advance the next way of working. For more information, visit​ ​mbopartners.com​ Contact Details Karen Swim +1 586-461-2103 karen@wordsforhirellc.com Company Website https://mbopartners.com

December 07, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Ripken Baseball Signs Stewbowie Sports & Entertainment as Exclusive Sponsorship Sales Agency

Stewbowie Sports & Entertainment

Ripken Baseball announced today it signed Stewbowie Sports & Entertainment to exclusively represent their premier youth sports brand across all sponsorship sales. Stewbowie will provide strategic partnerships and advertising sales across all Ripken Baseball-owned properties and assets. Ripken Baseball offers the most memorable experiences in youth sports, combining facilities and world-class event management to make every ballplayer feel like a Big Leaguer. Ripken Baseball operates sports complexes in Aberdeen, MD, Myrtle Beach, SC, and Pigeon Forge, TN, as well as nationwide programming through their Ripken Select Tournaments. Over 120,000 youth baseball athletes and more than 400,000 guests visit annually traveling from 50 states and 12 countries. “We’ve experienced incredible growth in the last few years and are looking for partners who want to build with us,” said Mike Kenney, Executive Vice President at Ripken Baseball. “Stewbowie’s approach to revenue generation and proven track record of winning deals will help us take our business to another level and find new ways to generate revenue through naming rights, sponsorships, and B2B partnerships. We look forward to collaborating with brands that align with the values of The Ripken Way and our goals to help grow the game of baseball.” “We are honored to have the opportunity to represent such an iconic name as Ripken Baseball. The Ripken name is synonymous with excellence, and we are thrilled to be working with them to create successful sponsorship programs to accomplish our partners’ goals at scale,” said Karl Mawhinney, Stewbowie, LLC Founder & CEO. For Ripken Baseball sponsorship inquiries, please contact karl@stewbowie.com. Ripken Baseball Ripken Baseball brings teammates, coaches, and families together through its Big-League Experiences, while teaching the values of the game, and how to play it the right way – the Ripken Way. Ripken Baseball continues to innovate the game through on-site tournaments, camps, and spring training hosted at their state-of-the-art baseball and softball facilities – The Ripken Experience™ Aberdeen (Maryland), The Ripken Experience™ Myrtle Beach (South Carolina), and The Ripken Experience™ Pigeon Forge (Tennessee). About Stewbowie LLC Stewbowie, LLC is a Brooklyn NY-based, sponsorships sales representation firm working with best-in-class sports and entertainment properties to accelerate revenue growth through naming rights, sponsorships, and integrated marketing programs. Stewbowie Sports & Entertainment is the property representation division of Stewbowie, LLC. Stewbowie’s current property clients span across multiple industries including sports, music, fashion, and immersive digital technology with the core commonality of desiring smarter brand sponsorship. Stewbowie believes every brand’s perfect partnership exists. Contact Details Eric PR & Marketing, LLC Eric Nemeth nemeth@ericpr.com Company Website https://stewbowie.com/

December 07, 2021 07:59 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Minuteman Press Highlights Year of Helping Independent Print Center Owners Sell Their Businesses

Minuteman Press International Inc

Minuteman Press International, the world’s leading design, marketing, and printing franchise, is proud to announce additional successful conversions of independent print shops to Minuteman Press franchises in 2021. Through the Minuteman Press International Conversion Program, independent printers are able to sell their printing business at no cost to them. Minuteman Press Franchise Conversion Program – 2021 Highlights Through this program, Minuteman Press International helps sellers of qualified printing businesses find qualified buyers within a reasonable time frame. All of the businesses highlighted below were listed for sale in mid-2020 and sold through 2021. Minuteman Press, Red Bank, New Jersey (formerly All American Print & Copy Center) Jason Carris is the new owner of Minuteman Press in Red Bank, NJ, which is part of the Middletown Township. He purchased All American Print & Copy Center, which was in business for 40 years, and took over the business in September 2021. Jason says, “ The biggest advantage of buying this business was having an established clientele. We did our research and made sure the owners were respected by their clients. There was also 40 years of history and track record as well.” He continues, “Minuteman Press and our Regional Vice President Jim Galasso guided us through the purchase of the business step by step. Jim made the process easier to manage and I couldn’t have done this on my own without the help from the team at Minuteman Press International.” Prior to franchising, Jason worked in medical publishing and digital marketing. He also ran a number of small consulting businesses in his career. He says, “A combination of things – including the pandemic and economic forces – made me decide to go fully into business ownership. My wife Renee has an entrepreneurial spirt as well.” Why Minuteman Press? Jason answers, “We did a lot of research and Minuteman Press jumped out to us on a number of levels. They were on a lot of top franchise lists, they appealed to people who hadn’t owned a business, and the business seemed easy to learn. In addition to being a highly respected franchise, Minuteman Press had a reasonable cost of entry and I appreciate their cap on royalties.” He adds, “The support has been wonderful. Because there is a 40-year history of the independent print shop we purchased, we have been transitioning the business. It’s great to have the training and support especially since I had not run a business of this scope before.” What is it like for Jason to be a business owner? He says, “Once you make that leap, it’s a very exciting experience to own your own business. We have a vibrant community here and I see the long-term growth potential. I am looking forward to making Minuteman Press a real pillar and trusted business partner in Red Bank / Middletown Township.” Jason further explains, “I think we have a tremendous opportunity to expand our wide format printing business with banners, posters, and signage remaining in high demand for our clients. I am also looking forward to bolstering our in-house mailing and direct mail services to help other local businesses reach their target audiences.” “I think the two biggest keys to owning a business are to really make sure you feel 100% comfortable with the business model, and to believe in your products and services. Also, it is important to be proactive but also have patience after buying the business. Think about growth potential, and understand there is a learning curve. That’s normal for everyone.” -Jason Carris, owner, Minuteman Press franchise, Red Bank, NJ (formerly All American Print & Copy Center) For more information on Minuteman Press in Red Bank, visit https://minuteman.com/us/locations/nj/red-bank. Minuteman Press, Longmont, Colorado (formerly Ron’s Printing Center) Avi Kumar has been part of the Minuteman Press franchise family since May 2016 as the owner of Minuteman Press in Greeley, CO. In February 2021, Avi had the opportunity to buy Ron’s Printing Center located in Longmont, CO, which was in business for 40 years. Avi converted Ron’s Printing Center into his second Minuteman Press franchise location in February 2021. Avi says, “Our Regional Vice President Jack Panzer told us about this established business for sale in Longmont, which is 40 minutes from us. The main advantage was to extend profitability and expand our business in Northern Colorado.” He continues, “Another advantage was that we did not have to spend a lot of extra effort in marketing this as a new business because Ron’s Printing Center had been established for a long time. The employees were all very hands-on and diligent and we were able to retain them all. Within the second month, we added mailings, promotional products, and apparel to their product lines. In fact, we just wrapped up a 30K mailer for a local non-profit organization and secured a large apparel order as well.” Prior to franchising in 2016, Avi worked in retail as a convenience store manager of several locations. “I used to manage some stores in Illinois for a big outfit out of Wisconsin. I finally got tired of answering to my boss and decided I wanted to own my own business. I moved on to better pastures and we decided as a family that Colorado was our calling.” Avi is thankful for being able to work with Minuteman Press and Jack Panzer over the past five years in Greeley and on the conversion in Longmont in 2021. He says, “Working with Jack is amazing as he is very thorough and helpful. Since I started my business in Greeley in 2016, he has been a huge resource for us and very supportive. As we start to build in Longmont, we are also expanding in Greeley to a new 5,000 sq. ft. facility – remodeling is under way as we speak. We started small and grew the business, and now we are building on that success at the right, consistent pace.” For more information on Minuteman Press in Longmont and Greeley, visit https://minuteman.com/us/locations/co/longmont or https://minuteman.com/us/locations/co/greeley. Minuteman Press, Missoula, Montana (formerly Advertiser Montana Printing) Rebecca and Kirk Treece are the new owners of Minuteman Press in Missoula, Montana. They purchased Advertiser Montana Printing, which has a 40-year history in Missoula, in January 2021. Rebecca says, “It is a real honor to become part of Missoula’s thriving business community. The Palmers (former owners) had a 40-year long relationship with this community and their loyal customers have welcomed us and trusted us with their service, which has given us a great start here in Missoula.” Prior to Minuteman Press, Rebecca and Kirk had varying careers. Rebecca shares, “Before owning my own business, I was utilizing my teaching degree as a vision therapist at an optometry office in Missoula, working with children and adults to improve their visual skills. My husband Kirk was previously a financial and operational manager for a large company. He and I also own a franchise of Fish Window Cleaning and Sunbelt Business Brokerage. We are familiar with business and the franchise concept, but were really drawn to the Minuteman Press structure, training, support and record of success.” While Rebecca and Kirk have experience owning a business, they had never been involved in the printing industry before. Rebecca says, “Advertiser Montana Printing was an independent print shop that had been in business for 40 years and they had a very loyal base of long-standing customers. An established customer base was the opportunity we were looking for when buying a new business. Our goal is 100% retention and we have worked diligently to meet and develop relationships with each customer. We hit the ground running and it gave us an opportunity to get experience across the board. Our local Minuteman Press field representatives were able to train us on every aspect of the business, which gave us the confidence to meet the demands of our customers.” Rebecca continues, “The support from Minuteman Press has been exceptional. The training was very comprehensive, and we felt like we were well-prepared for starting up and getting straight to work. We also know exactly who to call when we have a question or issue to manage. The network of Minuteman Press is amazing in the way that everyone is there for you at any time and in any capacity that you need. The expertise of the training and the continual mentoring are the powerful tools we need to succeed.” One of the ways Rebecca is looking to stand out as a new business owner is by expanding on the products and services offered by Minuteman Press and educating clients on what is in high demand right now. She explains, “Our high-demand products are business cards, menus, point of sale products like invoices and forms, and medical facility materials. As businesses open up, the demand for envelopes, letterhead, and other consumables has grown. Being part of Minuteman Press family has given us a huge opportunity to share with customers our expanded line of products like mailing, signage, apparel, promotional items. It has really given us the ability to help people promote their business.” As for Minuteman Press in Missoula, Rebecca and Kirk know exactly where they want to go. She says, “Our goal is to become the premier printing and advertising design company in Missoula and the Greater Northwestern Montana area. We want to develop the reputation for supplying the highest quality products and having superior customer service. We strive to make Minuteman Press in Missoula the place to go for all advice and services. The main lesson Minuteman Press impressed upon me is that if you do not like the current state of your business, change it! Get up, get out there, market, make connections, and grow your business. We have been given the tools and the support to create something great and that is extremely exciting for us.” For more information on Minuteman Press in Missoula, visit https://minuteman.com/us/locations/mt/missoula. Minuteman Press, Hove, England (formerly TJ’s Branding Solutions) Romi and Russell Pinsent are the new owners of Minuteman Press in Hove, England. They purchased TJ’s Branding Solutions, which operated for 30 years, in June 2021. Romi says, We are so excited to carry the legacy of TJ’s Branding Solutions and expand our products and services through Minuteman Press to benefit our local business clients and community.” TJ’s Branding Solutions laid a solid foundation for Romi and Russell as they look forward to continuing to build the business that was started by original owner Tony Jenner. Romi says, “The store that we have bought has predominantly been a sign writing store that already supports existing businesses and has a good customer base. The work done within the store already supports local businesses by assisting them to promote their own business by way of designing logos, shop fronts and vehicle livery.” On selling the printing and sign business through Minuteman Press, Tony Jenner says, “Minuteman Press Regional Vice President Mark Jones approached me at a good time and asked me if I was interested in selling my business. I have been running TJ’s Branding Solutions for over 30 years and was looking at a change of direction. I was looking to retire and enjoy what I have achieved and spend more time with family. This was a great opportunity to sell at a good price with no broker fees. What was there not to like? It was a smooth exchange and transfer that was done – I would recommend it.” Prior to franchising with Minuteman Press, Romi and Russell were no strangers to running their own business. Romi shares, “Before franchising, our background was and still is running care homes. It is an enjoyable business to run, supporting the more vulnerable people within society but it is riddled with legislation and we wanted to explore a new venture that was more creative and had an opportunity for growth. We wanted a change for us and a new business venture seemed the way forward.” Why Minuteman Press? Romi answers, “We have over 40 years of business experience between us however we were cautious about moving into a new industry as our experience is only in our other business. We visited a franchise show with the intention of looking at a hospitality franchise but quickly realized that this wasn’t something we wanted to explore due to having to work evenings and weekends.” Romi adds, “The intention at the start was to purchase a new store and grow it from the ground up however once we had decided on the franchise, [Regional Vice President] Mark Jones undertook some market research and found an existing independent print shop in TJ’s Branding Solutions where the owner wanted to retire. As a result, we began the process of purchasing the store.” “Throughout the whole process, Mark Jones supported us in liaising with the seller, solicitors, and accountants to make the process as easy as possible. There was never a question that couldn’t be answered! We secured the store on the 3 rd June 2021. Russell and I are both excited to work with the Minuteman Press franchise support team and to grow the business in the local area. Russ has lived in the city since he was 5-years-old and I have lived here all my life. We are proud to call Brighton and Hove our home, we love where we live and want to offer the best service to all local businesses here!” -Romi Pinsent, co-owner, Minuteman Press, Hove, England (formerly TJ’s Branding Solutions) Romi concludes, “Overall, As a local business ourselves, Minuteman Press in Hove is excited to work with other local businesses. We look forward to seeing where this incredible journey takes us as we build and grow together.” For more information on Minuteman Press in Hove, England, visit https://hove.minutemanpress.co.uk. International Minute Press, Nampa, Idaho (formerly Custom Printing) Sheryl and James Wisler are the new owners if International Minute Press in Nampa, Idaho. They purchased Custom Printing from Mike Cutler, who operated the independent printing business for 25 years. Seller’s Perspective from Mike Cutler, Retired Owner of Custom Printing Mike Cutler built up Custom Printing from a print shop out of his garage in 1996 to a successful printing business that averaged over $1 million in gross sales over the past 5 years. He tried to sell his printing business for six to eight months before realizing it was going to be harder than he thought. That is when he turned to Minuteman Press. Mike says, “I tried to sell the business that I worked so hard to build for six to eight months on my own. I was also preparing to let it go at a very undervalued price as I couldn’t find the right people to buy the business and I found many of them were time-wasters and tire-kickers. On top of that, when I consulted with a business broker, they were asking me for 10% off the top of the sale, and they also wanted a percentage of my lease agreement.” After experiencing these challenges on his own, Mike turned to Minuteman Press International to help sell his printing business. “One of the franchisees I knew locally in Idaho referred me to Chris Jutt, Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President. After our first phone call, I felt confident that Chris had the ability, drive and connections to make this dream a reality for me. Our meetings were always super easygoing and comfortable. Chris took all the pressure off of me and said to focus on my successful business and he would do the rest. That is just what he did.” “We set a price for my independent printing business that was significantly higher than I anticipated, and Chris Jutt recommended some terms. Within one week, I had several very interested parties. Chris found the perfect people to purchase my business – James and Sheryl Wisler – that will continue what I started some 25 years ago. Minuteman Press International knew that the most important things to me were my long-term employees, my clients, and the reputation I had worked so hard to build. Chris found buyers that valued the same things. He and the entire team at Minuteman Press International delivered on all of my expectations and exceeded in most of them. Looking back, if I knew this was going to be this easy, I would have contacted him years ago.” -Mike Cutler, retired owner, Custom Printing (now International Minute Press, Nampa, Idaho) After the sale of his business, Mike quickly realized how beneficial it was to have the team at Minuteman Press International assist with all aspects of the transition to the new owners. He shares, “At first, I was apprehensive about how the transition would go. I was immediately relieved when I saw how Minuteman Press International took the reins to teach and train James and Sheryl. We are only two and a half weeks into the transition phase, and already I feel like I am not needed as much as I thought I would be. My employees are in great hands, my clients are being taken care of, and James and Sheryl are doing a fantastic job.” He adds, “The entire team both here locally and at their corporate headquarters has been phenomenal. No matter who I’ve talked to or worked with during this entire process, everyone has been professional as well as instrumental in making this happen. It’s a win-win situation all around.” “The smooth transition has reassured me that it was the right move to sell my business with Minuteman Press International. They have the right plan, the right experience, and everyone has been incredible to the very last detail. In my acquisition experience, nothing has ever been as easy as this. I had everything to gain and nothing to lose, and there were absolutely no hiccups along the way. I would easily rate my experience as 10/10.” -Mike Cutler Advice to Other Sellers When asked what advice he would give to other print and sign shop owners looking to sell, Mike answers, “Don’t even waste your time trying to do this yourself. When you try to sell on your own, there are so many bottleneck issues and you will likely undervalue your business. I couldn’t find the right buyers on my own and I had to spend too much time to meet with people repeatedly while still running my own business.” Mike concludes, “Minuteman Press International alleviated the bottlenecks and came forward with qualified buyers who were ready to write the check for the right price. I am 100% satisfied beyond my expectations. This was a total team effort by everyone, and they all came through for me.” For more information on International Minute Press in Nampa, Idaho, visit https://minuteman.com/us/locations/id/nampa. For more information on how to sell your printing business or sign business through Minuteman Press International’s Conversion Program, visit https://bit.ly/minutemanpressconversions Contact Details Minuteman Press International Chris Biscuiti +1 631-249-1370 cbiscuiti@mpihq.com Company Website https://minutemanpressfranchise.com

December 06, 2021 09:10 AM Eastern Standard Time

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