SOURCE: Blackhawk Network

Blackhawk Network

May 21, 2012 15:45 ET

Blackhawk Network Recognizes Outstanding Achievement in the Prepaid Industry

Sixth Annual Hawk Awards Winners Announced

PLEASANTON, CA--(Marketwire - May 21, 2012) - Blackhawk Network, a leading provider of prepaid and financial payment products, has announced the winners of the company's sixth annual Hawk Awards, recognizing exceptional achievement among companies and individuals in the prepaid arena.

"Throughout the years, the prepaid industry has continued to grow thanks to the contributions of our many partners that we have the honor to work with," said Talbott Roche, President, Blackhawk Network. "The Hawk Awards provide us the opportunity to recognize and celebrate their commitment to innovation and growth, which we continue to see in the prepaid industry."

The following leaders were honored at the Hawk Awards annual ceremony:

Best Card Design: jcpenney
The Best Card Design Award honors the most eye-catching and inventive card in the prepaid category. jcpenney's fashion-forward, new gift card is a complete redesign of its original card. The card's imagery of a shopper with her colorful shopping bags is artistic, refreshing and hip.

Best Promotional Program
The Best Promotional Program honors the best marketing and promotional campaigns executed by card and alliance partners.

  • Card Partner: iTunes
    In December, Apple launched a stocking stuffer event offering consumers $5 off $30 iTunes multipacks in select locations. The promotion was supported with a two-page circular and in-store wobblers. During this promotion, sales of $30 multipacks dramatically increased.

  • Alliance Partner: Kroger C-Quad Fuel
    Kroger convenience store banner Turkey Hill aggressively promoted all telecom handsets for December 2011 - January 2012. With the purchase of handsets, customers received a discount off fuel purchases. Handset sales increased 10 times, and wireless airtime sales jumped from double-digit losses to positive growth, which continues today.

Most Innovative Product or Service
The Most Innovative Product or Service Award honors the most inventive and refreshing product or service in the prepaid industry.

  • Card Partner: Sephora
    Sephora has truly revolutionized gift card giving and receiving. With the company's focus on e-gifting and mobile payments, gifts cards are more convenient to give and receive than ever.

  • Alliance Partner: Safeway
    Safeway launched its Employee PayPower program in October 2011, encouraging its employees to join the General Purpose Reloadable (GPR) movement. Safeway employees get to use this Visa-branded GPR card with no upfront purchase fee, free reloads at Safeway stores, free direct deposit, and no monthly fees while an employee.

Best Overall Prepaid Program: Lowe's Companies, Inc.
The Best Overall Prepaid Program recognizes a top notch, ground-breaking program by a partner company. Lowe's was honored for its incredible dedication to increasing awareness and sales of prepaid products. Lowe's is celebrating its one-year anniversary offering prepaid products in its stores.

Industry Achievement: BI-LO
The Industry Achievement Award honors the individual or organization that made the greatest contribution to the advancement of the gift card industry. BI-LO was honored for its unprecedented dedication to its prepaid programs. In early 2011, BI-LO relaunched its Gift Card Mall 2.0, adding more than 11 touch points in each of its 207 locations. It has included gift cards in its fuelperks! programs, running more than four double fuel points promotions. In addition, BI-LO has expanded its prepaid options to GPR and telecom products while supporting marketing efforts with attention-grabbing visuals and displays.

Sponsor Innovations in Prepaid
The Sponsor Innovation Award is a peer-recognized award honoring innovation among Summit sponsors.

  • Industry Innovation Award: ABnote
    Near Field Communication (NFC) is quickly transforming the mobile device into the wallet of the future. ABnote has developed a collaborative TSM/NFC mobile wallet platform that provides its partners the ability to manage the deployment of closed or open loop prepaid programs directly to their customers' NFC-enabled phones. The program allows for the provisioning of multiple secure credentials directly to the ABnote Wallet on the NFC-enabled mobile device from a centralized TSM, regardless of what type of NFC-enabled mobile device is in customers' hands. http://www.abnotena.com/pg-NFC_Wallet.html

  • Most Innovative Prepaid Product: Gift Card Impressions
    Gift Card Impressions created an innovative way to "dress up" a gift card with the Happy Birthday Gift Box Reveal. This custom gift card packaging solution drove a 20 percent increase in sales for the retail partner and was recently selected by the Greeting Card Association as one of three finalists for a Louie Award in Product Innovation, marking the first time a gift card holder has been named a finalist. The product was selected out of more than 900 submissions from 180 countries.

About Blackhawk Network
Blackhawk Network, a subsidiary of Safeway Inc., is a leading provider of prepaid and financial payments products for consumers and businesses. The company's Gift Card Mall™ offers the industry's most popular prepaid gift card and telecom products from leading brands. Gift Card Mall, with access to 165 million unique customer visits each week, is available through a network of leading grocery stores, big box, convenience, pharmacy, specialty stores and Internet retailers including GiftCardMall.com. Blackhawk Network's business solutions include reward and incentive programs that offer choice and flexibility through a wide array of card brands, custom designed Visa® prepaid cards and fulfillment options. Headquartered in Pleasanton, California, Blackhawk Network Inc. has offices in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Mexico and the United Kingdom. For more information about Blackhawk Network visit www.blackhawknetwork.com and www.giftcardmall.com.