SOURCE: Blackhawk Network

May 25, 2010 09:00 ET

Blackhawk Network Recognizes Retailers for Excellence in Prepaid Industry

Fourth Annual Hawk Awards Given to Leading Retailers and Individuals

PLEASANTON, CA--(Marketwire - May 25, 2010) -  Blackhawk Network, leading provider of prepaid and financial payments products for consumers and businesses, announced the results of the fourth annual Hawk Awards. The awards, which are given by Blackhawk Network, honor leaders in the prepaid card industry. Winners were announced at the Annual Hawk Awards Dinner at the JW Marriott Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona. The Hawk Awards are awarded to industry leaders in five key areas: Overall Gift Card Program, Card Design, Marketing and Promotion, Industry Achievement, and Product Innovation. 

"Every year, we recognize partners for being leaders in the prepaid industry and helping the industry grow through their contributions," said Donald Kingsborough, president and chief executive officer of Blackhawk Network. "This year, the companies and individuals that have been honored have truly set a new standard for leadership and innovation within the industry and been a key factor in the success of Gift Card Mall™."

The Hawk Awards honor the achievements of the following leaders in the prepaid industry in selected categories:

Best Card Design: Amazon.com
The Best Card Design Award honors the top card design within the prepaid card category that truly stands out among the rest. Amazon.com's design was recognized for using bold colors, effective use of branding and clean design.

Best Promotional Program: iTunes
The Best Promotional Program Award honors the best promotional or marketing program featuring a prepaid card product. iTunes program was recognized for being a strategic and creative campaign that effectively incorporated the use of a relevant product tie-in through promotions and marketing.

Industry Achievement: Applebee's Bridget Mohen
The Industry Achievement Award honors the individual or organization making the greatest contribution to the advancement of the gift card industry. Applebee's Bridget Mohen was recognized as a true leader in the prepaid industry.

Most Innovative Product or Service: The Home Depot
The Most Innovative Product or Service Award honors the prepaid product or service that is considered to be ground-breaking in the industry. The Home Depot's Interactive gift card experience was recognized for being a forward-thinking service. Leveraging augmented reality technology, consumers use a Web cam and their gift card to receive suggested products in 3D on their computer.

Alliance Partner - Best Marketing and Promotional Program: The Kroger Co
The Alliance Partner - Best Marketing and Promotional Program Award honors a highly creative and strategic marketing campaign that effectively showcases the use of prepaid. The Kroger Co was recognized for their Mega Events.

Alliance Partner - Best Overall Gift Card Program: Giant Eagle
The Alliance Partner - Best Overall Gift Card Program Award recognizes the partner that has best demonstrated the execution of a successful gift card program. Giant Eagle was recognized for setting the standard in gift card programs with their industry-leading program.

About Blackhawk Network
Blackhawk Network 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. Gift Card Mall reaches more than 165 million people each week through an exclusive network of leading grocery, big box, convenience, drug, and specialty stores and is available through 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, Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom. For more information about Blackhawk Network visit www.blackhawknetwork.com and www.giftcardmall.com.

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