SOURCE: Buckle

May 24, 2007 11:59 ET

Buckle Congratulates Former Teammate Jordin Sparks as She Wins Hearts and Makes "American Idol" History

KEARNEY, NE and GLENDALE, AZ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 24, 2007 -- Former Buckle (NYSE: BKE) teammate and America's favorite Idol, Jordin Sparks, captured the hearts and votes of the nation last night during the star-studded, two-hour "American Idol" finale. As her hometown fans in Glendale, Arizona cheered her on, her former teammates at denim destination Buckle in Arrowhead Towne Center recalled Jordin's vibrant personality, warm demeanor, and unmistakable charisma -- attributes that served her well during her time with the specialty retailer.

"Jordin and her family shopped at Buckle for years, during which time we got to know them pretty well. The joke was that when Jordin turned 16, she'd need to get a job with us, so she could work where she loved to shop," says Mike Whorton, her former manager. As fate would have it, Jordin's first job was working as a Buckle teammate, providing exemplary service and helping guests express their own personal style through fashion.

During her time at Buckle, Sparks entertained guests and teammates alike with her musical talent. "As a youth-oriented retailer, we always have music playing in the store and Jordin would sing along with the music. Store guests would literally stop in their tracks to listen to her. She was that good."

Last August, Jordin asked if she could take the day off to audition for Arizona Idol, the contest that would ultimately lead her to "American Idol's" Hollywood stage. "Looking back, I'm sure glad I didn't say no to that request!" says Whorton, who met up with Jordin during her last visit to Glendale. What does Buckle think of her now? "Honestly, we couldn't be prouder."

About Buckle

Offering a unique mix of high-quality, on-trend apparel, accessories, and footwear, Buckle (NYSE: BKE) caters to style-conscious young men and women who seek to express their individuality through fashion. Headquartered in Kearney, Nebraska, Buckle currently operates more than 350 stores in 38 states. For more information, please visit www.buckle.com.

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