SOURCE: U.S. Cellular

U.S. Cellular

April 07, 2015 10:30 ET

U.S. Cellular to Provide Unique Opportunity for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Wireless Provider to Bring "Shark Tank" Casting Calls to Three Cities

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - April 07, 2015) - For the second year in a row, U.S. Cellular is hosting casting calls for the hit ABC show "Shark Tank" in three cities, providing small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs from across the country three new opportunities to achieve their business aspirations in the upcoming seventh season of the Emmy Award-winning show.

"We are thrilled to collaborate with 'Shark Tank' for our second casting call tour and give our customers and people from across the country the chance to get their businesses off of the ground," said Jay Ellison, executive vice president of operations at U.S. Cellular. "We know that people's jobs can take them from coast to coast, so our national coverage keeps them connected wherever they are. We look forward to kicking off these casting calls later this month."

The casting calls will take place in the following U.S. Cellular markets:

  • Oklahoma City on April 27 at The Devon Boathouse at The Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln Blvd.
  • Knoxville, Tenn., on April 30 at The Standard, 416 West Jackson Ave.
  • Portland, Maine in July, with date and location to be announced

The first 500 entrepreneurs who show up at each open casting call are guaranteed to be seen and will pitch the "Shark Tank" casting team with their breakthrough concepts, products, properties or services. For further casting call information and to fill out an application, please visit www.SharkTankOpenCall.com.

"We are always excited to visit areas that we haven't been before in our quest to find the best entrepreneurs with the best ideas, so we look forward to traveling to these three new U.S. Cellular cities this year," said Clay Newbill, "Shark Tank" Executive Producer.

U.S. Cellular is bringing unique amenities to these three casting calls, including a lounge area where entrepreneurs can relax and go over their pitches, free Wi-Fi, charging stations for their wireless devices and a designated "Rehearsal Room" where attendees can practice their presentations in front of mirrors.

Last year was the first year that U.S. Cellular brought "Shark Tank" casting calls to three cities it had never been before: Des Moines, Iowa, Greenville, N.C., and Milwaukee. Across the three markets, nearly 700 pitches were made. It was the first time ABC's "Shark Tank" had partnered with a company to bring casting calls directly to consumers in their targeted markets.

About "Shark Tank"

"Shark Tank," the critically-acclaimed reality show that has reinvigorated entrepreneurship in America, has also become a culturally defining series. The recipient of the 2014 Emmy Award for Outstanding Structured Reality Program, the business-themed show is in its sixth season on the ABC Television Network.

In 2012 and 2013, "Shark Tank" received Emmy nominations for Outstanding Reality Program. Additional recognitions include two Summer Television Critics Association (TCA) nominations for Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming (winning in 2013), three Critics Choice Award nominations for Best Reality Series (winning in 2014), and three Producers Guild Award nominations.

Mark Burnett, Clay Newbill and Phil Gurin are the executive producers of "Shark Tank," which is based on the Japanese "Dragons' Den" format created by Nippon Television Network Corporation. "Shark Tank" is produced by United Artists Media Group in association with Sony Pictures Television.

The hit unscripted series reached its milestone 100th episode in November 2014, and continues to be a ratings force, regularly finishing as Friday night's No. 1 series. Season to date, "Shark Tank" is drawing an average audience of 8.5 million viewers (including all available DRV/VOD playback).

"Shark Tank" has spawned a companion series, "Beyond the Tank," which follows entrepreneurs after the deals are done, and will premiere May 1st on ABC. It is also produced by United Artists Media Group in association with Sony Pictures Television.

About U.S. Cellular

U.S. Cellular is the fifth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier has a strong line-up of cutting-edge devices that are all backed by a high-quality network in big and small cities and rural communities. Currently, 94 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds. U.S. Cellular was named a J.D. Power and Associates Customer Champion in 2014 for the third time in four years. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.

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