Press Release |
@15 Named Official Charitable Partner of the TAYLOR SWIFT FEARLESS 2009 TOUR
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- @15 partnership designed to inspire and engage Swift`s teenage fans by giving them a platform to drive social change - Concert tickets, Swift-autographed guitars donated to local charities MINNEAPOLIS--(Business Wire)-- Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) announced today that @15, its platform to inspire and empower teens, was named official charitable partner of the TAYLOR SWIFT FEARLESS 2009 TOUR. @15 is a teen-led social change platform underwritten by Best Buy to connect with teens, give voice to their perspectives, and give them opportunities to direct the company's philanthropy through the @15 Fund. Taylor Swift, an American country-pop singer-songwriter and the biggest-selling U.S. artist of 2008, is a role model for her thousands of teenage fans across the country. At just 19 years old, Swift's drive, independent spirit and originality offers teens a tangible reminder of the power and potential that lies within themselves - no matter what their age. "We're thrilled that @15 is joining forces with Taylor Swift," said Brian J. Dunn, president and COO, Best Buy. "At its core, @15 is designed to empower and give teens a voice, and we believe Ms. Swift is one of the brightest, most inspiring teen voices right now." Together with Swift, @15 developed a Teen Service Announcement (TSA) that will be played at each stop of the North American tour. In the TSA, Swift encourages teens to own their originality and appreciate their unique qualities. "Looking back at being 15, I wouldn't have changed anything. If I had been popular, I would have been perfectly content with staying where I was," Swift says in the TSA. "In high school, it's cool to be different. And the farther away you get from middle school, junior high, the more you realize that. In the real world, if you have something about yourself that's different, you're lucky. It's not a curse." The @15 platform strives to inspire teen-led social change at both the national and local levels. Philanthropic giving and community relations efforts have long been a cornerstone for local Best Buy stores across the country, as employees and management continually look for ways to strengthen their communities in a meaningful way. Through the @15 partnership, 15 Best Buy stores along Ms. Swift's tour stops will each donate 40 concert tickets and a guitar autographed by Ms. Swift (courtesy of Taylor Guitars) to a local, teen-focused charity of their choice. To date, ticket donations have been made to a number of charities, including The Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. About @15 Best Buy believes in the power of teens, and @15 is a new platform to connect with them, give voice to their perspectives, and invest our resources - including the energy and talents of our employees - to turn their ideas into action and support their efforts to lead social change. Teens bring passion and enthusiasm to tackling tough issues. They're also important to our business - they shop in our stores, and they're our future employees. There's a real opportunity to listen to - and learn from - what teens have to say. And through the @15 Fund, we'll put the philanthropic power of @15 directly into their hands. To learn more, visit www.at15.org. About Taylor Swift 19-year-old Taylor Swift has had singles top both the Country and Pop radio charts, and sold more albums in 2008 than any other recording artist, in any genre of music. Her sophomore release, Fearless, was voted 2009's Album of the Year by the Academy of Country Music, and reached double-platinum in just four weeks. Fearless was the year's biggest debut for any female artist, and the fourth highest debut of 2008, over all. Now triple-platinum, Fearless has spent more weeks in the #1 position atop Billboard's Top 200 all-genre CD sales chart than any other album this year. Taylor, whose career record sales now top 7 million, currently holds the Billboard all-genre record for most Top 20 debuts in a calendar year. Earlier this year, Taylor sold out a show at Madison Square Garden in one minute, and one at Los Angeles' Staples Center in just two minutes. At 17, Taylor became the youngest person to single-handedly write and sing a number-one country single entirely on her own ("Our Song" spent 6 consecutive weeks at #1 atop Billboard's Country Singles Chart), and she is the first female solo artist in country music history to write or co-write every song on a platinum-selling debut CD. At 14, she signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV Music, and in 2006 released her self-titled debut CD on Big Machine Records. Taylor Swift has surpassed quadruple-platinum (4 million sales) status and spent more than 20 weeks in the #1 position atop Billboard's Country CD Sales Chart. Taylor is consistently ranked Country's #1 artist on MySpace, and was named Country Music's Hottest Female Artist by AOL Music and Best New Artist by the editors of iTunes. In 2009 Taylor was awarded the Academy of Country Music's Crystal Milestone Award, given for Outstanding Achievement in Country Music. Taylor was the 4th artist in history to receive this prestigious award -- recipients in past years were Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill. Also this year, Taylor won CMT Music Awards for Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year, awards she was also honored with in 2008. Taylor was named 2008's Favorite Female Country Artist at the American Music Awards, Top New Female Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music, and won 2008 CMT Music Awards for Video of the Year and Female Video of the Year. She was named Choice Breakout Artist at the 2008 Teen Choice Awards, and was as the 2008 Superstar of Tomorrow at the 10th Annual Young Hollywood Awards, making her the first musician to ever receive this prestigious award. In 2007 she won the CMA Horizon Award, as well as the Nashville Songwriters Association International's Songwriter / Artist of the Year, and she received a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. Taylor has been featured on the covers of Rolling Stone (twice), Billboard (twice), Allure, Blender, USA Weekend, Seventeen (twice), Redbook, Self, Us Weekly, CosmoGirl, Girl's Life, Teen Vogue, Women's Health, First, Your Prom, andSouthwest Airlines Spirit magazine. She was featured in a Vanity Fair spotlight, was named one of People magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People of 2008, was Cosmopolitan magazine's Fun Fearless Female of December, 2008, was Allure's Face of December, was named a Style Star of 2008 by the editors of Seventeen, and was featured on Maxim's 2008 Hot 100 list. She recently appeared on Saturday Night Live. Taylor launched her first-ever headlining tour this spring, the TAYLOR SWIFT FEARLESS 2009 TOUR. In the past she has toured with Rascal Flatts, George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw & Faith Hill and Brad Paisley. About Best Buy Co., Inc. With operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, and China, Best Buy is a multinational retailer of technology and entertainment products and services with a commitment to growth and innovation. The Best Buy family of brands and partnerships collectively generates more than $40 billion annual revenue and includes brands such as Best Buy, Audiovisions, The Carphone Warehouse, Future Shop, Geek Squad, Jiangsu Five Star, Magnolia Audio Video, Napster, Pacific Sales Kitchen and Bath Centers, The Phone House and Speakeasy. Approximately 165,000 employees apply their talents to help bring the benefits of these brands to life for customers through retail locations, multiple call centers and Web sites, in-home solutions, product delivery and activities in our communities. Community partnership is central to the way we do business at Best Buy. In fiscal 2008, we donated a combined $31.8 million to improve the vitality of the communities where our employees and customers live and work. For more information about Best Buy, visit www.bestbuyinc.com. Media Contacts Best Buy Kelly Groehler, 612-291-6115 Kelly.Groehler@bestbuy.com or MS&L for Best Buy Benjamin Therrien, 212-468-3057 Benjamin.Therrien@mslworldwide.com Copyright Business Wire 2009