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DALLAS -- To celebrate its 83rd birthday July 11, convenience store chain 7-Eleven Inc., based here, will give away roughly 5 million 7.11-ounce Slurpee frozen carbonated drinks to customers at its more than 8,200 convenience stores in America and Canada.
The drinks, served in special birthday cups while supplies last, will be accompanied by “Slurpee-brations” and 7-Eleven birthday parties to be held around the country with music, entertainment, prizes and food sampling, according to the company.
“7-Eleven Day has become so popular that people mark it as a recurring event on their calendars,” Stefanie Olson, 7-Eleven brand manager for Slurpee and Big Gulp beverages, said in a statement. “Some people forget that it’s July 11th or 7-Eleven Day. They just know it as free Slurpee day. It’s a great way to create a party atmosphere at our stores. Everyone wants to celebrate!”
The convenience store chain has celebrated its birthday with free Slurpee drinks since its 75th anniversary celebration in 2002, and July is the month with the highest Slurpee sales for the chain. 7-Eleven traces its roots to 1927, when a Southland Ice Co. employee started selling bread, milk and eggs from an ice dock as a convenience for his customers.
Also taking place on 7-Eleven Day will be the launch of the retailer's second-annual Slurpee Battle of the Bands contest. Beginning that day, 12 homegrown musical groups will begin showcasing their talents and compete for semi-finalist status at four regional concerts.
“We’ve had Slurpee summer music promotions before, but last year’s Battle of the Bands really struck a chord,” Evan Brody, 7-Eleven marketing manager for Slurpee and Big Gulp brands, said in a statement. “The number of entries in this year’s contest just exploded, and it’s going to be an exciting summer for music fans to discover new bands.”
The first concert is scheduled for Sunday, July 11, at 7 p.m. in Los Angeles, at The House of Blues, where three of the bands will open for a performance by the Grammy Award-winning rock group, Train, of San Francisco, 7-Eleven stated.
Other performances for the competition will be held in:
-- Chicago: July 23, 7 p.m. at The House of Blues. Opening for All Time Low, an American pop punk band from Baltimore; -- Dallas: Aug. 6, 7 p.m. at The House of Blues . Opening for B.o.B., an American rapper, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and record producer from Atlanta; and, -- New York: Aug. 16, 8 p.m. at Irving Plaza. Opening for N.E.R.D., a genre-bending alternative hip hop group from Virginia, fronted by Pharrell Williams.
In the Battle of the Bands virtual talent contest, fans can view all performances live online on Slurpee’s Facebook fanpage -- www.facebook.com/Slurpee -- and vote for their favorite band at Slurpee.com. Voting is open for three days immediately after each event. The group with the winning votes from each of the four events will continue on to the next round of competition.
Four semi-finalists will travel to Dallas, where they will create music videos that will be shown on Slurpee.com. Fans will vote for their favorite music videos, with the two winners competing for the top title through special engagement in their respective home towns. Live video of the performances will be streamed on the Slurpee Facebook fanpage, and fan votes will be tallied over two days, with the winner announced Sept. 30, on Slurpee.com.
The top band will receive the grand prize of $10,000, with a chance to record in-studio and be featured on Wolfgangsvault.com.
The current top 12 bands competing for the “Slurpee Battle of the Bands” title are:
-- Ambience, San Jose, Calif. -- Burning Tree, St. Petersburg, Fla. -- Don’t Shoot The Messenger, Arlington, Texas -- Fancy Me Yet, Miami -- Levi Ware, Seattle -- News Team Assemble, Dallas -- Northpilot, Chicago -- Not Like This, Saint Paul, Minn. -- Talain Rayne, Phoenixville, Pa. -- The Banana Convention, Saginaw, Mich. -- The Hollabacks, Los Angeles -- The Welcome Home, Portland, Ore.
Concert event tickets are on sale through Live Nation for $7.11. Tickets for the Train and All Time Low concerts are currently on sale, while B.o.B. performance tickets go on sale July 9, and tickets for the N.E.R.D. concert have not been determined as of press time.
In other 7-Eleven news, the chain completed the acquisition of retail assets from Quarles Petroleum Inc., a Mid-Atlantic fuel oil distributor, propane supplier, motor fuels supplier, fleet fuel site provider and convenience store chain, according to Matrix Capital Markets Group Inc., the firm assisting Quarles in the sale.
The 14 retail stores are all located in Virginia, and sell Shell-branded and unbranded motor fuels, according to Matrix. The remaining six stores not involved in the 7-Eleven sale, were sold to various other buyers.
“The quality and positioning of Quarles retail assets, combined with their exceptional management and store personnel made the business a very attractive opportunity and were the driving factors in achieving an extremely successful result for Quarles," Cedric Fortemps, senior vice president of Matrix, who co-managed the transaction, said in a statement.
In late 2009, Quarles engaged Matrix to structure and manage a confidential sale process to achieve maximum value by divesting of the company’s retail assets, and redeploy that capital into its other businesses, Matrix stated.
As part of the agreements, all stores will continue to accept Quarles’ fleet cards.