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    7-Eleven Forms New Partnerships With T-Mobile, FreePlay Labs

    The chain will offer prepaid T-Mobile handsets and promote FreePlay's "Cowboys & Aliens" video game via 7-Eleven TV.

    DALLAS and LOS ANGELES -- Along with Slurpees and snacks, 7-Eleven stores now offer a prepaid, no term contract T-Mobile handset, the company announced. The partnership follows Radio Shack's recent announcement that it will no longer offer T-Mobile products as of next September.

    The LG GS170 works with T-Mobile's prepaid plans and 4G network, and offers features such as Bluetooth 2.1, high-resolution color display and a VGA camera. Normally available for $29.99 plus taxes and fees, the phone will sell for half off through the month of August with the purchase of a $50 airtime card at 7-Eleven stores.

    "Industry projections indicate that prepaid service will continue its growth trajectory and is expected to comprise a significant portion of the wireless market within the next several years," said Amy McCune, vice president of national retail for T-Mobile USA. "We believe 7-Eleven's customers who seek accessibility and convenience will love this prepaid phone. They can expect to receive the high-quality customer service and access to a nationwide 4G network that T-Mobile users have come to expect."

    Jesus Delgado-Jenkins, 7-Eleven's senior vice president of merchandising, marketing and logistics, noted that the company was one of the first in the industry to offer prepaid phone service. “[We] continue to see an opportunity to provide customers with easy and accessible wireless service, which is why we've looked to T-Mobile to expand our prepaid handset offerings,” he added. “To give you an idea of how many prepaid transactions we conduct, consider that if all the prepaid cards sold on an average day at 7-Eleven stores were placed end to end, they would span more than 30 football fields."

    In other news, 7-Eleven has partnered with FreePlay Labs as its exclusive TV partner to promote the video game "Cowboys & Aliens – Silver City Defense," according to an announcement by FreePlay CEO Greg Easley and Darren Mann and David Veckerelli of Digital Display Networks Inc. (DDN), creator and operator of the 7-Eleven TV network.

    "While we are focused largely on reaching this audience through the internet, 7-Eleven TV offers enormous access to the demographics we are after, given that a significant percentage of 7-Eleven consumers comprise a vital consumer segment of active gamers and app purchasers," said Easley.

    Currently available in approximately 3,000 stores, 7-Eleven TV programming is customized for demographics, locations and dayparts, and includes content such as national and local weather, news and entertainment. The company plans for 7-Eleven TV to expand to more than 6,200 locations next year and reach 200 million shoppers monthly by June 2012.

    "While we continue to cultivate a broad base of advertisers, this deal with FreePlay opens the door to other game developers and publishers looking to impact this hard-to-reach audience," stated Mann and Veckerelli.

    "Cowboys & Aliens – Silver City Defense" is a third-person shooter game that lets players assume the role of a cowboy defending a small old west town from aliens. It is available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices that run iOS 4.0 or higher, and can be purchased from iTunes and Apple's App store. The film version of "Cowboys & Aliens," based on the 2006 graphic novel, is now playing in theaters.

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