As a way to create meaningful moments of connection at a time when schools were forced to cancel graduation ceremonies and senior year milestones due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Washington Prime Group Inc. (NYSE: WPG) properties around the country provided special opportunities throughout the summer to honor 2020 graduates and to commemorate their accomplishments.
Washington Prime Group hosted a digital graduation cap photo contest called #ScholarSpree, presented in partnership with Vervantis, Inc and Lewis Sign. Graduates from the class of 2020 were encouraged to decorate the top of their graduation cap, or submit a creative graduation photo, and then share their masterpiece on social media, tagging @WashingtonPrimeGroup with the hashtag #ScholarSpree. All of the entries were posted on a landing page where friends and family voted for their favorite design.
The contest included a $10,000 giveaway to 13 lucky winners who won prizes ranging from $500 to $3,000 to spend at any Washington Prime Group property nationwide. The prize money is intended to help graduates prepare for their next steps after graduation.
The contest sparked excitement from coast to coast, driving 224,621 views of the #ScholarSpree landing page, and 32% of those views converted to explore additional content.
During the duration of #ScholarSpree, which launched May 6 and ran through June 12, 420 entries rolled in from around the country and more than 34,600 votes were cast for the contest. The contest garnered 81 news articles and 24 broadcast stories. An additional 258 social media mentions earned the initiative a total estimated reach of nearly 22 million people.
After the contest closed, 13 winning graduates were announced from the following properties: Ashland Town Center, Cottonwood Mall, Grand Central Mall, Jefferson Valley Mall, Lincolnwood Town Center, The Mall at Fairfield Commons, Polaris Fashion Place, Scottsdale Quarter, Waterford Lakes Town Center and WestShore Plaza.
All of the #ScholarSpree entries have been pulled together to create a unique work of art – a digital mosaic and photo grid – which will be shared on Washington Prime Group property websites and social media. The celebratory tribute is another way to honor and bring together graduates across the country, during this time of social distancing.
About Washington Prime Group
Washington Prime Group: National footprint with local flavor. With 100 town centers throughout the US, we’re as American as apple pie. As a matter of fact, we are also as American as deep dish pizza in Chicago, Hawaiian poke salad, vegan spring rolls in Malibu, El Paso Tex-Mex, Maryland crab cakes, kimchi in Orange County, Memphis barbeque and a Kansas City porterhouse. Our well regarded infrastructure, from Hawaii to Connecticut, and pretty much everywhere else in between, allows our tenant and sponsor partners to benefit from the operating efficacy and economies of scale at a large national real estate company, alongside local management who possess comprehensive knowledge of the specific locale within which they reside. Washington Prime Group® is a registered trademark of the Company. Learn more at www.washingtonprime.com.
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 which represent the current expectations and beliefs of management of Washington Prime Group Inc. ("WPG") concerning the proposed transactions, the anticipated consequences and benefits of the transactions and the targeted close date for the transactions, and other future events and their potential effects on WPG, including, but not limited to, statements relating to anticipated financial and operating results, the Company’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions, cost savings and other statements, including words such as "anticipate," "believe," "confident," "plan," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "will," "should," "may," and other similar expressions. Such statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of WPG’s management, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance, or achievements of WPG to be materially different from future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation: changes in asset quality and credit risk; ability to sustain revenue and earnings growth; changes in political, economic or market conditions generally and the real estate and capital markets specifically; the impact of increased competition; the availability of capital and financing; tenant or joint venture partner(s) bankruptcies; the failure to increase store occupancy and same-store operating income; risks associated with the acquisition, disposition, (re)development, expansion, leasing and management of properties; changes in market rental rates; trends in the retail industry; relationships with anchor tenants; risks relating to joint venture properties; costs of common area maintenance; competitive market forces; the level and volatility of interest rates; the rate of revenue increases as compared to expense increases; the financial stability of tenants within the retail industry; the restrictions in current financing arrangements or the failure to comply with such arrangements; the liquidity of real estate investments; the impact of changes to tax legislation and WPG’s tax positions; losses associated with closures, failures and stoppages associated with the spread and proliferation of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic; to qualify as a real estate investment trust; the failure to refinance debt at favorable terms and conditions; loss of key personnel; material changes in the dividend rates on securities or the ability to pay dividends on common shares or other securities; possible restrictions on the ability to operate or dispose of any partially-owned properties; the failure to achieve earnings/funds from operations targets or estimates; the failure to achieve projected returns or yields on (re)development and investment properties (including joint ventures); expected gains on debt extinguishment; changes in generally accepted accounting principles or interpretations thereof; terrorist activities and international hostilities; the unfavorable resolution of legal or regulatory proceedings; the impact of future acquisitions and divestitures; assets that may be subject to impairment charges; significant costs related to environmental issues; changes in LIBOR reporting practices or the method in which LIBOR is determined; and other risks and uncertainties, including those detailed from time to time in WPG’s statements and periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including those described under "Risk Factors". The forward-looking statements in this communication are qualified by these risk factors. Each statement speaks only as of the date of this press release and WPG undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, subsequent events or circumstances. Actual results may differ materially from current projections, expectations, and plans, if any. Investors, potential investors and others should give careful consideration to these risks and uncertainties.
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Kimberly Flaherty, Senior Director, Public Relations, 614.887.5715 or Kimberly.Flaherty@washingtonprime.com