For Media Information:

Jo-Ann Geffen    

(818) 905-5511 or jgeffen@jagpr.com

 

For Immediate Release:

  

MAGIC JOHNSON LENDS NAME AND SUPPORT TO

MAGICCASH VISA CARD,

THE NEW FEATURE RICH PREPAID CARD

 

(Los Angeles, CA, February 24, 2004) --- Earvin “Magic” Johnson, spokesperson for the MAGICCash Card, and Anthony De Meo, CEO/President of Celebrity Cards International, Inc. and its subsidiary, Magic Cards International, Inc., were joined today by some of the partners in the MAGICCash Prepaid Visa Card venture --- Todd Brockman, Vice President, Prepaid Products, VISA USA, Gary Palmer, COO, WildCard Systems, Inc., and Joseph Gray, President, REVShare and AMN Television Marketing.

MAGICCash, the newest prepaid card on the market, is a feature rich card targeted towards the under-banked and credit challenged in America, estimated at 70 to 100 million underserved consumers.

Magic Cards™ International, Inc., a subsidiary of Celebrity Cards International, Inc., has been created to serve as a pioneering model for 21st century purchasing, payroll, and consumer transactions.  With Earvin “Magic” Johnson as the “face” of the card, Celebrity Cards feels it has found the perfect spokesperson. Mr. Johnson is one of the most recognized ethnic sports figures and business leaders in the United States. Magic Johnson is an ideal role model for those striving for financial success, a person who is respected by the under-banked and credit challenged, largely in the African-American and Hispanic communities seeking to improve their lives. Mr. De Meo said, “Mr. Johnson is someone who resonates as trustworthy and who actively helps those in the communities we wish to serve.” 

Needless to say, Magic Johnson gets offers on a daily basis to lend his name and/or likeness, no less his support, to numerous ventures. Why was MAGICCash so attractive to him?  “I like to have successful businesses as much as the next guy,” said Mr. Johnson, “and I’ve been fortunate. I believe that my commitment to giving something back to the community has a lot to do with it and Celebrity Cards International shares that philosophy.  Celebrity Cards International has developed a unique plan to distribute a product that will help millions of people. We not only look forward to this being the beginning of a pioneering effort that is a tremendous success for us, but also for the millions of people out there who need this kind of full service, fairly priced prepaid card and MAGICCash Card’s commitment to promote financial and debt management education.”

“The MAGICCash Visa prepaid card will help lift underbanked and unbanked Americans out of the ‘cash-and-carry’ world by empowering them with a payment card that serves as a valuable spending and money management tool, while providing distinct benefits over using cash,” said Todd Brockman, Vice President, Prepaid Products, Visa USA.

 Celebrity Cards International (CCII) is set apart from the small number of other notable prepaid card companies in several ways. Unlike other distributors, CCII stands alone as a marketing company in this niche for several reasons -- its ability to acquire high caliber celebrities, and the key alliances it has forged with industry leaders. Some of the prestigious and highly sought after strategic partners are VISA USA, which exemplifies an outstanding commitment to multi-cultural markets, WildCard Systems, considered the largest and most technologically advanced stored value card processor in the industry, REVShare, the largest Direct Response television marketing company in the country and a retail distribution network including some of the nation’s top retailers.

Partners in the advertising and direct marketing arenas include AMN Television Marketing and its parent company REVShare, the largest and arguably most reputable Direct Response Per Inquiry Television marketer, which facilitates over $50 million in sales each year and whose product selection standards limit the number of products they sell to fewer than 10 per year. Joseph Gray, President of REVShare and AMN, said, “Magic Card International, Inc. has brought such excitement and enthusiasm to the Magic Johnson Stored Valued Card campaign.  We at REVShare are honored that MCII has recognized our track record of performance success and has chosen us to be their agency of choice.  We will leverage our capabilities to insure the success of the Magic Card national television campaign.  As television's largest broker of performance based advertising, REVShare will cost effectively bring Magic's message to a nationwide television audience through its network of over 600 local television relationships as well as through National Cable."

Responses are being handled by West Telemarketing, the largest call center company and recognized leader in the industry.

The rollout of the national television advertising campaign is scheduled for early April with the MAGICCash VISA Card’s national rollout immediately following. The projected advertising budget, well in excess of $10 million for mass market television exposure in the first year, sets Celebrity Cards International and its subsidiary, Magic Cards™ International, in a great position for success.

The commercials will appear in both English and Spanish as appropriate, and both feature Magic Johnson. An intensive performance based television advertising campaign is planned on both cable and broadcast channels. The television campaign will be supported by Magic Johnson’s incomparable ability to promote the product, as well as radio and onsite retail advertising.

In a two week test of the 60 second English version of a commercial for a pilot product that aired on the Cox Cable System, which reaches approximately 2.2 million households primarily in the southern United States, the calls as a percentage of total spots were approximately 3.9% with approximately 76% of the calls resulting in orders.  Interestingly, the majority of cards were purchased by women. The results far exceeded those anticipated. Most encouraging was the fact that the percentage of second cards ordered was 60%. Similar results have been experienced in recent airings of the English version of the commercial in Los Angeles.

Most important, however, and one of the great attractions for Earvin “Magic” Johnson’s involvement, are many of the social as well as financial benefits that MAGICCash will provide:

 

·         In general, MAGICCash is a money-saving convenient alternative to carrying cash, paying bills by money order and cashing payroll checks.  

·         MAGICCash helps people to manage their finances, pay bills and gain credit worthiness, allowing Magic Card™ holders to participate in mainstream financial services.

·         There are no interest charges since no debt is incurred. 

·         Unlike credit cards, the MAGICCash Card requires no credit approval or credit history, making MAGICCash available to virtually anyone with a valid U.S. address and appropriate ID.

·         Payroll direct deposit saves time and money by eliminating the travel time and inconvenience, long lines and high fees associated with check cashing locations.

·         Self-esteem and convenience for those unable to obtain a credit card or checking account. 

·         Ability to pay bills in the convenience of your home with the Visa card and soon our telephone bill payment service, avoiding the inconvenience of buying and mailing money-orders.

·         Easy to purchase and easily re-loadable cards with immediate accessibility. Mass merchandisers and highly trafficked retail chains and stores will be sites for purchase and/or reloading of MagicCash Cards at a fraction of fees for check cashing.

·         A foundation is being established to fund free financial and debt management training for MAGICCash card holders.

·        For the first time, those without a bank account or credit will be able to shop on the Internet, rent a car, hotel room and use an ATM machine.

For more information, visit:  http://www.magiccashcard.com

 

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