MDI Brings Ray Charles Music to New Jersey For Custom Lottery Advertising Theme Song.
Issue: July 14, 2000
HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 13, 2000
MDI Entertainment, Inc. (OTC BB: MDIH) announced today that it has completed a second achievement in its revolutionary licensing program that allows state lotteries to team up with the legendary Ray Charles.
The New Jersey Lottery and its advertising agency Grafica, Inc. developed a campaign incorporating the singing talents and trademark voice of the incomparable Mr. Charles. A special song forms the sound track of television and radio commercials for New Jersey. The distinctive signature of Mr. Charles deep and raspy singing voice is "branding" the lottery with a new advertising slogan: "For every dream, there's a jackpot."
"Ray Charles is a living American legend, and we are so pleased to have his universally recognized voice as a backdrop for our advertising," said Virginia Haines, Director of the New Jersey Lottery.
MDI President and CEO Steve Saferin said Director Haines and the creative minds at the New Jersey Lottery seized the opportunity to brand their new theme with the unmistakable voice and style of Mr. Charles.
"This is just the second venture for MDI with Mr. Charles, but we believe it has ushered in a whole new category of entertainment licensing services. The magic of Ray Charles has a wholesome and universal appeal, and he has so many talents to offer to our clients," Mr. Saferin said.
The New Jersey Ray Charles project brought together an impressive team of talented people. The song lyrics were created by Jon Harcharek of the New Jersey Lottery's advertising agency, Grafica, Inc. The music for the song was composed by Victor Vanacore II, famous conductor of orchestras for Johnny Mathis, Barry Manilow and Ray Charles. The back-up vocals were provided by Michael Bolton's singers. Musicians participating in the recording session included Wayne Bergeron, Mike Vaccaro and Andy Martin.
Earlier this year, Mr. Charles sang Georgia on My Mind and played a speaking role with children in TV spots highlighting the good things Lottery profits fund in his native Georgia. His services were provided under MDI's exclusive license.
MDI specializes in creating, marketing and implementing entertainment-based promotions on behalf of the North American lottery industry. MDI revolutionized the lottery industry with its introduction of second-chance merchandise prizes. MDI's current lottery promotions include scratch games featuring other properties such as Harley-Davidson(R), Wheel of Fortune(R), Jeopardy!(R), Betty Boop(TM), Twilight Zone(TM), Louisville Slugger(R), TNN(R), CMT(R), Hummer(R), James Bond 007(R), Pink Panther(TM), The Outer Limits(TM), Heroes of Space(TM), Michael Buffer's Let's Get Ready To Rumble(R), Dick Clark's American Bandstand(R), Times Square 2000(TM), SPAM and auto race drivers Dale Earnhardt(R), Dale Earnhardt, Jr.(R), Bill Elliott, Mark Martin, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Burton.
On January 31, MDI Entertainment, Inc. announced that it signed an agreement with The Lottery Channel, which will merge into a wholly owned subsidiary of MDI. Subject to stockholder approval, the merged Company will be renamed Lottery.com, Inc. The primary business objective of the merged Company, in addition to licensing entertainment properties, cultural icons and personalities, will be to position itself to capture a significant share of Internet lottery sales as lottery sales become Internet enabled. Completion of the merger is subject to a number of conditions, including receipt of a fairness opinion for MDI stockholders, approval of the stockholders of The Lottery Channel, receipt of certain financing and other matters.
The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides a "safe harbor for forward-looking statements. Certain information included in this press release (as well as information included in oral statements or other written statements made or to be made by MDI) contains statements that are forward-looking, such as statements relating to the future anticipated direction of the lottery industry, plans for future expansion, various business development activities, planned capital expenditures, future funding sources, anticipated sales and potential contracts. Such forward-looking information involves important risks and uncertainties that could significantly affect anticipated results in the future and, accordingly, such results may differ from those expressed in any forward-looking statements made by or on behalf of MDI. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those relating to development and expansion activities, dependence on existing management, financing activities, domestic and global economic conditions, changes in federal or state tax laws and market competition factors.
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