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Prepaid Industry Leaders Recognized at Ninth Annual Awards Ceremony Presented by Blackhawk Network
Winners Announced at Blackhawk Network Summit in Colorado Springs

PLEASANTON, Calif., June 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Blackhawk Network, Inc., a pioneer of prepaid gift cards, payments tools and rewards delivered via a robust and convenient network, announced the winners of its ninth annual Hawk Awards Gala, which took place in Colorado Springs recognizing the prepaid industry's most innovative leaders.

"I continue to be impressed by the level of excitement these awards garner from partners and the industry at large," said Talbott Roche, president of Blackhawk Network. "For almost a decade, Blackhawk Network has been honoring the best in the prepaid industry and we are thrilled to celebrate the achievements of this year's impressive list of winners."

The following organizations were among those recognized at the 2015 Hawk Awards ceremony:

Industry Achievement: Staples
Staples participated in multiple digital promotions in 2014, engaging in custom and multi-brand programs both during key and non-key holiday occasions, which offered either physical or digital gift cards. They also developed an award-winning rebate program, combining the ability to buy gift cards and get cash back. This successful program, developed with Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, has appealed to new consumers and increased loyalty and frequency by issuing rewards on the retailer's branded prepaid card.

Industry Innovation: GameStop Exchange
GameStop Exchange's partnership with Blackhawk Network allows the sale of unredeemed gift cards with funds loaded to GameStop gift cards, providing access to the secondary gift card market for GameStop and increased sales.

Best Promotional Program by a Content Partner: Buffalo Wild Wings
Buffalo Wild Wings created their own national gift card "holiday" with a limited $50 March Madness gift card and a $5 ebonus offer. Their partnership with Kroger drove significant awareness and premium placement through a standalone shipper.

Best Promotional Program by a Distribution Partner: Hy-Vee
Hy-Vee launched an everyday fuel program in 2014 supported by promotions, in-store point-of-sale and custom headers on fixtures, which led to significant growth of year-over-year sales of closed loop cards.

Most Innovative Product or Service by a Small Company: Red Robin
Red Robin developed a $25 gift card that turned into a free movie ticket featuring the Hercules and Hobbit movies, which helped drive their incremental sales.

Most Innovative Product or Service by a Large Company: Starbucks
Starbucks collaboration with Gift Card Impressions combined the best Starbucks products along with gift cards to create a one-stop coffee gifting shop.

Best Card Design: Chili's® Grill & Bar
Chili's developed one of the most unique bonus card designs with a gingerbread house design, which doubled as a highly festive holiday card.

Best Adopter of Digital: Sears
Sears aggressively ramped up its digital gift card program during the 2014 holiday season and held multiple, highly successful digital programs, including their Black Friday offer that sold out within hours of its listing.

Best Digital Marketer: Kroger
Kroger successfully developed an omni-channel approach to promoting and driving growth for the gift card industry with their 12 Days of Gift Card Deals program for the holidays. This promotion offered a different digital coupon daily for gift card purchases, which could be loaded directly to a Kroger's shopper's card leading up to the holidays. The digital channel has opened up the 1:1 relationship between Kroger's best customers and the gift card category.

Best Use of Prepaid as an Incentive: The Home Depot
The Home Depot transformed their promotions from a cost center to a revenue-generating loyalty program by introducing paperless rebates and the incentive power of prepaid. This loyalty strategy not only drove initial sales, but frequency of return.

Best International Prepaid Program: Metro Ontario
Metro Ontario, which continues to be a leader in Canada, ran one of the most successful promotions in 2014, which increased their year-over-year sales by more than 50 percent. They also executed an employee incentive program during the holiday season with the HBC gift card resulting in an incremental increase of +25 percent.

Best Overall Prepaid Program: TracFone
TracFone continues to be a leader in the telecom category by actively partnering with Blackhawk Network's distribution retailers with strategic promotional marketing events. Through constant collaboration on how to improve merchandising, understanding of retailers and their consumers, innovative products, and adapting events to meet the retailer's needs, TracFone finished 2014 with strong growth.

About Blackhawk Network
Blackhawk Network Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAWK) is a leading prepaid and payments global company, which supports the program management and distribution of gift cards, prepaid telecom products and financial service products in a number of different retail, digital and incentive channels. Blackhawk's digital platform supports prepaid across a network of digital distribution partners including retailers, financial service providers, and mobile wallets. For more information, please visit and

Tara Strazdas 


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SOURCE Blackhawk Network