$50,000 PhizzPop Design Challenge: Agencies Called to Design New Web Site for Boys & Girls Clubs of America

NEW YORK — Jan. 11, 2010 — Microsoft Corp. and The Webby Awards today kicked off the Microsoft PhizzPop Boys & Girls Clubs of America Design Challenge, giving interactive design agencies of all sizes a chance to showcase their ingenuity and expertise to help Boys & Girls Clubs of America redesign its Web site for the new decade.

Microsoft and The Webby Awards selected Boys & Girls Clubs of America as the contest’s beneficiary because they believe a more powerful Web site combining the latest Microsoft tools and technologies with the latest design trends will help the 104-year-old organization better communicate its mission of helping all youth reach their full potential.

Three finalist teams will win travel and hotel accommodations to MIX10, Microsoft’s annual conference for Web designers and developers, in Las Vegas (March 15–17). At MIX, finalists will pitch their concepts live before a panel of judges from Microsoft, Boys & Girls Club of America and the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences, which judges the Webby Awards.

The winning agency will receive $50,000 toward delivery of its design strategy and plan to Boys & Girls Clubs America, as well as a trip for two to the 14th Annual Webby Awards on June 14, 2010, in New York City, including travel and hotel accommodation. The winning design will be announced during MIX10 and showcased on http://www.phizzpop.com.

To enter the PhizzPop Design Challenge, go to http://www.phizzpop.com for guidelines and official rules. Deadline for entries is Feb. 19, 2010.

Participants in the PhizzPop Design Challenge will use the Microsoft Web Platform and Microsoft software tools to develop a proposal for the new Web site design for Boys & Girls Clubs of America that could help them better engage donors, parents, volunteers and the media.

Entries will be evaluated based on five criteria: content and communication plan, structure and navigation, visual design, integration of Microsoft technology, and scope of interactivity. High marks will be given to entries that propose a more visually appealing and interactive site reflecting contemporary design trends, and that incorporate the Web’s best practices in areas such as social media and video.

“For 10 years, we’ve had the privilege of working closely with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to witness the incredible work they do in transforming the lives of children,” said Jon Roskill, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s U.S. Business and Marketing Organization and King County Boys & Girls Club board member. “As more tech-savvy kids connect through the Web, it’s critical the Clubs bolster their online presence to engage and inform people of their critical services. The PhizzPop Challenge is one step toward achieving this goal, bringing together the best design talent and the very latest Web technologies from Microsoft to help the Clubs continue supporting millions of kids across the country.”

“The Webby Awards are thrilled to join forces with Microsoft in challenging agencies to push the envelope in developing new and engaging interactive experiences,” said David-Michel Davies, executive director of The Webby Awards. “Our goal is to not only support the vital work of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, but to also identify new best practices that can enhance the online efforts of all organizations.”

“We are grateful for the opportunity to benefit from some of the brightest and most innovative design talent, especially as it relates to the Web and interactive media,” said Boys & Girls Clubs of America President and CEO Roxanne Spillett. “In an increasingly competitive marketplace, nonprofits must meet donors and the general public where they live, and the Web cuts across all socioeconomic dynamics.”

About MIX10

MIX10 is a three-day conference for designers and developers who build innovative consumer Web sites, held in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay on March 15–17, 2010. Attendees are coders, strategists, information architects, visual designers, user experience professionals and digital marketers. They represent top Web sites, Web startups, interactive agencies and other organizations that do business on the Web. To learn more or register, visit http://live.visitmix.com.

About The Webby Awards

Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by the New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, including Websites, interactive advertising, online film and video, and mobile web sites. Established in 1996, the 13th Annual Webby Awards received nearly 10,000 entries from all 50 states and over 60 countries worldwide. The Webby Awards is presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Sponsors and Partners of The Webby Awards include: Microsoft Silverlight; The Creative Group; .ORG; YouTube; Getty Images; Wieden + Kennedy; The Barbarian Group; The New York Times Company; Behance; Limelight Networks; IDG; PricewaterhouseCoopers; 2advanced.Net; KobeMail and Museum of the Moving Image.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America

For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) has helped kids BE GREAT providing hope and opportunity for those who need it most. Today, some 4,300 Clubs serve some 4.5 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Boys & Girls Clubs can be found throughout the country and on U.S. military bases worldwide, providing young people 6–18 years old with guidance-oriented character development programs conducted by trained, professional staff. Clubs positively impact lives and help young people reach their full potential as productive, caring citizens. Key programs emphasize leadership development; education and career exploration; community service; technology training; financial literacy; health and life skills; the arts; sports, fitness and recreation; and family outreach. In a recent Harris Survey of Club alumni, 57 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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