W Hotels Worldwide Announces First and Only Hotel Partnership with (RED)TM'S Groundbreaking New Online Music Magazine: (RED)WIRE TM

Partnership will Provide W Hotel Guests and Local Loyalists with Insider Access to a World of Exclusive Music and Entertainment while Benefitting the Global Fund

December 02, 2008 // Franchising.com // New York, NY –– WORLD AIDS DAY – W Hotels Worldwide today announced that it will be the official hotel partner of (RED)WIRE, the groundbreaking new online music magazine by (RED). Applying the (RED) idea to music, (RED)WIRE helps to buy lifesaving medicine and other services for those living with HIV/AIDS in Africa by contributing a portion of the proceeds from memberships to the Global Fund, a leading financer of programs to help eliminate AIDS globally. A revolutionary new music service that reinvents the way people interact with and discover music, (RED)WIRE offers members a new and unique online experience, offering exclusive songs by well known and emerging artist, artistic montages – ranging from a photography slide show to a short video – featuring celebrities involved in the project, and updates on the impact of (RED) dollars at work in Africa.

(RED)WIRE has engaged some of the greatest artists on the globe who are contributing extraordinary music to help launch this new digital music service. On World AIDS Day, December 1, many of these artists will be participating in the (RED)WIRE online launch event on MSN, which will be presented at official viewing events at W Hotels throughout the United States, and will include world premiere songs and videos from U2, John Legend, Sheryl Crow and many more.

"W is proud to be the exclusive hotel partner of (RED)WIRE, a brand that shares our passion for innovation and entertainment, while fighting the life threatening disease, HIV/AIDS," said Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide and Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts. "Through this partnership, we will give our W guests and local loyalists access to a world of exclusive music and video content while simultaneously helping to give back."

Don MacKinnon, founder of Hear Music and former Vice President of Music & Entertainment of Starbucks Coffee Company, conceived (RED)WIRE to help create a platform for music discovery and an annuity to buy medicine for those living with HIV in Africa. MacKinnon, President of (RED) Content said, "Every week, when you receive this great music, you'll know you are helping people in Africa get the medicine they need. It's that simple."

All W Hotels in the United States will be giving guests and local loyalists access to a free, two week membership to (RED)WIRE during the month of December and will feature an exclusive (RED)WIRE package that includes a six month membership, delivering music and more from top artists straight to members, while raising funds to provide medicine against HIV/AIDS for people who need it in Africa.

Through December 2009, W Hotels' exclusive (RED)WIRE package will include:

  • A limited edition USB drive featuring beautiful DELL (PRODUCT)RED-inspired artwork from African artist Joseph Amedokpo, which connects guests to exclusive content on (RED)WIRE
  • A six month (RED)WIRE digital magazine membership, delivering music and more from top artists like John Legend, U2 and Sheryl Crow
  • A special bonus track from (RED)WIRE artist John Legend
  • Two INSPI(RED) cocktails
  • A Wonderful Room

As part of this two year partnership, W Hotels and (RED)WIRE will offer additional co-branded programs which will be launched throughout 2009. Examples of these programs include the streaming of exclusive (RED)WIRE concert footage though a dedicated in-room television channel and INSPI(RED) cocktails that will be sold at W Hotels where Gerber Group bars are located, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Global Fund.

As the hotel industry category buster and leading innovator, W Hotels will encourage music-loving jetsetters all around the globe – from Istanbul to Hong Kong, Manhattan to Los Angeles – to sign up for the new service, helping to generate even more contributions to help buy lifesaving medicine for those who need it in Africa.

A portion of every (RED)WIRE membership goes directly to the Global Fund, ensuring that every cent of this money is invested in HIV and AIDS programs in Africa. In addition, W Hotels is forgoing traditional corporate holiday gifts this season and making a monetary donation to the Global Fund.

About W Hotels Worldwide

W Hotels is an innovative luxury lifestyle brand and the hotel category buster with 26 properties in the most vibrant destinations around the world. Inspiring, iconic, innovative and influential, W Hotels provides the ultimate in insider access to a world of "Wow." Each hotel offers a unique mix of innovative design, nightlife, entertainment and cultural influences from fashion to music, pop culture to art, and everything in between. W Hotels are unique and individual expressions of modern living, reflected in the brand's sensibility to design contemporary restaurant concepts, nightlife experiences, and signature spas. With 10 years of proven success, W Hotels will triple its footprint by 2011. In North America and Latin America, W Hotels have been announced in Austin, Buckhead Atlanta, Downtown Atlanta, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Hoboken, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Downtown New York, Santiago, South Beach, and Washington, D.C. In Europe, W Hotels have been announced in Athens, Barcelona, London, Manchester, Milan and St. Petersburg. In Asia, W has announced properties in Bangkok, Guangzhou, Macao-Studio City, Shanghai and Yokohama. In Africa and the Middle East, W has announced properties in Amman, Doha, Dubai-Festival City, Dubai-The Palm and Marrakech. W has plans to open W Retreat & Spa properties in Bali, Koh Samui, Vieques Island and Verbier, the latter of which will serve as the W brand's first ski retreat. For more information, visit www.whotels.com.

About (RED)WIRE

(RED)'s new digital music service, (RED)WIRE, is an innovative platform for music discovery. On World AIDS Day, December 1, (RED)WIRE launches with world premiere songs and videos from Coldplay, Jay-Z, John Legend, The Killers & Elton John, The Police & Elvis Costello and many more. For five dollars a month, (RED)WIRE members will receive a weekly digital music offering from these and many other iconic artists. Applying the (RED) idea to music, (RED)WIRE will help buy lifesaving medicine and other services for those living with HIV in Africa by contributing a portion of the proceeds from memberships to the Global Fund, a dominant financer of programs to help eliminate AIDS globally. (RED)WIRE not only provides a new way for customers to discover new music, but also provides an ongoing window into the impact (RED) dollars are having in Africa.

About (RED) TM and (PRODUCT) RED(TM)

(RED)'s primary objective is to engage the private sector in raising awareness and funds for the Global Fund, to help eliminate AIDS in Africa. Companies whose products take on the (PRODUCT)RED mark contribute a significant percentage of the sales or portion of the profits from that product to the Global Fund, to finance AIDS programs in Africa, with an emphasis on the health of women and children. Current partners are: American Express (U.K. only), Apple, Converse, Gap, Emporio Armani, Hallmark, Dell, Windows and Starbucks. Since its launch in the spring of 2006, more than $115 million has been generated by (RED) for the Global Fund. (RED) money is at work in Swaziland, Rwanda, Ghana and Lesotho. For more information, visit www.joinred.com.

About the Global Fund

Since its creation in 2002, the Global Fund has become the dominant financer of programs to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, with approved funding of US$15 billion for programs in 139 countries. The Global Fund supports programs based on agreed performance targets and disburses money in response to proven results. So far, programs supported by the Global Fund have averted more than 2.5 million deaths by providing AIDS treatment for 1.75 million people, TB treatment for 3.9 million people, and by the distribution of 59 million insecticide-treated bed nets for the prevention of malaria worldwide. (RED)TM is the Global Fund's largest private sector contributor.

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