-Quicken Loans Founder/Chairman Dan Gilbert to join board-
Pleasant Ridge, Mich. – Jan. 31, 2006 – ePrize, the world’s leading interactive promotion agency, has secured a $32 million investment in the company from several Detroit area business leaders. Fifth Third Bank provided bank financing and a working capital facility.
ePrize is the global leader in the multi-billion dollar interactive promotions industry. The company develops online promotions, including sweepstakes and reward programs, which enable clients to cut through the advertising clutter and establish direct relationships with their customers.
The $32 million investment is led by Detroit businessmen Daniel Gilbert; Brian Hermelin, CEO of Active Aero in Belleville, Mich.; and Gary Shiffman, CEO of Southfield, Mich.-based Sun Communities.
Gilbert is founder and Chairman of Livonia, Mich.-based Quicken Loans/Rock Financial, and majority owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers. Quicken Loans (www.Quickenloans.com) is the nation’s largest online mortgage lender and Rock Financial (www.Rockfinancial.com) is Michigan’s largest mortgage company.
Hermelin and Shiffman have been active investors in ePrize since 2001. Gilbert is a new investor. All will join the ePrize board of directors alongside ePrize founder and CEO Josh Linkner and COO Robb Lippitt.
“Our new board members will add considerable strategic value to ePrize, acting as mentors and bringing a wealth of experience to enable the company to grow,” said ePrize CEO Josh Linkner. “Our sales revenue has grown five-fold since 2002 and we are now fortunate to work with many of the world’s top brands. This investment will enable us to acquire new clients, develop new technology and continue our overall expansion.”
Interactive promotions play an important role in marketing because they produce results at a very low cost. ePrize’s proprietary technology also helps their clients initiate and nurture one-to-one, permission-based relationships with their consumers.
“ePrize has a talented creative team that has coupled marketing expertise with unique technology and they follow through on the back-end with fulfillment,” said Gilbert. “The bottom line is they produce highly successful online promotions that drive results for their clients. We look forward to collaborating with them and helping them continue to grow.”
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About Quicken Loans Inc.
Quicken Loans Inc. consists of Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online home mortgage lender and Rock Financial, Michigan’s largest mortgage company. Together, under the Quicken Loans and Rock Financial brand names, the company closed $16 billion in home loans in the 2005 calendar year. In 2006, the company ranked in the top 15 of FORTUNE Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” for the third consecutive year. The http://www.QuickenLoans.com Web site has been ranked “Best of the Web” by Forbes, Money and PC magazines. Quicken Loans was founded in 1985 and has more than 3,500 team members.
As the industry leader of interactive promotions, ePrize has developed and managed more than 1,500 campaigns in 36 countries for the world’s most recognized brands. ePrize has successfully launched promotions for top advertisers including: Coca-Cola, American Express, Harrah’s, General Motors, The Home Depot, Yahoo!, The Gap, palmOne, Ford, Northwest Airlines, Unilever, Proctor & Gamble, Warner Brothers, Dell and Quicken Loans.
ePrize designs and manages powerfully effective programs which create relationships between customers and brands and motivate specific consumer behavior. Their promotions create actionable customer profiles that turn data into dollars for clients and their agencies. The company has offices in Detroit, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and London. For more information, visit www.eprize.com.