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04/23/2015
Play Unplugged is Coming to Cedar City

CEDAR CITY, UT - April 23, 2015 - Play Unplugged is what many businesses and communities are calling a "revolutionary approach" to reducing a child's screen time during the summer, and Play Unplugged is coming to your city. The program is a proven and exciting approach to help families participate in fun summer activities. Kids who participate get outside for needed exercise while earning cool, collectable 'Brag Badges' for completing that sponsored activity. Play Unplugged is free to any child who wants to 'unplug' themselves this summer from their video games, television and time-consuming habit of social media. Local businesses and cities who have participated in Play Unplugged as sponsors have found it is also a proven, effective marketing tool which is helping businesses increase foot traffic into their stores.

"At a Utah League Convention we learned about Play Unplugged just months after it had concluded its first season in Heber City, Utah," said Spanish Fork City Assistant City Manager Seth Perrins. "So we put it into play here and it did exactly what we thought, and it was extremely successful."

Play Unplugged offers a chamber of commerce and businesses the opportunity to sponsor Play Unplugged Brag Badges. These badges are free, colorful and collectable tags earned by any child who does the prerequisite activity associated with the tag. Activities range from hiking a local peak and donating items, to learning a new skill - it all depends on what the business wants to sponsor. The goal of the Brag Badge is to get kids away from TVs and computers during the summer, when studies show those are key months when such use increases dramatically. The program introduces kids to new and exciting activities and when the parents and kids go to the sponsoring business to claim the badges, it increases a business' foot traffic - which is what every owner needs in an effective marketing campaign.

The idea for Play Unplugged is the brainchild of two Heber City fathers, Erik Rowland and Corbin Gordon, who wanted to help their kids to avoid the increasing screen addiction time teenagers are facing in today's society which leads to obesity, poor social skills and diabetes. Plus they wanted to find ways to effectively re-energize their city's downtown businesses. Many think they it's the perfect model. "Honestly I was amazed at the level of participation," said Wendy Osborne, who is the founder and director of the non-profit Tabitha's Way. "I was actually very well pleased with the participation level and I was taken back with how successful Play Unplugged was. It had the highest rate of return I'd ever spent in marketing, ever."

"Our goal was to not only help local businesses increase the critical foot traffic they need to be successful, but to provide the community with summer programs that would emphasize on kids unplugging themselves from video games, television shows, movies and even their mobile devices," said Play Unplugged Founder Corbin Gordon. "We know screen addictions contribute to unhealthy lifestyles and we wanted to find a way to help our kids here in Heber City, Utah avoid that, so Play Unplugged was invented and has been a tremendous success not only here, but in other cities as well."

Participating businesses can expect to see dramatic results in increased foot traffic and use the Play Unplugged program as an effective marketing tool to make the public aware of who they are, the products/services they offer to potential new customers while helping kids in the community to reduce their screen time in front of computers, TVs and mobile devices. And the program is growing, finding success in Utah, parts of Nevada, Colorado and Idaho.

For more information about Play Unplugged; or for more information on the topic of screen addictions, gaming addictions and contributing factors of childhood obesity, please contact Chance Cook.