From Sega Retro

This is an unaltered copy of a press release, for use as a primary source on Sega Retro. Please do not edit the contents below.
Language: English
Original source: The Free Library

PARSIPPANY, N.J., Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Howard Johnson Franchise Systems, Inc. has announced that Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog, one of the hottest video game characters in America, will be the master of ceremonies for the Howard Johnson and HoJo Inn "Kids Go HoJo" summer promotion from May 24 (Memorial Day) through Sept. 6 (Labor Day). The unique promotion will feature Sega's Game Gear portable video game systems and Sonic the Hedgehog entertainment for families and children.

Sega will provide Howard Johnson and HoJo Inn properties with Sega Game Gear portable video game units, the latest in color portable technology systems, for guests to play at no charge. Each property will also offer a library of video game titles. A collectible series of Kids Go HoJo/Sonic the Hedgehog FunPacks will be given, free, to children between the ages of 3 and 12 staying with their parents at Howard Johnson and HoJo Inns properties. Each FunPack contains puzzles, games, booklets, and toys to amuse children while they are traveling. Plus, children under 18 stay free.

In addition, children can sign up for a complimentary membership in the Kids Go HoJo "Fun Club" and get a special membership gift--a free subscription to Sega's "Visions" magazine, worth a $14 retail value. All Howard Johnson and HoJo Inn properties will feature life-size cutouts of the Sonic the Hedgehog character displayed in the lobby for souvenir picture-taking.

The Kids Go HoJo with Sega promotion will be supported by a $3.5 million advertising campaign, including national television, radio and print, as well as local promotional activities.

The maker of Sega Genesis, Sega Game Gear, Sega CD and more than 350 video games, Sega is the technological leader in the $4.2 billion video game industry. While video games are especially popular among kids, they also have broad appeal to adults as well. Sega's Game Gear featuring Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was named Video Game of the Year in 1992 by numerous trade and consumer publications.

Eric Pfeffer, president and chief operating officer of Howard Johnson Franchise Systems, Inc., said, "This will be the fourth year of our award-winning Kids Go HoJo program, adding even greater value to our Summer Sale. Last year's summer promotion, which featured the Little Rascals characters, was a tremendous success for Howard Johnson. The tie-in with Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog and our partnership with Sega this year will take amenities for families and children to the next level of fun--and it's available only at Howard Johnson and HoJo Inn properties. This is a shining example of how we're providing our franchisees with cutting edge marketing programs to take the Howard Johnson brand successfully into the 21st century."

Barry Parrish, vice president of sales and marketing for Howard Johnson Franchise Systems, Inc., added, "We're very pleased to be working with Sega on this multi-million dollar co-promotion. We're looking forward to Sega video games bringing more energy, excitement and business to our properties than ever before."

Strottman International, promotions agency for Kids Go HoJo with Sega, assisted with the strategic alliance between Howard Johnson and Sega. They will be producing the FunPacks and merchandising material for the promotion this summer. Strottman, headquartered in Irvine, Calif. and Atlanta, is one of today's foremost kids marketing agencies, working with numerous clients such as Little Caesar's Pizza and The Coca-Cola Company. It is the exclusive kids marketing promotions agency for Sega.

Sega of America is a wholly owned subsidiary of the $1.6 billion Sega Enterprises Ltd., Japan. Sega is a worldwide leader in arcade and home entertainment systems.

Howard Johnson Franchise Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of Hospitality Franchise Systems, Inc., is an international chain of nearly 600 Plazas, Hotels, Lodges and HoJo Inns throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada. Its toll-free reservations number is 1-800-I-GO-HOJO (1-800-446-4656).

Hospitality Franchise Systems, Inc., the world's largest franchisor of hotel rooms, is a publicly held company with its stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "HFS." The company has more than 2,500 Days Inn, Howard Johnson and Ramada hotels with over 300,000 rooms in the United States, Canada, Mexico, India and Europe.

SEGA and Sonic the Hedgehog are trademarks of SEGA Copyright SEGA of America, Inc. All rights reserved.

-0- 2/18/93

/NOTE TO EDITOR: Interviews and Photos Available./
/CONTACT: Lisa Garb for Howard Johnson, 201-952-8429/

CO: Howard Johnson Franchise Systems, Inc.; Sega of America ST: New Jersey IN: LEI SU: PDT

LR-OS -- NYFNS2 -- 7638 02/18/93 07:31 EST
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