Using Branded Value to Drive Engagement and Incentivize Behavior: Blackhawk Network Partners with Upside, New Business Travel Solution

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More than 50 giftcard brands now available as incentives to encourage business travelers to makelower cost and flexible travel choices

PLEASANTON,Calif. – Jan. 17, 2017 –Blackhawk Network—a pioneer of gift cards, payments tools and rewards deliveredvia a robust and convenient network—today announced it has partnered withUpside, a business travel site. Upside—the latest travel innovation fromPriceline Founder, Jay Walker—is a new online travel website that can savecompanies on business travel expenses while also giving the traveler free giftcards. Through the partnership, more than 50 of Blackhawk’s vast network ofgift card providers are currently available as rewards for travelers willing tomake lower cost and flexible travel choices.

“Intoday’s world of the connected consumer, brands are looking to make moremeaningful connections and engage their customers. One example of how they aredoing this is through forms of branded value—like gift cards, which have anexpanded utility beyond gifting occasions,” said Talbott Roche, CEO and presidentof Blackhawk Network. “Likewise, businesses are also looking at how to get moreengagement out of their employees. By using branded value as an incentivemechanism, Upside’s concept is a great example of how businesses can buildengagement and change behavior with their company travelers.”

Upsideis able to do this by getting a combination of discounts with a range of hoteland airline providers, and bundling air and hotel selections, while alsoleveraging the traveler’s flexibility to achieve lower prices. The site allowsall parties to benefit by saving employers money and awarding employees to makebetter travel choices.

“Not only are we offering simple ways to save money on businesstrips by providing value to both the traveler in the form of gift cards and tothe employer in the form of lower travel costs, we’re building an incentivesystem right into the travel selection process,” said Jay Walker, CEO andfounder of Upside. “By providing free gift cards, we are able to incent peopleto behave differently by rewarding them even before they travel.”

Asthe traveler goes through the travel purchasing process, they can earn rewardsin the form of gift card value. Once the traveler makes their selection andpurchase, their gift card rewards are loaded in their Upside account.

Thetraveler can convert their gift card rewards balance into an available giftcard for the merchant, and for a denomination that their points can support. Avariety of gift cards from Blackhawk’s vast network of card partners areavailable, including:

Foot Locker, Inc. brands (Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Lady FootLocker)

The Home Depot




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AboutBlackhawk Network

BlackhawkNetwork Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAWK) is a leading global stored value andpayments provider, which supports the program management and distribution ofgift cards, telecom products, and financial services products in retail,digital and incentive channels. Blackhawk’s digital platform enables themanagement of stored value products, promotions, and loyalty programs across anetwork of digital distribution partners including retailers, financial serviceproviders, and mobile wallets. For more information, please visit or product websites Cardpool, GiftCard Lab, GiftCard Mall, and OmniCard. ( is led by Priceline FounderJay Walker and a team of former senior Priceline executives including formerPriceline CTO Scott Case; former President Priceline Europe, Tim Brier; andformer Priceline Chief Marketing Officer, Paul Breitenbach. is headquartered in Washington,D.C., with facilities in Stamford, CT and New York, NY. For more information,visit: or follow us on LinkedIn,Twitter and Facebook.

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