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Infinity Led Investment Partnership to Transform Miss America Brand

Sep 7th, 2011

Sponsorship and licensing agreement will expand iconic brand globally and into fashion, media and lifestyle products

Linwood, NJ, September 7, 2011 — The Miss America® brand is embarking on the ultimate makeover. Infinity Lifestyle Brands and Hilco Consumer Capital have signed a definitive agreement with The Miss America Organization for the rights to licensing, sponsorship and brand creation.

Building on a 90-year heritage as iconic Americana—and a brand that experiences nearly 100 percent unaided consumer recognition—the partnership marks the start of a long-awaited revitalization including expansion internationally and beyond one of America’s most recognized and beloved traditions—the annual Miss America Pageant. The partnership will also pave the way for Infinity and Hilco to evolve Miss America into a contemporary lifestyle brand by positioning the new entity—Miss America Properties—as a sponsorship and licensing-driven platform focused on co-branded partnerships with leading American companies including fashion, media, lifestyle products and events.

“Developing Miss America into a license-based brand concept is a natural and powerful opportunity, and we are in discussions with a variety of strategic brands and sponsorship partners that are interested in influencing this transformational process from the onset,” said Cory M. Baker, Managing Director of Brand Strategy and Development, Infinity Lifestyle Brands. “The real beauty behind this brand is its applicability and relevance in the marketplace across all product categories,” confirmed Jeffrey Branman, Managing Partner, Hilco Consumer Capital.

Miss America Properties will identify and leverage strategic partners that will champion the core values for which the brand is known—service, scholarship, style and success—while ensuring it reflects the positive influences and vast potential for today’s young women.

In a joint statement, Sam Haskell, III, Chairman of the Board of The Miss America Organization, and Art McMaster, President & CEO, said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with proven successfulbrand experts so that we can continue to focus on our scholarship program and pageant while our partners begin to develop and grow the Miss America brand to its fullest potential.  For the first time it will be available in lifestyle products to every woman around the world.”

About The Miss America Organization
The Miss America Organization (www.missamerica.org), established in 1921, is one of the longest-standing competitions focused on awarding scholarships to young women across the country. The Miss America Scholarship program, along with its local and state affiliates, annually awards more than $45 million in available scholarship assistance, making it the world’s largest provider of scholarships to young women, helping to reach their dreams and goals.

 
Miss America 2012 will be crowned live from Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday, January 14 on ABC television. The 2011 Miss America competition, held on January 15th and also broadcast on ABC, was won by Teresa Scanlan, a native of Gering, Nebraska.  She currently serves as the spokeswoman for The Miss America Organization, traveling over 20,000 miles every month. The 2011 broadcast generated the highest non-sports event ratings for its time in nearly 24 months. It saw a household rating increase over 2010 of 47 percent and a 40 percent increase in total viewers.

 
About Infinity Lifestyle Brands
Infinity Lifestyle Brands, LLC (“ILB”) (infinitygrpms.wpengine.com) is the New York based Infinity Group’s consumer products and brand management platform. It leverages the Group’s licensing, merchandising and manufacturing background. Infinity Lifestyle Brands specializes in the acquisition and repositioning through a licensing platform, of mismanaged, underutilized or dormant consumer brands with high awareness value. The company owns and operates fashion, home, and consumer electronic brands whose products span multiple distribution channels. Current portfolio investments include Polaroid ©, Sharper Image©, Linens ‘N Things ©, Delia’s©, and XOXO©. ILB past holdings include Starter©, Bugle Boy©, Cannon©, Royal Velvet©, Charisma©, and Fieldcrest©. ILB’s parent, Infinity Group is a private equity firm with a portfolio of investments in commercial real estate, hospitality, entertainment and consumer products.

 
About Hilco Consumer Capital
Hilco Consumer Capital, LLC, (“HCC”) is a specialized private equity firm that makes strategicinvestmentsin branded consumer companies and iconic consumer brands.  HCC looks to invest in retailers, wholesalers and intellectual property in this space and seeks to build significant additional value through innovative product development, marketing, merchandising and licensing strategies.  Current portfolio investments include Polaroid©, Sharper Image©, Linens ‘N Things©,Ellen Tracy©, Halston©and Caribbean Joe©.  Former portfolio companies include Tommy Armour Golf (recently sold to The Sports Authority) and Bombay Brands (recently sold to Otto Group). HCC is a unit of Hilco Trading, LLC, a closely-held, international provider of business asset valuation, disposition, acquisition consultingand advisoryservices.  Hilcoservices clients on five continents and maintainsoffices throughout North American as well as in the United Kingdom, Brazil, Singapore and other Asia-Pacific locations.