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Kobie Marketing and FreeCause Announce a Groundbreaking Partnership to Revolutionize Merchant-Funded Rewards Solution

St. Petersburg, FL (July 13, 2011) – Kobie Marketing and FreeCause announced today a partnership that will provide consumers with innovative new ways to earn rewards within loyalty programs.

Tightly integrated with Kobie’s best-in-class loyalty technology platform − Alchemy, the FreeCause platform allows consumers to earn points or miles when shopping at participating merchants and also rewards consumers when they perform searches online. Unlike traditional merchant-funded rewards programs that incorporate a complicated and often frustrating shopping experience, this groundbreaking partnership will enable Kobie to provide its customers with a profit-generating value proposition, the largest online merchant network, and the most flexible and cost effective solution available in the market.

“We are excited to join forces with Kobie Marketing to deliver our industry leading rewards technology to the Kobie client portfolio. The market has demanded innovation and a new model, and FreeCause and Kobie have teamed up to answer the call,” said Michael Jaconi, Co-President of FreeCause. “Approaching the loyalty market with a different philosophy is what has set us apart. It is our ability to create transcendent online relationships between loyalty programs and their members. This, paralleled by an obsessive commitment to the consumer experience, has led to the momentum we are seeing in the industry.”

“FreeCause is a top-tier provider of merchant-funded rewards and innovative technology. Its expertise, combined with a vision to deliver the best customer experience through cutting-edge technology, is a perfect fit for our agency,” said Bram Hechtkopf, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Kobie Marketing. “When we took an objective look at merchant-funded solutions, we found most programs offered a poor shopping experience. We wanted a partner that would offer our customers real value while growing their legion of raving fans. This partnership is in line with our mission to deliver truly loyal brand champions who buy more and inspire others to adopt our client’s brand. The most powerful proof supporting this partnership is in the numbers and the fact that FreeCause delivers higher conversion than any platform with which we have had experience.”

Kobie’s recent merchant-funded innovations include a Gift Card Gallery that allows customers to buy gift cards at a discount. Other enhancements to its Alchemy loyalty technology platform including POS integration with a number of market providers, mobile loyalty, and social media integration. These innovations, coupled with an outstanding customer experience, are the heart of its clients’ around the world.

About Kobie Marketing

For over 20 years, Kobie has been a recognized leader in the loyalty marketing industry. Through award-winning loyalty marketing campaigns and continuous reinvention of how firms execute effective programs, Kobie’s clients enjoy incremental revenue, product and household penetration, and brand advocacy.

Today, Kobie Marketing leads the loyalty marketing industry with a relentless focus on delivering the best customer experience, through proprietary technologies and award-winning campaigns. Kobie Marketing is spearheading the mobile loyalty revolution with its Social Media, SMS, MMS and Mobile Application loyalty solutions. Kobie manages loyalty management programs for many of the world’s most successful brands: AMC Entertainment, Bank of America, Barnes & Noble, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, Comcast Corporation, Hawaiian Airlines, Royal Bank of Canada, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon Communications.

About FreeCause

FreeCause is a full service technology and marketing firm that develops and enhances loyalty rewards programs for major brands, airlines, hotels, sports teams and social games. Headquartered in Boston, MA, FreeCause offers a comprehensive portfolio of market-leading technology and expertise that allows organizations to accelerate lasting, profitable relationships with their customers and supporters. With more than 20 million subscribers, the FreeCause advanced loyalty and engagement solutions drive user behavior and strengthen brand loyalty while simultaneously generating new revenue streams for organizations through an extensive network of merchants and partners. FreeCause is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rakuten, Inc (JASDAQ: 4755).

About Rakuten

Rakuten, Inc. (JASDAQ: 4755), is one of the world’s leading Internet service companies, providing a variety of consumer and business-focused services including e-commerce, travel, banking, securities, credit card, e-money, portal & media, online marketing and professional sports. Rakuten is expanding globally and currently has operations throughout Asia, Western Europe, and the Americas. Founded in 1997, Rakuten is headquartered in Tokyo, with over 10,000 employees worldwide. For more information, visit http://global.rakuten.com/group.