Street Beat Armenia to Promote SOAD’s ?Mezmerize?

JAA Alumni Group to be Exclusive Promoter of New Album in Armenia

YEREVAN–ARMENIA – Raging with its hypnotically dark–dense and arty style–"Mezmerize" is System Of A Down’s (SOAD) recently released third album and perhaps its hardest-hitting effort to date. With their newest album already topping the music charts in the United States–members of the band–guitarist/singer Daron Malakian–singer Serj Tankian–bass player Shavo Odadjian–and drummer John Dolmayan–are looking to unleash Mezmerize in Armenia.

SOAD approached Street Beat Armenia–comprised of members of Junior Achievement Alumni of Armenia–to take the lead in promoting Mezmerize in the homeland. Armed with SOAD CDs–t-shirts–posters–signs–stickers–and stencils–Street Beat Armenia will be the exclusive promoter of Mezmerize in the Republic and is currently preparing to launch a media blitz of Armenia’s television and radio stations.

Robert Shahnazarian–Manager of Core Production at Sony BMG Music Entertainment–is working with Tankian to record a series of exclusive interviews that will be distributed by Street Beat Armenia to major radio and television stations in Yerevan. The interviews will feature Tankian speaking in Armenian and discussing details of the band’s most recent venture and future plans. Promotion efforts also will include distributing printed materials in towns and cities in each region of the Republic as well as college and university campuses.

"We truly appreciate the opportunity that the band is giving our alumni to utilize the lessons learned in our classes through this real-life experience in marketing and teamwork. System of a Down is very popular in Armenia and have worked hard to gain recognition of the Armenian Genocide," commen’s JAA Executive Director Armine Hovannisian.

In 2002–Ani Movsisyan–President of Junior Achievement Alumni of Armenia–spearheaded an effort modeled after Streetwise in the US to bring the extraordinary music and unique message of SOAD to the forefront in Armenia. With guidance from Shahnazarian and underwriting from JAA Founder Cynthia Tusan–Movsisyan and other JAA graduates together formed Street Beat Armenia. They toured radio and television stations in Yerevan–distributing information–CDs and posters of the band. The stations quickly embraced SOAD and began giving more airtime to its music. Street Beat Armenia’s biggest break came when it was interviewed on Armenia’s public television station.

"It was such a challenging and–at the same time–exciting task. Being novices at promoting–we were quick to learn the great art of persuasion. We worked hard to reach our target audience and developed a message that was engaging and informative. Getting in contact with radio and TV stations–scheduling and conducting meetings–and relating SOAD’s history and international popularity were all thrilling and rewarding experiences," shares Movsisyan.

Tusan points out that "Junior Achievement’s mission is all about providing our youth in Armenia with meaningful entrepreneurial experiences." She goes on to say–"The formation of Street Beat Armenia is exactly that. This year–Margrit Shahnazarian–who originally came up with the name ‘Street Beat Armenia’ in 2002–is our volunteer Project Coordinator. She will maintain close contact with the team to provide guidance in executing the media blitz and to facilitate communication with the band."

Established in 1992–Junior Achievement of Armenia is dedicated to promoting free market economics–democratic governance–social responsibility and ethical business practices in the Republic of Armenia through economic and civic education. With courses in every high school in the country–JAA-trained educators now reach 170,000 students in Armenia each year. Nearly 20% of the total population of Armenia has now taken a JAA course. For additional information–call (818) 753-4997 or visit www.jaarmenia.org.

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