SCA and American Eagle Outfitters Take Top Cause Marketing Prize

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Campaign to Connect Youth with Environment Earns Golden Halo Award

(CHICAGO, IL) May 29, 2014 —- The Student Conservation Association (SCA) and American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE: AEO) today won a Golden Halo Award at the 12th annual Cause Marketing Forum Conference in Chicago, IL.  SCA, the nation’s only youth conservation force active in all 50 states, and American Eagle Outfitters, a leading global specialty retailer, were recognized for their 2013 campaign spurring young volunteers to protect the environment.

The 12-week “AEO + SCA + You” campaign featured hundreds of college students serving in two national parks, a fundraising component that raised $500,000 to support future conservation efforts, and a combination of in-store, online and social media activity that spread SCA’s youth conservation movement to millions of Millennials nationwide.

“This exciting campaign allowed us to extend conservation from national parks to hundreds of American Eagle stores and communities nationwide.  It’s a showcase for how like-minded corporations and nonprofits can forge a stronger future for all,” stated SCA President Dale Penny.

“Environmental sustainability is one of the most important issues among our customers,” added American Eagle Outfitters Foundation Director Marcie Eberhart.  “Our customers stepped up to serve and lend their voice and support to SCA.  That’s what ‘Live Your Life’ is all about.”

In March, 2013, more than 160 students from across the U.S. participated in Alternative Spring Breaks at Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida and Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in California.  The volunteers spent more than 65,000 hours removing harmful exotic plants, restoring fire-ravaged landscapes, and preserving endangered wildlife habitats.

AEO has been the signature sponsor of SCA’s Alternative Spring Breaks since 2006.  Past volunteers have maintained hiking trails in the Grand Canyon, protected oceanfront habitats at Padre Island National Seashore, and replanted burned-out areas of Joshua Tree National Park, among other projects.

In another campaign element, more than 5,000 AEO customers voted online to send a special team of SCA volunteers to the National Parks of New York Harbor to support SCA’s ongoing Hurricane Sandy restoration efforts.  The videos, blogs and Tweets from these projects fueled a 64% increase in social media activity among targeted 15-25 year olds.  American Eagle Outfitters also donated media, including its 40-foot Times Square video billboard, with $2.3 million in equivalent ad value.

The Halo Awards are North America’s highest honor in the field of cause marketing.  There were more than 100 program entries.  SCA’s Penny notes the top prize for Best Environmental Campaign is an especially prestigious achievement, as previous nonprofit winners include the National Park Foundation, The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund.

“In this crowded marketplace, Halo Award-winning campaigns have risen to the top because of their authenticity, effectiveness in communicating a cause message and ability to generate social and financial dividends,” said Cause Marketing Forum President David Hessekiel.

For more on the SCA-AEO partnership, visit www.thesca.org/halo.

About American Eagle Outfitters, Inc.

American Eagle Outfitters, Inc. (NYSE: AEO) is a leading global specialty retailer offering high-quality, on-trend clothing, accessories and personal care products at affordable prices under its American Eagle Outfitters® and Aerie® brands. The company operates more than 1,000 stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, and Hong Kong, and ships to 81 countries worldwide through its websites. American Eagle Outfitters and Aerie merchandise also is available at 69 licensed international franchise stores in 12 countries. For more information, please visit www.ae.com.

About the Student Conservation Association

The Student Conservation Association is the only national organization that develops tomorrow’s conservation leaders by providing high school and college students with service opportunities in all 50 states, from urban communities to national parks and forests. More than 4,000 SCA members annually render over two million hours of service to America’s public lands. Since 1957, SCA has helped to develop new generations of conservation leaders, inspire lifelong stewardship, and save the planet. SCA is headquartered in Washington, DC and maintains offices in Anchorage, AK, Boise, ID, Chicago, IL, Charlestown, NH, Oakland, CA, Pittsburgh, PA, and Seattle, WA. For more information, visit http://www.thesca.org.