SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, Zynga Inc. (Nasdaq: ZNGA), a global leader in interactive entertainment, announced its collaboration with the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the nation’s largest and longest-running education competition, leading up to its highly anticipated 2021 conclusion. From today through the Bee’s finals on July 8, the Words With Friends ‘Word of the Day’ will be the winning word from each of the eight 2019 champions and self-proclaimed ‘Octochamps’, who ended the Bee’s most recent circuit with an unprecedented eight-way tie.
Following a hiatus in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bee is back with its signature suspense and competition featuring exceptional spellers from across the United States and The Bahamas. Introducing new elements in 2021 that include a framework for a spell-off option, this year’s event will culminate in a live, televised event on July 8, with the winner taking home the Scripps Cup trophy. In preparation for the thrills and intensity of the Bee’s return, the Octochamps will connect players of Words With Friends with their special moments of spelling triumph in this unique, eight-day ‘Word of the Day’ takeover.
“We’re thrilled to be bringing the Scripps National Spelling Bee back in 2021 so that we can give some truly exceptional spellers the opportunity to show off their mastery of the dictionary and return this American tradition to TV screens across the country,” said Dr. J. Michael Durnil, executive director of the Bee. “Games and play are powerful tools for learning, and we’re excited to work with Zynga to bring additional joy and attention to this year’s event through their Words With Friends community.”
“The Scripps National Spelling Bee contestants spend years preparing for this linguistic contest of intellect and calm under pressure,” said Bernard Kim, Zynga President of Publishing. “Our Words With Friends players are also lovers of words and friendly competition, and I could not think of a better beacon of inspiration than these Spellers to encourage us to continue to learn, strive and achieve. Best of luck to the 2021 contestants at the July 8th finals and our congratulations to all competitors.”
Underscoring the intensity and depth of language knowledge these Spellers possess, four words had to be added to the Words With Friends dictionary for this initiative: auslaut, pendeloque, palama and odylic. As players click the ‘Word of the Day’ cell during this initiative, they can also access the word’s definition and a photo of the 2019 champion moment when each contestant turned into an historic champion.
Launched in 2009, Words With Friends has grown from popular mobile game to global pop culture sensation. Since then, the game has expanded to new platforms like Facebook Messenger, launched a hit sequel with Words With Friends 2 and brought innovative new ways to play to people around the world. The game’s success through this decade-long journey has been powered by player connections made through quick and clever wordplay that has become a touchstone in fans’ lives.
For supporting still and video assets, visit: https://bit.ly/WWF_Octochamps.
Zynga is a global leader in interactive entertainment with a mission to connect the world through games. To date, more than one billion people have played Zynga’s franchises including CSR Racing™, Empires & Puzzles™, Merge Dragons!™ Merge Magic!™, Toon Blast™, Toy Blast™, Words With Friends™ and Zynga Poker™. Zynga’s games are available in more than 150 countries and are playable across social platforms and mobile devices worldwide. Founded in 2007, the company is headquartered in San Francisco with locations in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, India, Turkey and Finland. For more information, visit www.zynga.com or follow Zynga on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or the Zynga blog.
About the Scripps National Spelling Bee:
The Scripps National Spelling Bee is the nation’s largest and longest-running educational program, having launched in 1925. The purpose of the Scripps National Spelling Bee is to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives. Visit spellingbee.com for more information about the Scripps National Spelling Bee, which is administered on a not-for-profit basis by The E.W. Scripps Company.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements, relating to, among other things, events and featuring in the franchise Words With Friends. Forward-looking statements often include words such as “outlook,” “projected,” “planned,” “intends,” “will,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “target,” “expect,” and statements in the future tense are generally forward-looking. The achievement or success of the matters covered by such forward-looking statements involves significant risks, uncertainties, and assumptions. Undue reliance should not be placed on such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date hereof. We assume no obligation to update such statements. More information about these risks, uncertainties, and assumptions is or will be described in greater detail in our public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), copies of which may be obtained by visiting our Investor Relations website at http://investor.zynga.com or the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov.