Official Countdown to June 21 Begins

New York, NY (May 19, 2003) -- Scholastic announced today a multi-million dollar marketing campaign for the historic launch of the fifth Harry Potter title: HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX.  With an unprecedented initial print run of 8.5 million copies, the book will be supported by J.K. Rowling doing limited national media interviews and a marketing campaign that includes: national advertising and publicity; billboard promotion; partnerships with four Major League Baseball teams; promotional giveaways, and thousands of midnight parties at retail locations across the country celebrating the June 21 publication date. Additionally, Scholastic is holding a national kids' essay contest (previously announced) and will send the ten winners and their companions on an all expense paid trip to London to attend the world exclusive J.K. Rowling event at the Royal Albert Hall. 
"Is Harry Ready? Are You?" -- MARKETING THEME FOR PROMOTIONS LEADING UP TO THE PUBLICATION OF THE BOOK. As part of the campaign, Scholastic has distributed promotional materials to retailers including: three million mini bumper stickers; 400,000 buttons; 50,000 window clings; 9,500 easelbacks and 24,000 standees with a countdown clock.  In addition, Scholastic has supplied over 15,000 HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX event kits to booksellers to help them plan their midnight events.
The retail event kits include a "Readiness Review" with 20 questions from Years One through Four with questions like:   "What other Hogwarts House does the Sorting Hat consider putting Harry Potter in, but does not upon Harry's request?" (chapter 7 year one); "Whose silver sword does Harry Potter use to defeat the basilisk?" (chapter l8 year two); "What special role did Sirius Black play for Harry Potter's parents, James and Lily?" (chapter 7 year three) and "Who turned the Triwizard Cup into a Portkey?" (chapter 35 year four) among others.  Answer sheets are included as well as stickers, reproducible invitations, ideas and decoration suggestions. Every major retailer and independent bookseller will be holding parties to celebrate and crafting unique promotional opportunities for their customers.  The parties will be covered by major media across the country.
"Deeper Secrets, Darker Powers, Stronger Magic" - SCHOLASTIC'S NEW THEME FOR THE ON-SALE PHASE.  Electronic billboard in Times Square will announce the official on-sale date of HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX at precisely 12:01 a.m. on June 21.  In Los Angeles, a moving billboard will do the same on Sunset Strip.  Billboards in Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL, Cincinnati, OH, Dallas, TX, Denver, CO, Minneapolis, MN, Nashville, TN, Orlando, FL, Phoenix, AZ, and Portland, OR will debut on July 1.
Scholastic has partnered with four Major League Baseball teams to sponsor HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX days at the following games:  Seattle Mariners vs. San Diego Padres on June 27; Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees on July 2; Oakland Athletics vs. Anaheim Angels on July 6, and Houston Astros vs. Pittsburgh Pirates on July 12.  Each team has crafted unique promotions including players dressed up in HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX outfits displayed on the video board, costume contests, raffles, and promotional giveaways-a total of 75,000 bookmarks will be given away to fans.   The sponsorship will be promoted via the teams' various media outlets including live in-game television mentions, radio, scoreboard messages, and the official team magazine/newsletter resulting in an estimated reach of over 10 million.
Scholastic is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books.  Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children's books, textbooks, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, videos and toys.  The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including: proprietary school-based book clubs, school-based book fairs, and direct-to-home continuity programs; retail stores, schools, libraries, and television networks; and the Company's Internet site.

Kris Moran
Judy Corman