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BWI Drives Literacy with Hornets' Bookmobile

11/19/2007

BEST WESTERN INTERNATIONAL DRIVES LITERACY
IN GULF COAST REGION WITH HORNETS' BOOKMOBILE

NEW ORLEANS (Nov. 19, 2007) - The World's Largest Hotel Chain® has teamed with the NBA's New Orleans Hornets to put books in the hands of Gulf South children affected by Hurricane Katrina. Today, Best Western International announced a major sponsorship of the Hornets' Bookmobile, a traveling library that will visit more than 150 schools and deliver 30,000 books this season.

The sponsorship has two components. A two-year $110,000 commitment will help fund the overall program. In addition, Best Western International has pledged $100,000 to stock the Bookmobile. Best Western hotel owners and headquarters employees are reaching into their own pockets to purchase books from Scholastic, the world's largest distributor of children's books.

"Best Western's partnership with the Hornets is about investing in children and in the future of communities impacted by Hurricane Katrina," said David Kong, president and CEO of Best Western International. "Our 2,400 North American hotel owners have a strong track record of giving back, both locally and nationally. Our support of the Bookmobile extends this philosophy."

"Best Western International is one of the world's leading brands, and we share their passion for helping New Orleans return to its rightful place among the world's great event cities," said Hornets Senior Vice President of Corporate Partnerships and Broadcast Peter Goldsberry. "We're extremely proud to partner with Best Western, and their support of the Bookmobile will ensure that children across the Gulf South have access to books they can call their own."

The Bookmobile is being maintained in part by Scholastic, the global children's publishing, education and media company. In addition to donating 3,000 books, the company is contributing storage space and free shipping to the project.

The Bookmobile made its 2007-2008 debut last month at the NBA's Read to Achieve tip-off event featuring the Hornets and Sacramento Kings.

Visit Hornets.com for more information about the Bookmobile, presented by Best Western International, or other Read to Achieve initiatives.
ABOUT BEST WESTERN INTERNATIONAL
Best Western International is THE WORLD'S LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN®, providing marketing, reservations and operational support to 4,200* independently owned and operated member hotels in 80* countries and territories worldwide. Founded in 1946, this iconic brand is host to approximately 400,000 worldwide guests each night. A pioneer within the industry, Best Western is recognized for its distinctive business model and diverse hotel portfolio. The company continues to innovate and enhance both the business and leisure travel experience. For more information or to make a reservation, please visit www.bestwestern.com.

*Numbers are approximate and can fluctuate.

ABOUT THE NEW ORLEANS HORNETS
With passion, purpose and pride the New Orleans Hornets have returned home full-time to the New Orleans Arena for the 2007-08 season. Led by 2006 T-Mobile Rookie of the Year Chris Paul and a talented cast of players, the Hornets look to reach the playoffs this season in the NBA¿s ultra-competitive Western Conference. For more information on the Hornets please visit Hornets.com.