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Anvita Mishra Of Lincoln, CA Wins 2010 MetLife South Asian Spelling Bee

Press Release

Anvita Mishra of Lincoln, CA, correctly spelled the word ‘naumkeag’ during the 2010 South Asian Spelling Bee Finals to clinch the title of National Champion. During the event on August 14, which was taped live for broadcast on Sony Entertainment Television, Anvita Mishra along with 17 other finalists competed for the title. Sukanya Roy from South Abington, PA was the first runner-up and Sriram Hathwar from Painted Post, NY was the second runner-up.

Eighteen top spellers from the 9 regional centers gathered at North Brunswick High School Auditorium to battle it out for the title of champion and a $10,000 prize. It took a total of 17 grueling rounds of spelling words like gebrauchsmusik, hygrodeik and sdrucciola for the winner to emerge.

The event was organized by leading South Asian advertising firm, Touchdown Media Inc. and sponsored by MetLife, insurance, employee benefits and financial services. This year the Bee also welcomed Yatra.com, a leading travel company from India, as the Associate Sponsor for the event. Sony Entertainment Television is the exclusive rights holder and will be broadcasting the event across the globe in over 150 countries.

“We are very pleased with the event this year and congratulate Anvita Mishra for becoming the best South Asian speller across the country. I am excited to see a girl bagging the title this year and congratulate all the finalists on an amazing job” says Rahul Walia, CEO, Touchdown Media Inc. and founder of the South Asian Spelling Bee.

He also adds “This is a great platform that helps children showcase their talent, hone their skill and inculcate a sense of discipline and discipline that will help in their overall development. I urge parents to take advantage of this unique contest next year.”

The Finals were co-hosted by 2009 champ, Akshat Shekhar and special guest Annamika Veeramani, Scripps 2010 Champion, who provided commentary throughout the contest.

The champion received a $10,000 grand prize from MetLife along with the South Asian Spelling Bee trophy.

“We congratulate all of the families who participated in the 2010 South Asian Spelling Bee,” says Laurel Daring, assistant vice president of Marketing at MetLife. “As the title sponsor for the second consecutive year, we were excited to see hundreds of families come together once again for this fun, educational event, and to learn how to start planning for the rising costs of education.”

The event was open to children up to 14 years of age and was held in 9 regional centers across the United States. These areas included, New Jersey, DC Metro area, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, New York, Boston, Los Angeles and the Bay Area. The contest was conducted in written and oral format at the regional levels which served as the elimination as well as selection process for the finalists.

Jaideep Janakiram, Head – North America, SET Asia commented, “Over the past three years, the South Asian Spelling Bee has been making an impact amongst the youth across the US. Sony Entertainment Television Asia is pleased to have been a part of it from the beginning and to be able to broadcast this event to audiences around the globe.”

After registering their child online at www.southasianspellingbee.com, parents brought them to the designated center and a 25 word written test was administered. Children had to spell 15 or more words correctly to qualify for the afternoon oral round and from there the top three were awarded prize money and the top two qualified for the Finals.

From each of these centers, the finalists along with a parent were invited on an all expenses paid trip to the finals in NJ. Overall about 500 children registered to spell amongst all the centers.

The contest will be conducted annually in the June and July months and the 2011 schedule will be announced in October this year. For more information and to keep abreast with the upcoming events, log onto www.southasianspellingbee.com.

About MetLife:
MetLife, Inc. is a leading provider of insurance, employee benefits and financial services with operations throughout the United States and the Latin America, Europe and Asia Pacific regions. Through its subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife, Inc. reaches more than 70 million customers around the world and MetLife is the largest life insurer in the United States (based on life insurance in-force). The MetLife companies offer life insurance, annuities, auto and home insurance, retail banking and other financial services to individuals, as well as group insurance and retirement & savings products and services to corporations and other institutions. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.

About Sony Entertainment Television:
Since its launch on the Indian subcontinent in 1995, Sony Entertainment Television (SET) has enjoyed rapid success, leading to the establishment of European, North American and African feeds known as SET Asia. SET and SET Asia are now available in over 150 countries. The channels offer their viewers a distinctive blend of entertainment programs twenty-four hours a day, including, soap operas, dramas, sitcoms, concerts, movies, and game shows. For more information, visit www.setasia.tv.

About Touchdown Media Inc.:
Touchdown Media Inc., is a specialized South Asian advertising and promotions firm based in New Jersey. Now in its 7th successful year, Touchdown has helped clients - both mainstream and otherwise, to reach out to the lucrative South Asian market, Touchdown Media represents more than 25 years of collective experience in this niche market. As a full service ad firm, Touchdown has helped many clients achieve their media and marketing goals within the South Asian Diaspora in the US.

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(From L to R) Snoopy, Al Devji, Anvita Mishra and Rahul Walia.

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