Politics Are Brewing at 7-Eleven®
Retailer Invites Americans to Vote in Fourth 7-Election™
Presidential Coffee Cup Poll

Dallas (Sept. 13, 2012) – Every four years, some things happen like clockwork – leap year, the summer and winter Olympic games, U.S. presidential elections, and with it, 7-Eleven®’s 7-Election™ Presidential Coffee Cup Poll.

In past years, millions of everyday Americans have participated in the 7-Election vote as they go about their daily routines. While many states offer early voting that typically begins a few days before Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 6), the 2012 7-Election voting starts really early – September.

Billed as unabashedly unofficial and unscientific, 7-Election invites customers to vote by selecting specially marked coffee cups, blue for President Barack Obama and red for former Gov. Mitt Romney. 7-Eleven’s regular “nonpartisan” cups are also available for undecided customers or those who would rather not publicize their presidential preference. Patriotic coffee-drinkers can vote at participating 7-Eleven stores as early and as often as they want in the two months leading up to the national election.

7-Election cups are instantly tabulated at the register when the sale is made. National, state and major market results will be posted daily on www.7-election.com, a website created especially for the coffee-cup poll. Poll tallies will reflect the percentage of candidate cups sold to date, not including 7-Eleven’s regular (“undecided”) cups. Participating 7-Eleven stores are encouraged to post their stores’ latest race results at the hot beverage islands.

“Each day, almost 7 million Americans visit our neighborhood stores on their way to work, after school or while they’re out and about. Around 1 million of those purchase a cup of 7-Eleven coffee,” said 7-Eleven, Inc. President and CEO Joe DePinto. “While we have never billed 7-Election as scientific or statistically valid, it is astounding just how accurate this simple count-the-cups poll has been – election after election. We have had a lot of fun with it, and I hope we have encouraged people how important it is to vote in the real election.”

7-Eleven has added several new elements to perk up the company’s 2012 campaign including its second annual CofFREE Day, Friday, Sept. 28. As a nod to National Coffee Day (officially on Saturday, Sept. 29), which occurs during the 7-Election campaign, 7-Eleven encourages people to stop by stores and vote their choices. Between 6 and 10 a.m. that day, customers can vote by selecting a free large cup of coffee in their preferred blue or red cup. During that same time period, nonpartisan large-size 7-Eleven cups also are available for free. This is the first CofFREE Day held during 7-Election, and voter turnout is expected to be strong – as is the coffee.

New this year, 7-Eleven has partnered with The Onion, a popular, Peabody award-winning news satire organization, to help get out the vote. The retailer is sponsoring The Onion’s “War for the White House” news coverage, which includes four exclusive news vignettes that can be seen on Onion News and the 7-Election website.

Also, a special “Mobile Oval” political party bus featuring a mini-presidential Oval Office on wheels will be traversing the country from Friday, Sept. 28, through Election Day, Nov, 6. The very-visible vehicle will make multiple campaign stops, with the 7-Eleven grassroots team offering free coffee samples, handing out coupons and taking photos of visitors in the Mobile Oval or with their favorite candidate. Tweets from the road will appear on Twitter (#mobileoval), and a map highlighting the bus route will be updated regularly on the 7-Election website.

Other elements of 2012 7-Election include a grassroots-on-wheels campaign. Festooned with backdrops that include life-sized likenesses of each of the two candidates, 7-Eleven sampling buses are serving up both great coffee and photo opportunities with their favorite two-dimensional candidate through Election Day.

Since 2000, 7-Eleven “coffee cup-voters” have successfully predicted the winner in each presidential election, giving 7-Election a better track record than some well-known statistically valid polls. Past 7-Election results compared to actual vote tallies were:

2000 Election 7-Election  U.S. Voters
George W. Bush*   21 percent** 47.9 percent
Al Gore 20 percent** 48.4 percent
2004 Election    
George W. Bush* 51 percent 50.7 percent
John Kerry     49 percent 48.3 percent
2008 Election    
John McCain   46 percent  45.7 percent
Barack Obama* 52 percent  52.9 percent
**In the 2000 7-Election, all cup sales, including unmarked “nonpartisan” cups, were tallied.
In subsequent years, only the candidate cups were included in the results.

7-Eleven customers also will see the return of vanilla-flavored “Purple for the People” Slurpee® drinks at participating 7-Eleven stores, billed as a “peace-maker” beverage to unite the country. During the contentious mid-term 2010 elections, 7-Eleven created the unifying purple drink to symbolically unite the red and blue sides of the political spectrum.

7-Eleven was the first U.S. retailer to offer fresh-brewed coffee in to-go cups back in the mid 1960s. It proved an instant success. Customers liked fixing their coffee the way they wanted it – choosing cup size, regular or decaffeinated, and adding sweeteners and creamers to suit their tastes. Today, 7-Eleven sells more fresh-brewed coffee than anything else – 1 million cups per day. In each of the past 7-Election polls, more than 6 million candidate cups were cast.

While a nonpartisan beverage enjoyed by Democrats and Republicans alike, coffee does have deep political roots in American history. In 1607, Captain John Smith in Virginia introduced coffee in America, and it was named the national beverage by the First Continental Congress after the Boston Tea Party.

What’s Brewing during 7-Election 2012

How to Vote – It’s easy. Visit a participating 7-Eleven store. Head to the hot beverage (coffee) bar. Select a blue cup for Obama or a red cup for Romney. Fill with hot drink and customize, if desired, with free creamers, syrups and sweeteners. Take to the cash register. When the UPC code is scanned, the cup’s vote is counted. National, state and major market results are posted at the end of the day on the 2012 7-Election website at www.7-election.com. People are invited to vote as often as they want.

CofFREE Day – It promises to be an election free-for-all. 7-Eleven will pour it on Friday, Sept. 28. That’s when customers are invited to stop by a participating 7-Eleven store and vote by selecting a free, large-size red or blue cup of coffee between 6 and 10 a.m.

Mobile Oval Tour – This political party bus is on the campaign trail, crossing the country starting on CofFREE Day, Friday, Sept. 28 through Election Day, Nov. 6. Inside is a mini-replica of the Presidential Oval office, where visitors can have their oh-so-official-looking photos made. Scheduled stops and photos will be posted on 7-Election.com, 7-Eleven’s Facebook fan page and Twitter feed.

Sampling Trucks – Sampling trucks with larger-than-life backdrops of the two candidates will be showing up at local events during the 7-Election campaign. As with the Mobile Oval Office, people will be invited to enjoy a cup of 7-Eleven java and have their photos taken with their favorite candidate between Sept. 6 and Nov. 6.

Purple for the People (P4P) Slurpee Drinks – The beverage that was born during the mid-term 2010 elections is back in a favorite nonpartisan flavor, vanilla. Red and blue makes purple, of course, and this vanilla-flavor blend targets those who want to lower the heat of the campaign. As the “peacemaker” choice, the P4P frozen beverage is featured on the Slurpee Facebook page that offers buy-one-get-one coupons that friends can send to stop a heated debate or cool hot heads. Consider it an apolitical Brainfreeze® beverage. An easy-to-use purple debate-blocker can be downloaded to offer a visual cue that one is retreating from the political games-playing.

The Onion – This cheeky news outlet is popular with those who don’t always take the news of the day too seriously. As the sole sponsor of The Onion’s 2012 War for the White House coverage, 7-Eleven will be popping up on The Onion’s website. Exclusive video content will be featured on the 7-Election website as well.

7-Election Website, API and Social Media – The 7-Election website is buzzing with information including daily cup counts nationally, by state and major markets … exclusive videos from The Onion … free downloads like masks, flags and do-it-yourself confetti … updates on the Mobile Oval Tour (see above) and more.

7-Eleven also has developed its first open API (application programming interface) and three plug-in widgets to make the latest 7-Election cup results available to third-party mobile apps, websites and digital media. The 7-Election API allows election followers to check national, state and major market cup-voting results on a variety of virtual locations.

Seeing Stars – As if Blue and Red coffee cups aren’t enough, 7-Eleven also will debut fresh-baked-daily patriotic donuts. Look for the star-shaped donuts with red or blue icing. They’re just for fun … and deliciousness. Donuts do not count as votes in 7-Election.

About 7-Eleven, Inc.
7-Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry. Based in Dallas, Texas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses approximately 9,400 7-Eleven® stores in North America. Globally, there are some 47,600 7-Eleven stores in 16 countries. During 2011, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales close to $76.6 billion. 7-Eleven has been honored by a number of companies and organizations recently. Accolades include: #2 on Forbes magazine’s 2011 list of Top Franchises for the Money; #3 spot on Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 list for 2012, #3 in Forbes magazine’s Top 20 Franchises to Start, and #2 in Franchise Times Top 200 Franchise Companies. Hispanic Magazine named 7-Eleven among its Hispanic Corporate Top 100 Companies that provide the most opportunities to Hispanics. 7-Eleven received the 2010 Retailer of the Year honor from PL Buyer because of the company's private-label brand initiative. 7-Eleven is franchising its stores in the U.S. and expanding through organic growth, acquisitions and its Business Conversion Program. Find out more online at www.7-Eleven.com.

7-Eleven, Inc.
Margaret Chabris