RIM Announces ‘BBM Generation’ Program for Youth
Do you have what it takes to be the next big thing? Whether you're an aspiring actor, fashion designer, musician, athlete, or entrepreneur, this is your chance to prove what you've got, and a shot at making it big. Research In Motion has just launched a cool competition in the US and Canada, giving you a chance to be a protege of one of six BBM Challenge Council members.

Depending on where your interest lies, you can apply to become a protege of Whitney Port, Michelle Trachtenberg, Lauren Berger, Greyson Chance, Jared Eng, or Hope Solo. To enter, you are required to submit a video or photo essay that shows why you want to be a protege. Winners receive a free BlackBerry, direct contact with the celebrity via an exclusive BBM group, and the chance to meet them in person by winning challenges over an 8 week period. The submission period ends October 17th, so if you're interested, don't delay.

Full press release with more details and how to enter can be found after the break.

RIM Announces ‘BBM Generation’ Program for Youth

BBM Challenge Council Gives Ambitious Youth the Opportunity to Connect with their Passions, Peers and Celebrities

Waterloo, ON – September 30, 2011 –Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced the launch of BBM™ Generation (www.blackberry.com/bbmgeneration) – an online hub designed to help promote collaboration and achievement amongst youth through social media while also offering young people access to exciting promotions and contests.

BBM Generation launches a contest that will tap into and encourage the enormous creative and collaborative talents of young people as they pursue their passion in the areas of fashion, music, film, sports, popular culture and entrepreneurship.

The contest is centered around the BBM™ Challenge Council – a group of high achieving young influencers who represent the accomplishments derived from talent, hard work and the spirit to succeed.  These teen and twenty-something movers and shakers have teamed up with RIM to find and cultivate the BBM Generation.

Young influencers who make up the BBM Challenge Council include:

Fashion – Whitney Port, fashion designer and television personality
Music – Greyson Chance, singer
Film – Michelle Trachtenberg, film and TV actress
Sports – Hope Solo, U.S. Women’s Soccer Goalkeeper
Pop Culture – Jared Eng, celebrity blogger, JustJared.com
Entrepreneurship – Lauren Berger, entrepreneur; ‘the Intern Queen’

Here’s how the BBM Challenge Council contest works:

Beginning October 3rd, candidates for each of the categories named above are invited to submit a video or photo and essay at (www.bbmchallengecouncil) telling the BBM Challenge Council member why they should be picked as a protégé.  Up to 25 protégés will be selected in each category and invited to compete in the Challenge.*

Protégés will be sent a new BlackBerry® 7 smartphone for themselves and up to three friends, who will collaborate on the Challenges outlined below.  Each BBM Challenge Council member will also provide their protégés with their personal BBM™ PINs and communicate directly with the protégés during the course of the program to issue challenges and offer support and encouragement.

The BBM Challenge Council will issue four separate challenges to their protégés over an eight week period.  Challenges will range from pitching an idea for a business to raising money for charity.  Protégés will use their BlackBerry smartphone to document their entries, collaborate with their teams using BBM, and tap their social networks to garner support as they compete for the attention of their council member. 

At the end of the contest, a winning protégé will be selected from each category, earning a trip for their team to visit and spend time with their council member.

The contest will unfold online as program followers can see videos featuring the BBM Challenge Council detailing each of the Challenges and watch video footage generated by the protégés for each of the challenge submissions.

“Our youth are a new generation of collaborators, who use social tools, like BBM, to get things done together in innovative and creative ways,” said Rick Costanzo, Regional Managing Director - Americas at Research In Motion.  “We’re marrying the world’s most collaborative tools with the world’s most collaborative generation. With the guidance of the tremendously gifted BBM Challenge Council members, there’s no telling what these protégés can accomplish.” 

In addition to the BBM Challenge Council contest, BlackBerry-sponsored events and activities are occurring on over 65 college and university campuses across Canada and the U.S. this fall. The on-campus brand awareness program is designed to promote the collaborative nature of the BlackBerry brand through BlackBerry® “Messengers” – students recruited by RIM to help promote the brand and serve as on-campus representatives to engage and educate their friends and peers about the benefits of using BlackBerry products and services.

“BlackBerry has a huge following among young people.  Millions of teens and young adults have chosen BlackBerry smartphones and are using social apps like BBM to stay instantly connected with their friends,” added Rick Costanzo.  “Our presence on campus reinforces our commitment to serving this market and we have a great new lineup of BlackBerry® 7 smartphones to promote, including the new BlackBerry® Bold™, BlackBerry® Curve™ and BlackBerry® Torch™ models.”

*Information about BBM Generation, including full contest details, rules and regulations can be found at www.blackberry.com/bbmgeneration.

BBM Challenge Council Member Quotes:

Fashion – Whitney Port:
"Many people feel that they know me since I have allowed cameras to follow my life and career in fashion, but what they don't realize is that I didn't get to where I am today just by my taste in clothes. Fashion is what defines me and drives me to work hard, but I haven't come this far without the help of industry mentors, friends, family and fans.  They've always been there to build me up and guide me in the right direction.  That's why I'm teaming up with BlackBerry to lead the fashion category of the BBM Challenge Council.  I want to help push the next generation with a passion for fashion."

Music – Greyson Chance:
“I’ve had an amazing year.  I just released my first album, performed all over the world, and got a chance to meet some of my idols.  I’m so incredibly lucky, and it’s all because of my fans tweeting my videos and sharing my work with their friends.  I wouldn’t be here without them.  Now I want to help you do the same.  That’s why I joined the BBM Challenge Council.  I’m looking for the next set of music-loving social superstars.”

Film – Michelle Trachtenberg:
“Being a part of film and television is an exhilarating and rewarding experience, but the best part about being an actress today is that I get to interact with all my fans on Twitter and other outlets in media! It's my appreciation of social media that led me to join the BBM Challenge Council. I'm looking for some social savvy film buffs to join my team.”

Sports - Hope Solo:
“When I was playing against Japan in the Women’s World Cup, fans watching the game broke the record for most tweets per second.  Isn’t that awesome -- to be cheering on your team with the entire world?  It’s that type of spirit that’s inspired me to head up the sports team of the BBM Challenge Council.  I’m looking for socially-connected sports fans to be part of my team.”

Popular Culture – Jared Eng:
“Believe it or not, my success didn’t come overnight; I started my own blog years ago and passed it around to friends. Then they sent it to their friends, one thing led to another and bam!  Here we are! Now, I just want to spread the love. I joined the BBM Challenge Council to find the next generation of pop culture experts.”

Entrepreneurship – Lauren Berger:
“After completing 15 amazing internships in four years, I now own my own business that helps college students land their dream internships.  And it’s in the spirit of helping ambitious, young people reach their full potential that I’m joining T-Mobile and BlackBerry for the BBM Challenge Council.”