|Austin Wierschke, winner of the 6th Annual LG U.S. National Texting Championship|
How fast can you text? Chances are, not as fast as Austin Wierschke. The 17-year-old from Wisconsin has just won the 6th Annual LG U.S. National Texting Championship for the second year in a row. Besides taking home the virtual crown, Austin also gets to take home a very real $50,000.
The quest to find the nation’s fastest texter began in 2007 and draws more than 500,000 competitors from across the county to the LG stage in New York each year. With every new championship, mobile technology leader LG returns to New York with new challenges, new prizes, and eye-catching text-themed events.
This year, the thumb-based competition, held in Times Square, New York, saw eleven of America’s fastest texters put their speed and accuracy to the test. To be sure no competitor had an advantage in technology, they all used the same model phone, the official LG U.S. National Texting Championship device, the Straight Talk LG Optimus Zip with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. More than just sending random messages, the contestants were called upon to text specific phrases exactly as they appeared on a screen, identify texting acronyms, text backwards, and even type while blindfolded.
The 2012 LG National Texting Championship concluded with the “Text Attack” challenge, which required the finalists to type a series of phrases as quickly and accurately as possible. Taking on 16-year-old Kent Augustine from Queens, New York, Wierschke knew he would not only have to be fast, but also hit the keys in perfect order to be victorious. “Hearing my name called for the second time was amazing and a total shock,” said Wiershcke. “I feel really lucky that I was able to come back this year to compete again.”
The Texting Championship is fun, but there’s more to it than that. This year, LG included a special “Text for a Cause” round, focusing attention on Cartoon Network’s “Stop Bullying: Speak Up” campaign. The “Text for a Cause” round was hosted by bullying prevention expert Rosalind Wiseman. Wiseman rallied event attendees to pledge their support for bulling prevention by texting “Join LG” to 27777. For every text message sent, LG made a contribution to help develop and distribute bullying prevention toolkits to middle and high schools across the country.
James Fishler, senior vice president of marketing and go-to-market operations at LG Electronics US, commented, “Texting is one of the most popular forms of communication and yet it continually surprises us just how fast these kids can draft and send out a message. But because texting is such a fast, convenient form of communication, it’s easy for people to use it to bully and spread negativity. We are proud to use the 2012 LG U.S. National Texting Championship as a platform to challenge all of us to take responsibility for stopping bullying in our communities.”
Cartoon Network’s Stop Bullying: Speak Up program provides anti-bullying resources for both students and educators. Using a three-pronged approach that encourages students to report bullying to an adult, support those who have been bullied, and get involved with school prevention programs, Stop Bullying: Speak Up empowers youth to take action against bullying.