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Nextel Products and Services Featured in Herbie and Friends Tour across America; National Road Trip Precedes June 22 Opening of Walt Disney Pictures' ''Herbie: Fully Loaded''.

RESTON, Va. & BURBANK, Calif. -- Direct Connect services assist Disney's popular car star, Herbie The Love Bug, with greeting fans across the country in a 60 city, 19 state caravan tour

Nextel Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NXTL) and Walt Disney Pictures today announced their partnership for the "Herbie and Friends Tour Across America," a nationwide four-week tour of Disney's Herbie the Love Bug and hundreds of other Volkswagen enthusiasts to celebrate the release of the movie "Herbie: Fully Loaded." The caravan, presented by Airheadparts, will visit 60 cities and 19 states coast-to-coast before concluding on June 12.

To maximize communication throughout the tour, Herbie and Friends will be using Nextel mobile phones equipped with Nextel Direct Connect(R), the instant walkie-talkie service that connects users in under a second, Group Connect(SM), Nextel's group walkie-talkie service, and Direct Talk(SM), Nextel's short-range off-network walkie-talkie service that allows users who are far beyond wireless coverage to keep in touch using a two-way radio-to-radio communication. In addition, the Nextel phones will be equipped with location-based services that provide audible turn-by-turn directions and the ability to track Herbie on the movie's web site (

"Using Direct Connect services, including Group Connect and Direct Talk, groups like the Herbie and Friends Tour can communicate instantly when it matters most. We are pleased to have this opportunity to support the release of the latest Herbie movie and help the tour navigate across the country," said Michael Robichaud, Nextel's senior director of sports and entertainment marketing. "The partnership with Disney was a natural connection for us with Herbie as an aspiring NASCAR Nextel Cup Series(TM) contender in the movie."

Herbie is scheduled to visit national landmarks including the St. Louis Arch, Chicago's Navy Pier, the Automotive Heritage Museum near Detroit, New York's Manhattan skyline, the Washington D.C. Mall, Tampa Bay, New Orleans' French Quarter, and the Del Mar Fair near San Diego. In each city, Herbie and hundreds of local VW owners and enthusiasts will participate in local events, take part in a traveling Classic Car Show and be greeted by friends and fans of the films. For a full list of tour stops, visit

Nextel is supporting the release of the film with a wide selection of downloadable Herbie-themed ring tones, wallpapers and an interactive game. Herbie fans can receive text messages from Herbie along the tour and play a text messaging trivia game to win prizes including a family trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Special pricing around the recently-released Motorola i275 from Nextel and an accessory bundle will also be available in Nextel retail stores and online. For information on these and other opportunities, visit after June 1.

The movie, which stars Lindsay Lohan, Justin Long, Breckin Meyer, Matt Dillon and Michael Keaton, tells the story of a college student who follows her dream, over her Dad's objections, to compete in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series(TM) with help from a Volkswagen Beetle named Herbie. It opens in theaters nationwide on Wednesday, June 22nd.

About Nextel Communications

Nextel Communications, a FORTUNE 200 company based in Reston, Va., is a leading provider of fully integrated wireless communications services and has built the largest guaranteed all-digital wireless network in the country covering thousands of communities across the United States. Today 95 percent of FORTUNE 500(R) companies are Nextel customers. Nextel and Nextel Partners, Inc. currently serve 297 of the top 300 U.S. markets where approximately 262 million people live or work.

About Nextel Partners

Nextel Partners, Inc. (NASDAQ:NXTP), based in Kirkland, Wash., has exclusive rights to offer the same fully integrated, digital wireless communications services offered by Nextel Communications, Inc. (Nextel) in mid-sized and rural markets in 31 states where approximately 54 million people reside. To learn more about Nextel Partners, visit

About The Walt Disney Studios

Walt Disney Studios is a unit of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) and distributes motion pictures under Walt Disney Pictures -- which includes Walt Disney Feature Animation and DisneyToon Studios -- Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, Miramax Films and Dimension Films. Buena Vista International serves as the studio's international distribution arm. Buena Vista Home Entertainment and Buena Vista Home Entertainment International together distribute Disney and other film titles to the rental and sell-through home entertainment markets worldwide. Buena Vista Theatrical Productions is one of the largest producers of Broadway musicals, and the Buena Vista Music Group distributes original music and motion picture soundtracks under its four record labels: Walt Disney Records, Buena Vista Records, Hollywood Records and Lyric Street Records.

About Walt Disney Pictures' Herbie: Fully Loaded

Opening in theaters everywhere on June 22nd, Walt Disney Pictures' high-octane comedy, "Herbie: Fully Loaded," follows the all-new adventures of the most beloved car star of them all. Lindsay Lohan stars as Maggie Peyton, the new owner of Number 53 - the free wheelin' Volkswagen Bug with a mind of its own - who puts the car through its paces on the road to becoming a NASCAR competitor. Herbie's got some new tricks under his hood as he takes audiences for an action-packed spin in this high-speed comedy. With an all-star cast along for a wild ride, this comedy puts Herbie to the test - on-road, off-road, on the track and into the record books.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 18, 2005
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