Actor Idris Elba Joins 4G Competitive Edge Filmmakers Challenge Sponsored by Sprint

February 14, 2011
Connecting 4G technology and filmmaking, the short film competition college tour kicks off this month as part of Black History Month

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), February 14, 2011 –
(NYSE: S), along with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) and
Wells Fargo, announces Golden Globe nominee Idris Elba as the official
ambassador for the 4G Competitive Edge Filmmakers Challenge, a
competition that calls on college students to shoot a short film with a
smartphone. The short film is designed to illustrate how the ease and
services of Sprint 4G gives students a competitive edge.

“We are thrilled to have an acclaimed actor such as Idris to inspire
young filmmakers with this competition,” said Matt Carter, president of
Sprint 4G and Wholesale. “Idris’ work is a prime example of how
technology can fuel the creative process and result in a vibrant
on-screen experience. Together, we’re challenging students to push the
boundaries of traditional filmmaking by harnessing the power of Sprint
4G’s vast portfolio of devices and applications to redefine the medium
and develop their artistry.”

According to a recent independent survey of cell phone users,
African-Americans make up 33 percent of all smartphone consumers in the
United States, although they constitute only 13 percent of the
population.* The 4G Competitive Edge Filmmakers Challenge offers diverse
students a chance to demonstrate their creativity using the cutting-edge
technology of smartphone devices.

Elba, the official ambassador for the competition, was first introduced
to the public by his role as Russell “Stringer” Bell on the acclaimed
HBO series “The Wire.” Elba was most recently nominated for a Golden
Globe for his role in the BBC America’s drama “Luther.” His other
works include films such as “Takers,” “Obsessed” and “Tyler
Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls.” He is currently the executive producer
and star of the art house thriller “Legacy.”

As part of the competition, Sprint, along with Wells Fargo, will launch
a college tour to visit several historically black colleges and
universities (HBCU) around the country throughout the month of February.
The tour will head to TMCF member institutions including Morehouse
College, North Carolina A&T State University, North Carolina Central
University, Virginia Union University and Shaw University. The tour will
conclude at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C., just in time
for the CIAA Tournament. Elba will join Sprint, TMCF and Wells Fargo to
announce the winners at Howard University in April. A list of tour dates
and schools can be found at

“Our 47 public HBCU campuses are home to 235,000 students and present a
truly unique pool of talent for Sprint, Wells Fargo and Idris Elba to
find the most talented young minds,” said Johnny C. Taylor, Jr.,
president and chief executive officer of Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
“The 4G Competitive Edge Filmmakers Challenge is a pairing of the
arts and technology that distinctly aligns with the type of innovation
and ingenuity we are cultivating in the next generation of leaders.”

At each tour stop, students will have the opportunity to attend the
Wells Fargo Empowerment Panel to receive insider tips about financial
fitness and entrepreneurship. Panelists will give fresh insights on the
elements necessary for a successful career whether behind or in front of
the camera via the newest technology. Following the panel discussion,
students will have the opportunity to screen Elba’s feature film,
“Legacy.” Students will also be able to experience various Sprint 4G
devices, including the new HTC
EVO Shift™ 4G
as well as the popular HTC
and Samsung
Epic™ 4G

The 4G Competitive Edge Short Film Competition launched in December 2010
and is open until 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on March 4, 2011. Two selected
winners of the competition will get a trip to Los Angeles to spend a day
on a movie set with Elba, dine with a Sprint executive and receive
$2,500 to jump-start their careers.

For complete information about the contest, including college tour
dates, contest rules and eligibility, visit
On the site, participants can also find resources such as expert chats,
podcasts and how-to guides. The public can also visit the site to view
and vote for the best short films.

Follow along on Facebook at: Sprint,
Marshall College Fund
and Idris
, or on Twitter at: @sprint,
and @idriselba.

Sprint has been a leader in 4G wireless technology since launching its
first 4G market in Baltimore in October 2008. Sprint 4G is in 71 markets
across the nation and offers a growing 4G device portfolio. Sprint 4G
service plans are available at Sprint retail stores, through Sprint
telesales at 1-800-Sprint-1 or online at

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline
communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers,
businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 49.9
million customers at the end of 2010 and is widely recognized for
developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including
the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United
States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid
brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance
Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities;
and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 6 in
its 2010 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest
companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn
more and visit Sprint at

About The Thurgood Marshall College Fund

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Inc. (TMCF), named after the late
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice, was established in 1987 and
represents 47 public Historically Black Colleges and Universities
(HBCUs) located in 22 states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin
Islands with a population of 235,000 students. By the end of 2009 the
Thurgood Marshall College Fund had awarded more than $100 million in
leadership development, programmatic and capacity building support, and
scholarships to students attending member schools. Scholarships have
enabled over 12,000 students to attend public Historically Black
Colleges and Universities. Thurgood Marshall College Fund is a 501(c) 3,
tax-exempt organization and has a “Four Star” rating by Charity
Navigator (“Your Guide to Intelligent Giving”).

* According to the 2010 U.S. Census estimates