LAS VEGAS, Aug. 27, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zappos.com – the customer service company known for its commitment to their core values and employee culture – and legendary music brand Fender today announced the launch of the “Strum for the Sole” program, a first-of-its-kind wellness benefit that promotes enhanced work-life balance through the power of music learning. As part of this relationship, all Zappos employees will have the opportunity to learn an instrument using Fender Play, the complete digital learning app for guitar, bass and ukulele, as a means to reduce stress, promote increased creativity, self-expression and confidence, among other benefits.

The “Strum for the Sole” program is available to all Zappos employees on an opt-in basis and includes access to Fender Play, a guided online learning program that gets beginners playing in minutes. Zappos  has a dedicated Jam Room on its corporate campus where employees can go to relax during the work day. In support of employees taking their musical journey to the next level, or simply taking a break to de-stress, Fender is outfitting Zappos’ Jam Room exclusively with Fender instruments, amps and accessories, namely guitars and basses from its Player, Vintera and California Series. Zappos employees will also receive a discount on select gear and instruments on Fender.com, should they wish to purchase for at-home or personal use.

Everything that Zappos does as a company is influenced by the 10 Core Values which guide its vision for today and tomorrow. From being adventurous, passionate and creative to the pursuit of continued growth and learning, Zappos’ collaboration with Fender to develop the “Strum for the Sole” program was a no brainer. “This program is all about fostering creative energy and offering an alternative way to destress at home or in the office,” said Bhawna Provenzano, Director of Employee Benefits and Diversity at Zappos. “We believe that music could play a huge role in encouraging our employees to have a positive relationship with their mental, emotional, and overall health. It might be a little weird, but we know for sure it’ll be fun!”

While it may seem like an unlikely relationship between a storied guitar brand and a customer service company, this collaboration is deeply rooted in a mutual commitment to self-betterment and fun for all. In a study released in October 2018, Fender found 72 percent of respondents cited they picked up guitar for the first time to gain a life skill or as a means of self-betterment. In tandem with the research study, Fender consulted with award-winning neuroscientist, musician, record producer and author Daniel Levitin, who is best known for his New York Times best-selling book This is Your Brain on Music, to dig into the physical, mental and emotional benefits of playing an instrument. In his research, Levitin found people experience obvious emotional benefits, such as increased creativity and self-expression, but also cited less obvious benefits like increased patience, confidence in self and skills, work ethic and persistence over time. Beyond the emotional component, playing an instrument also has proven physical benefits, including enhanced hand-eye coordination, a boost to the immune system and enhanced brain development, especially in youth and older players. 

“When we created Fender Play, our goal was to make learning an instrument as easy to grasp and effective as possible,” said Mary Keenan, Fender Play Director of Product. “Two years later, we’re proud to have developed a product that people can use to positively impact their everyday life in a myriad of ways spanning physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Our ability to share the power of playing with more people is what drives us every day.”

Zappos and Fender’s relationship is just getting started. While the program kicks-off today, both companies are eager to measure the results gleaned from this relationship and determine how playing an instrument positively impacts Zappos’ employees over the next twelve months. For photos of the jam room here.

ABOUT FENDER MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS CORPORATION:
Since 1946, Fender has revolutionized music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC), whose portfolio of brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch® guitars, Jackson®, EVH® and Charvel®, follows a player-centric approach to crafting the highest quality instruments and musical solutions across genres. FMIC is dedicated to unlocking the power of music through electric and acoustic guitars, amplifiers, pro audio, accessories and digital products that inspire and enable musical expression at every stage, from beginners to history-making legends.

ABOUT FENDER DIGITAL:
Established in 2015, Fender Digital is a wholly owned division of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) dedicated to connecting a legacy brand with a new digital ecosystem of products and interactive experiences designed to accompany players, across genres, at every stage of their musical journey. Building on the iconic Fender name, Fender Digital designs and develops apps, websites, platforms and tools to complement Fender electric and acoustic guitars, amplifiers and pro-audio gear to inspire players through a 360-degree musical experience. Since its inception, Fender Digital has introduced Fender Tune® and Fender Tone® for iOS and Android; Fender Play® for iPhone®, iPad®, Android™ and Desktop; relaunched Fender.com with a refreshed product experience; and created Fender Connect® offering a platform for users to store their personalized information from Fender Digital platforms in one place, providing a universally connected experience.

ABOUT ZAPPOS.COM:
Established in 1999, Zappos.com is a leading customer service company and innovator in online retail, company culture, and organizational evolution. Specializing in shoes, clothing, and more, Zappos WOWs customers through its legendary 365-day return policy, fast/free shipping, and 24/7 friendly service. To learn more about how Zappos shares its unique culture with the world, visit ZapposInsights.com. Zappos.com LLC is a subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc.

FENDER MEDIA CONTACT:
Christina Stejskal
Head of Global Communications, PR & Social Media Strategies
Fender Musical Instruments Corp.
CStejskal@Fender.com
Press@Fender.com

ZAPPOS MEDIA CONTACT:
Catherine McNally
catherine@Praytellstrategy.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a6a37b49-1276-49e9-bee9-30757ab6cd16