(Sarasota, FL) - Lakewood Ranch & Microsoft® have formed a partnership to make Lakewood Ranch the first place in America to be “Tagged.” Microsoft Tag is a powerful new 2D barcoding technology that will help Lakewood Ranch businesses make the most of customers’ mobile devices by bridging their brick-and-mortar marketing efforts with the digital world.

With Tag, businesses can give their customers fast access to more information and engage with them in an interactive and personal way. Microsoft® identified Lakewood Ranch as the ideal community with which to partner for its Tag technology, due to Lakewood Ranch’s ongoing efforts to stay on the cutting edge of progressive business opportunities. Microsoft® is featuring Lakewood Ranch on its Tag website and will conduct a case study about how the technology is working in this area.

Tags can be seen in all merchant windows on Main Street, in front of several new home builder models, on Lakewood Ranch ads and newsletters, and in promotional campaigns like the one coming up for the Making Strides walk for breast cancer at the Sarasota Polo Grounds. On Main Street, some of the Tags go to a directory, some launch coupons, some launch videos, and others send users to a website for more information about the business. In front of the builder models, Tags launch videos about the builder. At John Cannon’s newest model, the Tauri in Country Club East, visitors can try out 16 different Tags throughout the model, giving consumers additional information about different vendors displayed in the model. For the Making Strides walk to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer, Tags on t-shirts of the participants of our SMR Tag team will launch a text message telling the scanner they have just donated to the cause. Every time someone scans one of the Tag shirts the day of the walk, on October 23, Schroeder-Manatee Ranch, Inc. (SMR) will donate $1 to the cause.

“As we celebrate the 15 year anniversary of our first home sold in Lakewood Ranch this month, it is especially exciting to look forward to some of the new progressive technology that is available to our business owners,” said Rex Jensen, CEO & President of SMR. “We continually strive to keep our businesses on the cutting edge of technology, because we know that besides our ideal location, technology is crucial to keep new merchants coming to Lakewood Ranch.”

With help from one of Lakewood Ranch’s business partners, The HuB in Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch has expanded its Tag efforts with several area organizations. Other entities using the technology include The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, The Manatee Chamber of Commerce, Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, the City of Sarasota, Asolo Repertory Theatre, the Sarasota Orchestra, GWiz and TechHouse.

Scanning a Tag is easy. Simply go to www.gettag.mobi on your phone to download the reader. On an iPhone or Droid, just download the free Microsoft Tag reader App. You only have to do it once and it's free. It will allow you to scan Tags throughout our community.

About Lakewood Ranch
The largest green-certified community in the US, Lakewood Ranch encompasses all aspects of residential and commercial real estate on 8,500 acres of lush Florida land, convenient to Sarasota and the entire Tampa Bay region. The award-winning master planned community includes four golf courses, a first-class country club and extensive recreational amenities, with housing options ranging from maintenance-free condominiums, single-family homes and large estate-size properties. New home and lot packages begin in the low $200,000's to over $5 million.

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