Xtreme Fan contest promotion is big hit for RadioShack

MILWAUKEE: RadioShack used SMTs, a celebrity spokesman, and baseball faithful bedecked in gaudy attire to introduce its Xtreme Fan contest tied to last week's All-Star Game.

MILWAUKEE: RadioShack used SMTs, a celebrity spokesman, and baseball faithful bedecked in gaudy attire to introduce its Xtreme Fan contest tied to last week's All-Star Game.

Capitalizing on the second year of its general Major League Baseball sponsorship, Radio-Shack is casting its PR and marketing net wide to find the most dedicated and outlandish fan of America's sport. Customers can pick up entry forms at stores and write short essays describing why they or someone they know should win the top honor.

RadioShack launched the promotion over the July 4 weekend at a New York store. The event featured Hall-of-Famer Ozzie Smith and a surrogate who performed backflips like those that became Smith's signature as the St.

Louis Cardinals' shortstop. A morning SMT netted interviews on more than 15 shows, followed by a dozen or so broadcast placements on sports programs, said media relations director Kay Jackson.

Leading up to the All-Star Game, RadioShack hired people to wear body paint and dress as rabid fans to tout the campaign at Fan Fest. During RadioShack All-Star Sunday, the company sponsored the Legends and Celebrities Game and the Futures Game, a showcase for minor-league all-stars. A Counting Crows concert capped the night.

"We're doing the Xtreme Fan contest to pay homage to the fans, said Jackson, who also said the campaign had driven so much traffic to stores that the marketing team had to reorder entry forms within the first week.

The contest ends August 11, but RadioShack might not be able to deliver on the intended grand prize - a trip to the World Series - if baseball players strike. If they do, Jackson said tickets to next year's All-Star Game would be substituted as top prize.

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