Country Music Association taps Edelman to up NY interest in awards

NASHVILLE: The Country Music Association (CMA) is using Edelman to sell New Yorkers on the 2005 Country Music Awards.

NASHVILLE: The Country Music Association (CMA) is using Edelman to sell New Yorkers on the 2005 Country Music Awards.

The show is slated for November 2005 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Wendy Pearl, the association's director of communications, said breaking through to New Yorkers - not generally known for their love of country music - was a primary reason for hiring a Manhattan-based firm.

"We still need to have an impact in that market," she said.

The goal for the campaign, she said, is to drive future interest in not just the Country Music Awards, but in the music itself.

Country music remains a hard sell in New York City, which has no country-music radio stations, but Pearl noted that stars like Garth Brooks and Faith Hill routinely sell out venues in the area.

"We know that there's an interest in New York," she said.

Peter Land, GM of sports and entertainment for Edelman's New York office, said the campaign will eventually target all facets of New York City life, including sports, entertainment, fashion, and finance.

"Our goal is [for] country music to seep into the fabric of all of those things," he added.

The national campaign kicked off last month with a press conference featuring New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg alongside country music stars Kix Brooks and Trace Adkins.

Land said the effort wouldn't fully get under way until early next year.

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