CHICAGO: ESPN Zone kicked off 2009 with a PR stunt that challenged participants to remain in their recliners watching continuous sports coverage for as long as possible. The "Ultimate Couch Potato Contest" took place January 1 among sports fans in Chicago, New York, and Baltimore. It was the seventh annual event in Chicago, but a first-time event in Baltimore.
Formula PR helped with the event and media relations as the AOR for ESPN Zone.
"It really is, in the truest form, a PR stunt, but it really drives attention to the ESPN Zone brand," said Matt Kovacs, VP at Formula.
Working with Formula, ESPN Zone reached out to local media starting in early November with mailers demonstrating the growth of a couch potato, and offered contestants for interviews. The agency Twittered throughout the competition, which lasted more than 70 hours in Baltimore.
"We were able to do our own storytelling about the competition and the media really got into it," Kovacs said.
Outlets including the New York Daily News and the Associated Press covered the events, and The Morning Show with Mike & Juliet will feature Baltimore winner and grand champion Jessica Mosley on January 8.