EAST HANOVER, N.J., Jan. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Ritz crackers, the official
cracker of NASCAR(R) and the brand that is always "Open for Fun," has
teamed up with Roush Fenway Racing and Ford Racing Technology to offer
consumers the chance of a lifetime with the Kraft "Race to Win a Ride"
Sweepstakes. Beginning February 4, 2008 through September 29, 2008, five
lucky consumers will have a chance to win a trip to the NASCAR(R) Sprint
Cup Series Championship Weekend at the Homestead-Miami Speedway(R) in
November 2008 and will also have the opportunity to meet racing great Matt
Kenseth, and other Roush Fenway Racing drivers at the race. From this group
of five, one winner will also be randomly selected to win a 2009 Ford
Racing equipped Mustang V6 sports car.

    The Ritz cracker NASCAR(R)-themed campaign is powered by several highly
visual marketing vehicles, including an on-pack promotion and in-store
displays, as well as print, radio, television and online advertising. There
will also be fun, interactive consumer events taking place throughout
NASCAR(R) Speedweeks and The DAYTONA 500(R) February 10th to 17th, 2008.

    Race fans can learn more about the sweepstake on specially marked
packages of Ritz crackers, which will feature a limited-edition, cut-out of
the Ritz NASCAR car on the back panels, which is the car Matt Kenseth will
race in the DAYTONA(R) NASCAR Nationwide Series race in Daytona on February
16, 2008. These special-edition Ritz cracker boxes will be available in
stores nationwide beginning in April.

    To help generate additional consumer awareness for the program, Ritz
crackers has created lobby displays and combo cards, which will appear in
more than 12,000 retailers nationwide from February through August. The
lobby displays will consist of inflatable Ritz cars and racing graphics. In
addition, the Ritz cracker NASCAR(R) show car will also appear at multiple
retail locations throughout the year, which will be sure to get race fans'
excitement revving.

    Beginning in February, there will be dedicated race specific
advertising that is part of the new Ritz Cracker "Open for Fun" campaign.
This will include television and print advertising throughout the NASCAR
racing season appearing on the FOX and TNT networks. Race inspired print
advertising will appear in publications such as People's "Country edition"
and TV Guide's "DAYTONA(R) issue". The advertising will also appear online
at Kraftfoods.com and Fordracing.com.

    The Ritz cracker brand will also support the program with promotional
radio spots that give a call to action to participate in the sweepstake and
drive traffic to the retailers for entry. Through these radio partnerships
there will also be a chance for consumers to win an autographed Matt
Kenseth Ritz Race fire suit. Ford Racing will also include the Ritz cracker
promotion in their Ford Racing website, fan club e-mail blasts, Inside the
Oval magazine, and direct mail information.

    "The NASCAR(R)-themed promotion is one of the many marketing and
communications elements supporting the new Ritz "Open for Fun" campaign,"
said Jim Low, Senior Brand Manager, Ritz crackers. "As the official cracker
of NASCAR, Ritz is thrilled to give race fans the chance to be right there
in the heart of action with this sweepstake and bring fun to everyone
through on-pack memorabilia."

    For more information on the Kraft's "Race to Win a Ride" Sweepstakes
and to learn more about other Kraft brands involved in this program, log
onto http://www.nabiscoworld.com.
From Jan. 7 through March 7, 2008, customers who register for the
DealFinder Travel the World Sweepstakes at http://www.aa.com/promo are
automatically entered for a chance to win a Grand Prize of air travel for
two around the world and a $25,000 MasterCard gift card. In addition,
American will award two First Prize winners a $10,000 MasterCard gift card.

    "American's DealFinder(SM) searches for exclusive, targeted, discounted
fares based on pre-selected fare preferences to destinations throughout
American's worldwide network," said Derek DeCross, American's Managing
Director - Interactive Marketing. "The Travel the World Sweepstakes
provides a wonderful opportunity for customers to learn more about the
DealFinder tool, while rewarding lucky winners with the travel experience
of a lifetime."

    Customers are eligible to enter the sweepstakes up to three times per
person, with no purchase necessary to win. Participants can receive one
entry each for:

    -- registering for the sweepstakes at http://www.aa.com/promo
    -- downloading DealFinder from the promotion site
    -- forwarding sweepstakes information to up to four additional people

    Offered through AA.com, DealFinder (http://www.aa.com/dealfinder)
alerts customers when fares matching their pre-selected preferences are
available. Travelers simply enter where they want to go, how much they want
to spend, their travel dates, and how many people will be traveling.
DealFinder will let them know what the current lowest fare is and keep
looking for their desired fare. If it finds a match, customers will receive
an alert right on their desktop. Additionally, customers get targeted
offers and special deals that are available only through DealFinder. For
example, as a DealFinder subscriber, you might find a discount of 20
percent off fares to Central/South America, discounts to ski destinations,
or other fantastic offers that show up on your computer desktop. But you
won't hear about the deal unless you're a DealFinder subscriber, so sign up
now at http://www.aa.com/dealfinder.

    For official sweepstakes rules, Terms and Conditions and other
promotion details visit http://www.aa.com/promo.
Each Digital Mix Tape Created Enters Users to Win Sony Home Entertainment
                                   Prizes

    POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y., Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Mixaloo (http://www.mixaloo.com),
which enables music fans to create, distribute and sell digital mix tapes
across the Web, today announced the start of a new sweepstakes giving music
fans a chance to overhaul their entertainment system with a new Sony(R)
BRAVIA(R) Theater micro-satellite home theater system, 32" BRAVIA M-Series
LCD HDTV, Sony Walkman(R) Video MP3 Player and other great prizes.

    To enter the sweepstakes, which runs from January 16th 2008 to March
16th 2008, users simply need to sign up for Mixaloo at http://www.mixaloo.com. For
new and existing Mixaloo users, each new digital mix tape created during
the length of the sweepstakes gains them another entry to win, up to 50
total entries per registered user are allowed.

    The sweepstakes offers numerous prizes, including one Grand Prize
winner who will be awarded each of the following:

    --  Sony 32" BRAVIA M-Series LCD HDTV
    --  Sony BRAVIA Theater micro-satellite home theater system
    --  Sony Walkman Video MP3 Player
    --  Mixaloo t-shirt and hat

    Nineteen Runner-up prize packages will include one Sony Walkman Video
MP3 Player, Mixaloo t-shirt and hat. Additional prize packages include
Mixaloo t-shirts and hats.

    The online promotion is also open to users of Mixaloo's Facebook
application, which allows music fans to create digital mix tapes without
leaving Facebook.com. To enter the sweepstakes, Facebook users just need to
add the Mixaloo application and enter their email address during
registration. Current Mixaloo Facebook users can click the Sweepstakes box
located at the bottom of their application to enter. Facebook users will
also receive an additional entry to win each time they create a new mix.

    "The more mixes our users create, the more chances they have to win,"
stated Mark Stutzman, CEO and co-founder of Mixaloo. "On top of earning
money and points that are already redeemable on Mixaloo.com, this
sweepstakes gives music lovers extra incentive to keep spreading digital
mix tapes and help their friends discover new music."

    By bringing the mix tape to the Net generation, Mixaloo rewards music
fans with three simple steps:

    --  Mix - Choose from a selection of more than three million songs to
        create the mix, including every major label and thousands of
        independent artists.
    --  Share - Distribute the mix with 30-second song samples inside a widget
        to any personal Web site such as MySpace, Facebook or Blogger; or via
        email directly to friends.
    --  Earn - Receive half the profit from every sale of each digital mix
        tape.  In addition, collect points from each sale that can be redeemed
        for cool stuff like music gear.

    For more information, and to enter the sweepstakes, visit http://www.mixaloo.com
    About Mixaloo

    Mixaloo rewards music fans for creating, distributing and selling
digital mix tapes in the social media environment, offering cash and choice
merchandise to mix-makers who successfully market their handiwork. With a
simple interface and over three million songs to choose from, including
every major label, Mixaloo makes it easy for users to promote their
favorite songs and discover new music. The company is based in
Poughkeepsie, New York. To start creating digital mix tapes, visit
http://www.mixaloo.com

WOW!

The US Sweepstakes Conventions are an absolute blast! Lots of prizes and giveaways for all those that attend. The Canadian ones could only be better!

It’ s on for September 21-23 in Toronto at the Sheraton Center Hotel. Looks like they will be putting out over $20,000 in prizes to attendees… Awesome.

I will totally be there to WIN WIN WIN. Hope to see you there too…

http://www.contestconvention.com/

Get your tickets before it is sold out and you miss this amazing opportunity

For some reason, there are those in the hobbyist community that develop a hang-up over who enters and for whom they enter. I have seen so much nonsensical flack over people who enter friends and family in a contest is somehow “cheating” when it really isn’t.

Read and follow the rules! Somebody entering a friend or a mother or a brother that has a unique address, phone number, email address along with all other information is NOT cheating. It is good old fashioned neighborly love. I caution those that do enter others besides themselves to have an agreement ahead of time on what happens with the prize. Don’t expect a friend that you entered to take you on that dream vacation to Mexico if you didn’t agree on those conditions ahead of time.

As an example, we have an Aunt in Montreal that is in her late 70s and considered to be legally blind. She still loves to go to live shows and orchestra venues. We enter her in many local Montreal newspaper, TV and radio contests that are available online. She does not own a computer or have access to the internet and neither of those are requirements in the rules to enter or win the contests. In fact I have not seen an online contest that does require those things in the rules in order to be a winner – and we likely never will because that would be just stupid.

So, our aunt gets to enjoy a few free shows every year as a part of our entering efforts.

The other item that has never appeared in the rules for an online, mail-in or ballot-based sweepstakes is any requirement for the person filling in the ballot to fill only their own name and address information on that ballot. Last I checked, North America is made up of several free nations that allow their citizens to live and work within their rules and laws. Nobody has outlawed or written any rules against being a good friend or a good relative by trying to tell entrants that they cannot post entries for their fellows. That would be just foolish and likely reduce the value of a promotion to Nil.

Good Luck and Good Winning.

One thing that entrants seem to forget or as I prefer to call us: Winners! – It isn’t about the prize for anyone involved in the cost except for us. We are the only ones focused on the prizes in these promotions, whereas for the sponsors of the contest – the prize(s) are the write-off at the end of a promotion. So, everyone involved in the process except us will regard it this way.

However, with that said – this shouldn’t diminish the value of awarding that prize to anyone involved in the process. Awarding the prizes is what separates real contests and sweepstakes from scams and fraud. So, there is a responsibility to the sponsor and the promotion management firm to deliver those prizes to the selected winners. Does this mean that they do it effectively? efficiently? or in your best interest? Not necessarily.

As winners, we have to take some of the responsibility for ensuring that we collect on those prizes, be they large or small. Otherwise the sponsor and more often the 3rd parties involved in operating the contest or even another 3rd party that gets assigned to fulfill the prizes will drag their feet, lose information or just outright fail in their execution of delivering prizes to winners.

This is a call to entrants and winners to take ownership of ensuring that you get your wins! Always keep a log or a spreadsheet of your wins. Write down and log the information from phone calls, print e-mails or copy mailings that you receive for a win. Information is your ally in the process of collecting a prize that doesn’t seem to be coming in a reasonable amount to time.

If you found your win from a web posting or a listing in a news paper, print or cut out that winning list with your name in it. Printing a web list from your browser will include the site and page details on the header/footer. Newspaper or magazine listings

Never hang-up from a phone-based win notification without the name and phone # of contact person to get back to in case there is a problem. When you receive mail-based affidavits or request forms that need to be returned to the source, make note of any contact information that was on the envelope or on a letter inside. Make a photocopy of any forms that you have to return to a company. Mail can and does get lost – having a copy will allow you to resubmit your forms quickly in case something doesn’t get delivered. You can also look at opportunities with your local postal station where paying a little extra will give you a signature verification of delivery or even a full tracking # on your envelope/package.

Never freak out! Getting nasty or yelling and screaming at people is not usually very inspiring for others to help you. When in doubt – escalate. Push to get to managers and executives that you can contact at the sponsor or the promotion company that will discuss your missing win. Problems and delays do occur that are outside of the control of those companies. Sometimes a sponsor makes arrangements with third parties such as travel companies or electronics companies to provide the prizes for their contest. Explore how a gift certificate or some other remediation may be employed to get you the value of your prize when the product or service doesn’t seem to be available to the sponsor.

Worst case scenario, know your state or provincial regulatory agencies to report contests that don’t deliver or seek the assistance of a 3rd party that may have more clout in the industry.

Good Luck & Good Contesting!

From attending conventions and group meetings of sweepers and contestors all over North America, I have noticed a number of common themes of myths and misconceptions amongst entrants about sweepstakes/contest in general and the industry that runs them. I want to tackle some of these in a series of posts dispelling those myths with some realities.

It seems that too many regular entrants or hobbyists develop a paranoia about their identity and being ‘known’ as a regular entrant. For some reason they begin to believe that there is some benefit to keeping a cloak over their hobby and assume that there is no knowledge of the existence of regular entrants amongst sponsors and contest operators. This is wholly untrue.

In case you haven’t heard it before – promotion management companies, advertising companies, and large sponsors of contests are already well aware that there are hobby/professional entrants and that they enter often and regularly. Some of them even have members participating in the groups that meet face to face and all of them have lurkers/participants in the online discussion groups. I can count on one hand the number of companies/promoters that have a problem with the organized groups. Most welcome this because they know that through the hard-core entrants, is the only way to the casual entrants.

It is all too obvious. In the united states, several thousand promotions every month are operated by less than 20 promotion management houses. These companies see that the core lists of names are the same across hundreds of sweeps that they manage. They know you are a sweeper, and they don’t care. In fact if they see you missing from one of their promotions, they start to wonder what they are doing wrong. Did they miss on their communications of the promotion? Was the prize not enticing? Was something broken in the entry process?

When a promotion is running and they only see the hobbyists entering, this is a flag that maybe the process was too hard or something was wrong with promotion because the non-hobbyist did not bother to participate. Maybe they didn’t use the open-loop and closed-loop method of entry. Maybe the format of a field was broken or something was done in error that only the diligent entrant bothered to figure out. This is how they key into their business. The hobbyist is a cornerstone of the success of any sweepstakes/contest.

There has never been a case where names of regular entrants have been removed from a contest unless they blatantly broke the rules of entry.

In Canada, the lion-share of promotions are operated by maybe 10 companies. They have people involved in the online groups and discussions as well. They know who the regulars are. They also know that being a regular entrant doesn’t always make you a regular winner. As long as participants are following the rules and entering legally to the promotions – they have the same opportunity to win prizes as everyone else that enters. In fact many people working with these promoters are also regular entrants of contests that they do not manage. They are hobbyist contestors too – nobody has won without an entry yet!

So stop being concerned that promotion companies and contest management companies know who you are – they already do! And they don’t really care.

“Those who cannot translate adequately, with a fair amount of integrity and accuracy, fall quickly into severe neurosis or even psychosis: the world ceases to make sense—the boundaries between the self and the world are not transcended but instead begin to crumble. This is not breakthrough but breakdown; not transcendence, but disaster.” - Ken Wilber

Keep entering and keep winning!

Good luck.

Elizabeth Guise of Hillsboro,
Oregon took home $5,000 and the title of Grand Prize Winner in the 2006
Grand Finale Macaroni and Cheese Recipe Contest, created by Tillamook
Cheese and hosted by McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants. Elizabeth's
Tillamook Crab & Macaroni Bake recipe was awarded the grand prize after
competing with seven other regional winners from across the country, and
was selected out of more than 1,000 total recipe entries.
    First runner up was Arizona finalist Jenny Flake for her Tillamook(R)
Four Cheese Chicken Florentine Tortellini dish, and second runner up was
Northern California finalist Laura Najar for her Mega-Cheesy Mac-N-Cheese
with Crab recipe. All winners and finalists' recipes are available at
http://www.tillamookcheese.com.
    The grand finale cook-off was held June 23 at McCormick & Schmick's
Harborside at the Marina in Portland, Ore., where fourteen local
celebrities and culinary experts judged the eight regional finalists for
taste, presentation, unique qualities and more. Finalists and guests
received a personal tour of the Tillamook Cheese Factory and the Oregon
Coast the day prior to the cook-off.
    This year's contest grew to include eight cook-off locations and a new
Grand Finale component. More than 1,000 home cooks from across the country
submitted their favorite original macaroni and cheese recipes. Three
finalists in each city then participated in a regional cook-off, where they
prepared their dishes from scratch in front of a panel of judges, who
selected the regional winner. Each regional winner received $1,000 in cash,
25 pounds of Tillamook cheese, dinner for four at McCormick & Schmick's
Seafood Restaurant and all travel expenses paid for to attend the grand
finale cook- off with one guest.
    Eight cities fired up its ovens for the 2006 Macaroni and Cheese Recipe
Contest, which included San Francisco, CA; Denver, CO; Seattle, WA;
Phoenix, AZ; Dallas, TX; Chicago, IL; Tillamook, OR; and Pasadena, CA.
Expo TV (http://www.expotv.com), the
leading video destination for product reviews, and IDG Entertainment
(IDGE), the world's leading interactive entertainment-information provider
and publisher of GamePro, announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind
user-generated video contest for reviews of currently available video
games. Five winning videos will be selected as the "Best Gamer
Videopinions" through online voting and by a panel of experts from
GamePro.com. Winners will receive a home entertainment system, including a
32-inch Flat Screen HDTV and a surround-sound speaker system, and have
their videos aired on Expo TV's nationally distributed video-on-demand
television network, and showcased online at GamePro.com and expotv.com.
    "Expo TV is committed to capturing unbiased product testimonials on
video to help inform consumers in a fun, entertaining way. And there's no
better source for game buying advice than GamePro's enthusiast community,"
said Daphne Kwon, chief executive officer of Expo Communications. "Our
members have already turned the camera on themselves and uploaded over
six-thousand product reviews at expotv.com to create an authentic, powerful
new tool for consumer research."
    "GamePro.com attracts a very active community of gamers who regularly
share recommendations and advice with each other," said IDGE President and
CEO Daniel Orum. "Partnering with Expo TV to get their reviews on video
adds a new dimension of interactivity that our community will really
enjoy."
    Expo TV has set up a special contest site
(http://www.expotv.com/contest) to receive the uploaded video reviews from
July 7 through July 23. Fifteen semifinalists will be selected by online
voting taking place from July 31 through August 13. A panel of GamePro
judges will then select five finalists, whose videos will air on Expo TV in
14 million television homes and be featured on the home page of
GamePro.com, and who will each receive a Sony 32-inch Flat Screen HDTV and
a surround-sound speaker system. Winners will be chosen based on the
quality and depth of the insights on the games and use of the video aspect
of the reviews to convey information and demonstration. While there are no
specific technical requirements, reasonable standards for lighting, sound
and editing will be important.
    Selected video game Videopinions can be viewed online at
http://www.expotv.com/contest.
CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC, the
"Official Real Estate Organization of Major League Baseball," truly brought
it home for James Sparks of Irvine, Ky., awarding him $250,000 toward the
purchase of a home in the eighth annual CENTURY 21 Home Run Derby All-Star
Sweepstakes.
    Sparks became the lucky recipient of this grand prize on Monday, July
10, following the 2006 CENTURY 21 Home Run Derby competition in Pittsburgh.
    Randomly selected from entries received through
http://www.century21.com, http://www.century21espanol.com, in-office
displays and mail-in entry forms, the eight finalists were each paired with
a Major League Baseball player competing in the 2006 CENTURY 21 Home Run
Derby competition. Through three elimination rounds, the eight sluggers
battled for the 2006 CENTURY 21 Home Run Derby title.
    In the end, with 23 home runs, Ryan Howard, first basemen with the
Philadelphia Phillies took the title, winning Sparks $250,000 toward the
purchase of a new home.
    "The excitement in the ball park during the CENTURY 21 Home Run Derby
was unbelievable," said Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Jason Bay. "The
performance of Ryan Howard and the excitement of James Sparks made it a
night that baseball fans will always remember. Thanks to CENTURY 21, every
baseball fan was a winner tonight."
    In addition, for the second consecutive year, CENTURY 21 Real Estate
LLC and Major League Baseball included a "gold ball" charitable element to
the CENTURY 21 Home Run Derby competition. For every home run that CENTURY
21 Home Run Derby participants hit during the competition with the
commemorative CENTURY 21 Gold Ball, CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC and Major
League Baseball combined to donate $21,000 to their respective official
charities, Easter Seals and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.
    Collectively, the eight CENTURY 21 Home Run Derby batters recorded 14
qualifying "gold ball" home runs generating a $294,000 charitable donation.
    About CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC
    CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC (http://www.century21.com) is the franchisor
of the world's largest residential real estate sales organization,
providing comprehensive training, management, administrative and marketing
support for the CENTURY 21 System. The System is comprised of more than
7,800 independently owned and operated franchised broker offices in more
than 40 countries and territories worldwide. CENTURY 21 Real Estate LLC is
a subsidiary of Cendant Corporation (NYSE: CD).
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