Announcing the 15th Annual Second Street Award Winners

by Liz Huff Second Street

Winner: Getaway to Tahiti – USA TODAY

This was a simple trivia quiz curated by USA TODAY that drove major results for both the newspaper AND their advertiser. It generated tons of marketing leads, sponsor opt ins, and quality first-party data through simple lead-gen questions. Arguably the biggest success from this promotion, the sponsor attributed a multitude bookings revenue generated from the leads gathered through this campaign, truly shows the value of having your sales team work with the client to track results. After the advertiser saw incredible return on this promotion – they committed to even more in ad dollars for future campaigns.

The big takeaway – ticket giveaways with lead generation questions are extremely replicable and the perfect recipe for success, and working with your clients to track results to show true value will lead to selling the next campaign!

Best Advertiser Lead-Gen Campaign

Winner: Upgrade to Epic – The Arizona Republic

From this promotion curated by The Arizona Republic, their client, Mesa TV & Appliance, was able to attribute 93 sales at an average sale of $825 to this campaign. That’s $76K in revenue for the client! And they only invested $13K on the campaign. That’s 5x ROI!


  • Free Furnace Giveaway – WBYR-FM
  • $5,000 Shaw Flooring Giveaway – The Post and Courier
  • Woodhouse Wednesdays – NRG Omaha
  • Rent or Mortgage 2023 – Forever – Delmarva

    Best Branded Content Campaign

    Winner: Clean Drains QuizzesFederated – Fort Wayne

    These educational quizzes, sponsored by the City of Fort Wayne, were used in conjunction with a series of videos featuring Federated – Fort Wayne Morning Team encouraging listeners to adopt neighborhoods to clean and mark storm drains to help curb pollution that goes into their rivers. This lead to over 1,000 entrants pledging to help keep the rivers clean, 235 opt-ins for the City of Fort Wayne of people interested in learning more about how they can help keep the city clean, and $7,500 in revenue for Federated – Fort Wayne.


    • Iowa Pork Producers Association WE CARE Quiz– KOKZ-FM
    • Saint Louis Symphony Quiz + Giveaway – St. Louis Magazine
    • Coastal MS Quiz –
    • Which Fair Food Are You? – WCCB-TV

    Best Editorial, Promotions & Programming Campaign

    Winner: Second Chance Grand Prize Game – WGN-TV

    In honor of their 75th Anniversary, WGN-TV invited its viewers to tell them their own stories of how their childhood dreams of attending the Bozo Show and play the Grand Prize Game, a nostalgic play on past programming. With over 1,300 users sharing their stories of how they almost made it as a child, four lucky users got their Second Chance to play the grand Prize game live on WGN’s morning show.


    • Conway Resource Guide Photo Contest– My Horry News
    • WDRB Mornings Till 10am – Watch to Win Contest – WDRB-TV
    • Star of the Week – The Pilot
    • Thank You, Teachers –Shaw Local News Network

    Best Audience Builder Campaign

    Winner: Emerald Cruises ContestBlack Press Media

    This sweepstakes saw nearly 10,000 people enter, driving almost 3,000 opt-ins for sponsor’s newsletter, and 2,500 users asking for a cruise e-brochure. Black Press also asked some great lead-gen questions to help their sponsor hone in onthe types of cruises people are interested in, how likely they are to take a cruise, and what would drive their decision on a cruise provider.


    • Golf Around Moore County Sweepstakes – The Pilot
    • Shopping with the DJ – WBYT-FM & WQHK-FM
    • Piggly Wiggly Best of Basketball –
    • 4-Degree Guarantee – WKOW-TV

    Best Recurring Revenue Campaign

    Winner: Toro Product of the Month – WGN Radio

    The Toro Product of the Month campaign was a monthly sweepstakes that featured a new Toro product every month developed to drive homeowners in the midwest to the Toro Product line. This multi-media package secured $131,000 in revenue for WGN Radio and included on air, digital, and contesting – and contesting was used to secure the business! This grew the account by over 75% in 2023. WGN Radio incorporated the monthly sweeps with their Saturday morning home improvement show, with their home expert and host promoting the contest and Toro products on air.


    • Hidden Heroes – Warren County Record
    • Athlete of the Week– Latrobe Bulletin
    • Hyundai Hometown Heroes – WJTX-TV
    • COSI Series – Columbus Dispatch

    Best Data Strategy

    Winner: World Car Kia GiveawayMySanAntonio

    MySanAntionio and their sponsor, Kia, used an amazing prize to drive amazing engagement in this sweepstakes. They also included question to collect needed data for Kia. With this data, Kia was to reach out and sell some more services based off the interests and emails we provided! Also, MySanAntonio is going to the data and results from this sweeps to sell to other auto retailers!


    • $15,000 Holiday Sweepstakes – WSLS-TV
    • The Muny Sweepstakes 2023 – St. Louis Magazine
    • National Pizza Month with Brew Pub Lotzza Motzza Pizza – WGN Radio
    • South Bend Medical Foundation Survey – WBYT- FM

    Best National Sweepstakes Campaign: Revenue

    Winner: 2023 $15,000 SweepstakesCitrus County Chronicle

    The team at the Citrus County Chronicle used this national sweepstakes to increase enrollment and brand awareness with the market for their sponsor, Withlacoochee Technical College. This sweepstakes generated $27,000 in revenue for the Citrus County Chronicle and drove 557 opt-ins for Withlacoochee Technical College, who in turn reported that the contest directly resulted in several campus tours!


    • Home For the Holidays – KTVI-TV
    • 15K Payday with Wild Country 99 – KZPK-FM
    • $5,000 Grocery Sweepstakes – Latrobe Bulletin
    • Free Rent or Mortgage for a Year 2023 Giveaway –

    Best National Sweepstakes Campaign: Audience Builder

    Winner: $5k SweepstakesAccess Atlanta

    Access Atlanta took full advantage of the pull of the national sweepstakes to help build out a new audience segment. They wanted to grow their list for their new AJC Unapologetically ATL newsletter, and with the awesome national cash prize and cross-promotion on Facebook to increase engagement, they were able to generate nearly 800 new opt-ins for their newsletter from this one contest!


    • Car Payments $5K Sweepstakes – Daily Herald
    • Home for the Holidays $15K Sweepstakes – Oil City News
    • Super Awesome Mega Giveaway – San Diego Magazine
    • 2023 Win Groceries for a Year! – WQLT-FM

    Best Event Promotion

    Winner: Bridal & Quince Photo ContestThe Victoria Advocate

    The Victoria Advocate smartly used this photo contest to generate excitement and awareness for the upcoming Bridal and Quince Expo. They also saw this as a great opportunity to expand an audience segment from wedding-specific planning to inclusion of quinceanera events. They received 80 photo submissions, collected first party data for their sponsor, generated nearly 700 leads for their sponsor, and secured over $18,000 in revenue.


    • Taste of Hamburg-er Quiz The Republican-Herald
    • Ultimate Fair Experience 2023 KFDM-TV
    • Carolina Renaissance Festival VIP Experience 2023WCCB-TV
    • Great American Tailgate USA TODAY

    Best Seasonal Campaign

    Winner: 2023 Chicago’s Merry Own ContestWGN-TV

    WGN-TV took full advantage of the holiday season with a giant promotion in which their viewers had a chance to win one of FIVE prizes! They tied the giveaway with WGN Morning News to promote to their huge audience, and this lead this promotion to be one of their highest ‘entry yielding’ promotions of 2023. It also secured huge sponsor opt-ins and a total revenue of $40,000 for WGN-TV.


    • Kemps River Shopping Center Holiday Extravaganza The Virginian Pilot
    • 15 Days of Giving KVIA-TV
    • Canada Day 2023 Black Press Media
    • Free Stuff Frenzy WWTV-TV

    Best Niche Ballot

    Winner: The Bobbys 2023The Sumter Item

    The Bobbys, named after Sumter’s own Bobby Richardson 1960 World Series MVP, celebrates the best in Sumter area sports in a ESPY’s style public voting contest that gives local businesses a way to promote their businesses and support student athletes. Businesses sponsored individual categories in the awards ceremony generating more the $10,000 in revenue and $3,000 in scholarships to local athletes.


    • 2023 Football Fans’ Choice Contest My Horry News
    • Slam Dunk Teacher KBBK-FM
    • 2023 Senior Superlatives Citrus County Chronicle
    • 20 Under 40 The Pilot

    Best ‘Best Of’ Ballot: Small Market

    Winner: Best of Denton 2023 Denton Record-Chronicle

    The Denton Record-Chronicle gained record breaking revenue for their biggest and most profitable project of the year, their Best of Denton 2023 ballot, bringing in $281,894, which was $43,000 over 2022 and 16% YOY growth. They also utilized an AWESOME Best Of website to provide their audience with pertinent information, participating businesses with their media kid, and their sales team with inbound leads.


    • Best of The Pines – The Pilot
    • Best of the Grand Strand WMBF-TV
    • Best of Western Kentucky 2023 – WKDZ-FM
    • Oil City’s Best Oil City News

    Best ‘Best Of’ Ballot: Mid-Size Market

    Winner: Best Of Sun Coast Media Group Sun Coast Media Group

    The Sun Coast Media Group covers 4 papers in southwest Florida with their Best Of program. In total, they secured huge revenue, totaling $696,000, which reflects a 118% growth over 2022, and continues the trend of growing digital revenue, audience development, engagements, and growth of opt-ins.


    • Sarasota Community’s Choice Awards – Sarasota Herald-Tribune
    • Best Of SRQ Local 2023 – SRQ Magazine
    • Best of Michiana– Federated – South Bend
    • 2023 Best of Hawaii KITV-TV

    Best ‘Best Of’ Ballot: Large Market

    Winner: 2024 Palm Beach County Community’s Choice Awards Palm Beach Post

    The Palm Beach Post grew their Best Of program even more in 2023, generating a whopping $623,000 in revenue, a 13% increase YOY! Combined with thousands of promotions and sponsor opt-ins, this Best Of was a definite success.


    • A-List 2023 – St. Louis Magazine
    • TribLIVE Best of the Best Community Choice Awards– Tribune-Review
    • YOURSA 2023 – MySanAntonio
    • Vote 4 the Best 2023 WDIV-TV

    Best Photo Contest

    Winner: 2023 Wrapping Paper Contest Chattanooga Times Free Press

    When Chattanooga Times Free Press first launched their wrapping paper contest for elementary school children in 2002, all submissions were submitted by mail, and it largely stayed that way for the next two decades. But with the help of Second Street, the contest has now gone fully digital, allowing parents and teachers to submit student artwork online and then giving the community the chance to chime in and vote for their favorites. One lucky winner got to see their artwork online and in print, and holiday season, gifts across the Chattanooga area were wrapped with that winning design after it was printed on a full page in a Sunday edition of their paper.


    • The Real House Pets of Sheridan/Johnson County Sheridan Media
    • Nurse’s Day Bedford Gazette
    • Cutest Couple Contest – WWAY-TV
    • Celebrating Women Nominations 2023 San Diego Magazine

    Best Photo Gallery

    Winner: Ingles Market Amazing MomsSpartanburg Herald-Journal

    Ingles Market has been a sponsor for promotions with the Spartanburg Herald-Journal for the last several years, and they continue to add on promotion campaigns each year. Ingles has found measurable results from promotions and are true believers in the power of promotions – thanks to the guidance from Gannett. This gallery ran in multiple markets and brought in huge revenue, totaling $90,000.


    • Dream Wedding Giveaway KARK-TV
    • Dog Days of Summer KEZI-TV
    • 2023 Graduation My Horry News
    • Show Us Your Christmas Tree WHTQ-FM

    Best Poll

    Winner: Buffalo National River PollNorthwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

    The Buffalo National River Poll from the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is one of many incredible polls the team has run over the past few years, and they continue to use them to supplement content and grow engagement and audience. Every poll has an opt in for email newsletters – and it is working for them in spades! From this one poll, they received 310 new email sign ups and engaged with their audience over a very pertinent and timely topic.


    • Avenue Poll: Holiday Content Consumption Avenue Calgary
    • Pioneer Valley Staycation – Daily Hampshire Gazette
    • Embrace Poll Boston Herald
    • What’s your Favorite Taco? KSAT-TV

    Best Sweepstakes

    Winner: Win a FREE Online Semester from CSUThe Post and Courier

    The Post and Courier used this sweepstakes to help their sponsor, Charleston Southern University, generate leads for new potential students. They collected nearly 100 leads of prospective students interested in more information from Charleston Southern University, and also collected first party data by asking questions like ‘what about an online degree from CSU appeals to you?’ and ‘where are you in your educational journey?’. The Post and Courier secured $5,000 in revenue with this sweeps AND a 2024 contest is already slated.


    • Cowboys Ticket Giveaway KETK-TV
    • Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country Contest – Black Press Media
    • Big Red Payout – KRNY-FM
    • Houston Life Prize Wheel – KPRC-TV

    Best Quiz

    Winner: How Much Do You Know About Organ DonationDetroit Free Press

    The team at the Detroit Free Press used this quiz to educate their audience on organ donation and to also encourage entrants to add their name to the donor registry. They drove nearly 1,000 entries and 362 opt-ins for their sponsor – Gift of Life Michigan. The Detroit Free Press also gained $27,000 in revenue for this promotion.


    • Wildlife for Dummies; Will you Survive your Next Encounter? – Sheridan Media
    • How Well Do You Know the Council of Aging of Elkhart?  Federated – South Bend
    • 2023 Moo or False Trivia KFDX, KJTL, KJBO-TV
    • Smokey Mountain Animal

    Best Voting Bracket

    Winner: Clash of the CrabsBaltimore Magazine

    Sponsored by J.O. Spice Company – this bracket was used to support Baltimore Magazine’s July Crabs issue, their Crab Fest event, and drive new subscribers for their new seasonal crab newsletter. The bracket drove great engagement with 10,000 votes, over 1,000 opt-ins, and brought in 600 new digital subscribers for the magazine. Baltimore Magazine received $4,000 from their sponsor and then increased that revenue by selling sponsorships to the entrants of the bracket in their crab newsletter.


    • What is the Best Coffee Shop in Chattanooga Area? Chattanooga Times Free Press
    • Wild Country 99 Hometown Bracket KZPK-FM
    • Best Picture Bracket – 105.7 KOKZ
    • Christmas Movie Madness KFDX-TV

    Best Regional Campaign

    Winner: Friday Night DriveShaw Local News

    This promotion ran the length of the high school football season and highlighted players around the region. Shaw Local News used all promotional avenues they had and united their digital advertising team, sports editorial team, and marketing team to provide a great media mix that their sponsors were looking for, leading to $29,000 in revenue. During the season long promotion, Shaw Local News received 1000’s of opt-ins for their sponsors along with their Friday Night and Afternoon Update newsletters.


    • Shore Thing Summer Getaway Black Press Media
    • Win $200 Worth of Fuel from MACFood Mart Federated – Fort Wayne
    • Win Big for Your Non-Profit Sun Sentinel/Orlando Sentinel
    • Nice Rink Frozen Memories USA TODAY

    Most Creative Promotion

    Winner: SwiftdogsKBBK-FM, KBBK-HD2 & KFGE-FM

    These three radio stations with NRG took advantage of lighting in a bottle. They teamed up with Lincoln Pro Baseball to turn the Saltdogs into the Swiftdogs for one night only, and two pairs of tickets to Taylor Swift in Kansas City were given away to game attendees.

    In order to win the Taylor Swift tickets, entrants had to attend the Swiftdogs game and scan a QR code prompting them to the sweepstakes while at the game. Each inning, a name was announced as a qualifier (plus one more name at the end of the game). All ten qualifiers met on the field at the end of the game, each holding one of Taylor Swift’s albums. They broadcasted a spinning wheel on the big screen that landed on an album picture, and the qualifier holding that album won a pair of Taylor Swift sold out tickets! Then again for winner #2!

    They received national (and local) coverage in the radio industry as well as in sports/baseball coverage, which lead to them breaking attendance records for Lincoln Pro Baseball, and succeeded in bringing them a brand new audience demographic, as many had never been to a Saltdogs game prior to this opportunity.

    Best Small Market Program

    Winner: The Pilot – Southern Pines, NC

    The Pilot, a twice-weekly paper in eastern North Carolina, has transformed its business model, developing critically important digital skills while also remaining first and foremost a newspaper company with strong ties to the community where it is located.

    They generated $382K total in promotions in 2023 with digital offerings and products that their community is proud of and business owners are proud to have their name attached to!

    Every year they look for new opportunities to generate revenue, and it resulted in record breaking revenue, super high levels of excitement and intensity from the businesses, and their brand’s engagement with a younger demographic that might not typically pay attention to a newspaper.


    • Erie Times-News – Erie, PA
    • Latrobe Bulletin – Latrobe, PA
    • KESQ-TV -Palm Desert, CA
    • Sheridan Media -Sheridan, WY

    Best Mid-Size Market Program 

    Winner: Greenville News – Greenville, SC

    In 2023, the team at the Greenville News went all-in on their promotions plan running 24 promotions, generating over $250,000 in revenue – and that doesn’t include their Best Of! Their Best Of saw 12% YOY growth from 2022 with just under $500,000 in revenue.


    • Federated – Fort Wayne – Fort Wayne, IN
    • Lincoln – NRG – Lincoln, NE
    • WISC-TV – Madison, WI
    • WQAD-TV – Moline, IL

    Best Large Market Program

    Winner: The Columbus Dispatch – Columbus, OH

    The Columbus Dispatch ran over 80 promotions in 2023, including an incredibly successful Community Choice ballot which generated $230,000 in revenue, plus another $990,000 in customer promotions like sponsorships, lead-gen campaigns, and more! That’s over $1.2MM in revenue for 2023 – AMAZING!


    • WGN-TV – Chicago, IL
    • WJXT-TV – Jacksonville, FL
    • KMVQ-FM – San Francisco, CA
    • St. Louis Magazine – St. Louis, MO

    Groupwide Strategy

    Winner: Gannett 

    The median revenue churn for local accounts in traditional media is about 35%. The average churn rate for accounts that utilize promotions with Gannett is 4%. They are proving that by adding in a promotion, you’re more likely to get more money, bigger clients and RETAIN THEM year after year.

    Gannett continues to streamline this strategy, and it resulted in $30MM in revenue, which was an 11% total YOY revenue increase! Their promotions team turned internal sales leaders who weren’t believers in promotions into FANS – and that was accomplished by driving RESULTS for their advertisers and sharing those results month after month.

    They have secured revenue from local, regional and national sales channels and are constantly evolving their sales structure, strategy, sales packages and how they report results to their advertisers. Revenue grew each quarter in 2023 in custom lead generation promotions, and they dramatically increased sales of recurring revenue promotions including over $2MM in athlete of the week promotions.


    • Federated Media 
    • Adams Publishing Group 
    • NRG Media
    • Nexstar Media Group, Inc.
    • Black Press Media
    • Shaw Media

    Breakout Partner of the Year

    Winner: Federated Media

    The team at Federated Media really doubled down in 2023, focusing on training their sales staff about the client benefits of incorporating promotions. They instilled in their sellers that Second Street is promotional platform that is used for the BENEFIT of the client, putting the client’s needs first and creating promotions that are exclusive, thus maximizing the benefits of the platform.

    As a result of this, they saw 80% of their sales team utilizing promotions to benefit current clients by  combining promotions and annual campaigns to drive results month over month. By all accounts, this initiative was a huge success, generating over 7 figures in revenue for 2023.

    Second Street Promotions Hall of Fame

    In honor of our 15th Second Street Awards, we have established the Second Street Promotions Hall of Fame! This year we’ll be inducting our Inaugural Class of 5 incredible people that have been true promotions champions and true friends to our team. These 5 people are always willing to help, they have incredible successes to share, and their tenacity and creativity has kept them winning awards and being ‘top of class for years’.

    • Rebecca Capparelli – Gannett
    • Deb Williams – Federated Media
    • Diana Dionisio – Nexstar
    • Sam Cunningham – The Pilot
    • Vince Johnson – Osteen Publishing Company