31 Great Success Stories

by Megan Black Second Street

Show Us Your Game Face

The Post and Courier in Charleston, SC created a photo contest for their sponsor, Charleston Mix, a local drink mix company. The paper created a robust sponsorship campaign involving email, print, and digital assets leading to $19,000 in sponsorship revenue.

post and courier game face photo contest

Kids Activity Finder Win a Get-Away Contest

This unique quiz from WBAE-AM in Portland, OR posed questions to pair the user with one of 30 perfect summertime activities in Portland. Plus all entrants had the chance to win a fabulous summer getaway. The campaign brought in 3,600+ entries and $12,000 in revenue.

wbae kid activity quiz 3

Best of Santa Barbara

This was the third year of the paper’s ballot, and they saw huge growth. This was their first year of running a three-phase ballot, and the paper was able to generate more $18,500 in digital revenue – that’s a 300% increase in digital revenue YOY.

Best Of Vote Square_insta

Win a Lifetime Hunting & Fishing License

Working with the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, the Arkansas Democrat Gazette delivered unbelievable results for a new advertiser. While the paper generated $5,500 in sponsorship revenue, their sweepstakes led to the sale of 2,000 licenses – that’s $87,000 in revenue for the sponsor.

arkansas online fishing license sweeps

Varsity 845 Scholar Athlete of the Month

The Times Herald Record has created an annual program to drive in recurring revenue month after month. This photo contest featuring the top scholar athletes in the area has secured multiple sponsors, 2,800 opt-ins, 11,000 votes, and almost $70,000 to date. Read the full case study.

times herald record athlete ballot mobile

Best of the Best

With their ballot celebrating it’s ten year anniversary, the Chattanooga Times Free Press wanted this to a big year – and boy did they deliver. With a winner’s directory and a 1,500 person event, the paper’s citywide ballot drove a ton of revenue to the tune of $630,000. Read the full case study.

Chattanooga Best of the Best Ballot

Pro Football Face Off

The Northwest Florida Daily News secured multiple sponsors for their pro football pick’em. With a robust sponsorship package – including the option for them to be a VIP Picker – the paper was able to leverage all their assets and turn this campaign into a $60,000 success.

Pro Football Face Off

Food Truck Face Off

WHAM-TV came up with a creative idea for a ballot to raise awareness about their advertiser’s upcoming food truck event. With a bounceback coupon for discounted tickets, the station drove ticket sales and brought in $21,000 revenue for the station. Read the full case study.

wham food truck ballot mobile

Sun Solar Sweepstakes

KYTV-TV proves that a valuable prize will drive a ton of qualified entrants. With the prize of a $20,000 solar panel system, this sweepstakes led to the sale of 80 solar panel packages which resulted in $1.25MM in revenue for the solar company. Read the full case study.

ky3 sun solar sweeps

Best of the Desert

For a small 16,000 circulation paper, the Daily Press was able to see a 31% increase in revenue year over year for their citywide ballot. With the addition of a winner’s directory and turning their results into a special section, the paper was able to draw in $231,000 in revenue.

daily press best of desert ballot

Love Your Skin 2018

This sweepstakes from the Steamboat Pilot for a local dermatology and skin care center achieved all the advertiser’s goals. It grew their Facebook Likes by 20%, had a 57% opt-in rate, and survey questions identified hot qualified leads.

steamboat love your skin

Chicago’s Merry Own

With the Christmas season approaching, WGN-TV took this as an opportunity to drive incremental revenue from their sponsors. The Chicago’s Merry Own sweepstakes brought in over 30,000 entries, 3,400 opt-ins, and $25,000 revenue.

krtv 12 days christmas sweeps showcase

Birthday Club Email

The Northwest Florida Daily News has turned their birthday club email into an $80,000 success. The paper sells annual sponsorship packages to advertisers who get to include a coupon for their business in the email. And the best thing – There’s always room for more sponsors. Read the full case study.

northwest florida birthday email 4

Cazadores Top Bartender

Cazadores Tequila wanted a campaign to drive brand awareness. WKLB-FM created a ballot featuring videos of local bartenders mixing a Cazadores drink. The contest brought in $35,000 in revenue, 2,200+ visits to the ballot’s site, and the average user stayed for over 24 minutes.

cazadores tequila ballot copy

How Do You Really Feel about Bacon?

As The Pitch prepared for their upcoming Bacon and Bourbon event, the magazine wanted to create a campaign to drive awareness and ticket sales to their event. The quiz landed a 50% opt-in rate and the bounceback coupon drove ticket sales.

pitch bacon quiz

12 Days of Giveaways

KRTV, KTVH, and KXLH – a television cluster in Helena, MT – created a 12-day campaign that brought in 23,000+ entries. Each advertiser was featured on-air during the morning show. The campaign brought in $24,000 in revenue, and all sponsors plan to renew next year.

krtv 12 days christmas sweeps showcase

GAAM Sweepstakes Bundle

The team at the Northeast Tennessee Media Group was able to find big success by turning four individual sweepstakes into a single sponsor sweepstakes bundle. This campaign brought in 755 leads and $10,000 revenue for the paper.

Sweepstakes Bundle

Birthday Emails

KSON-FM is using birthday emails to not only drive revenue, but also increase engagement within their database. Their birthday email sponsorships have brought in $7,000 and the emails themselves are getting open rates as high as 60%.

KSON-FM Birthday Email

4Frenzy Fan Choice Awards

WDIV-TV has taken their high school sports ballot to the next level. By including groups beyond sports – like theater, choir, and robotics – they’re tapping into their entire audience. With a Spring, Fall, and Winter edition of the ballot, this program has brought in $220,000 in revenue for the station. Read the full case study.

WDIV 4Fan Frenzy Spring Ballot

Most Beautiful Baby

Looking to start their Mom Squad newsletter, WMEE-FM ran a cutest baby contest asking for opt-ins for the new list. The contest identified 5,800+ people sign up to join the Mom Squad newsletter and brought in $15,000 in revenue for the station as well. Read the full case study.

wmee cutest baby photo contest

Oil Change Challenge

The Times Herald-Record created a quiz for a local auto spa that wanted to deliver brand awareness about their oil change services. The quiz delivered 523 opt-ins for Newburgh Auto Spa’s email database.

times herald record auto quiz 6

Daytona 500 VIP Sweeps

This GateHouse Media group-wide contest was a fantastic way to deliver opt-ins for all their properties. With a fantastic prize valued at over $8,000, this sweepstakes brought in over 105,000 entries.

gatehouse daytona 500 sweeps

Vote 4 the Best

For WDIV-TV, their Best Of ballot has become a $1,000,000 franchise. The entire station gets involved, and the station has turned this into a year-long initiative with ballots running throughout the year. Plus, the results of their ballot are used to create all sorts of content for their website. Read the full case study.

WDIV Ballot 2017

Girlfriends Flyaway Double Play

WMGC-FM leveraged a girls trip getaway as a way to learn about their audience and grow their database. Not only did their survey questions reveal some valuable information about their entrant’s favorite musicians, but it also lead to 1,800+ opt-ins for the station.


Free Rent for a Year!

KNDE-FM was working with the|VINTAGE Apartments to create a campaign to find people interested in renting. Their sweepstakes gave away a year of free rent to one grand prize winner and every entrant was given a month of free rent. Five leases were signed from the sweepstakes and the station made $9,000 in revenue. Read the full case study.

Free Rent for a Year

Hear Clearly Giveaway

The Rockford Register Star took inspiration from a hearing aid giveaway on the Second Street Lab. Working with a local hearing center, the paper has been able to drive so many sales and marketing leads, the sponsor’s asked to do the sweepstakes multiple times leading to $40,000 in revenue for the paper.

hear clearly

Innovate Your Home Sweepstakes

The Columbus Dispatch worked with Innovate Home Org, a local storage and organization company, on a sweepstakes giving away a $1,000 home organization system. The contest brought in 1,200+ participants, $15,000 revenue for the paper, and over 70 consultations for the sponsor.

ColumbusDispatch Innovate Home

Worst Lawn in Aggieland

This photo contest from KNDE-FM was a great way to collect data and leads for ABC Home & Commercial Services, a local lawn care company. Each photo that was submitted was a hot lead for the sponsor, 220 people opted-in for their database, and more than 175 wanted consultations.

knde worst lawn aggieland

Wiz Haul Dumpster Sweepstakes

The Pocono Record worked with a local demolition and dumpster company, Wiz Haul. The sweepstakes offered two grand prize winners of a free 10-yard dumpster for 7 days. This was a big success for the sponsor bringing in 1,200+ entries and a 68% opt-in rate.

pocono dumpster sweeps

Fish Fry Face-Off

With the popularity of hundreds of local fish frys, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran a ballot where readers could nominate and vote for their favorite. The contest brought in over 2,200 votes and drove 27,000 pageviews.

stlpd fish fry face off ballot 3

Baptist Health Stroke Safety Quiz

The Florida Times Union used a quiz to create a native opportunity for their local hospital. Not only did the quiz teach users about stroke safety and emergency response procedures, but it added 200 opt-ins for the hospital’s database. Plus, the paper got $3,600 in revenue.

FL times-union Stroke Quiz

This was just a glimpse into the success shared at this year’s Second Street Summit. Whether you’re new to promotions or a veteran, hopefully you can take some of these ideas to help you engage your audience, grow your database, and secure even more revenue.

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