Announcing the 14th Annual Second Street Award Winners

by Liz Huff Second Street

Winner: Indoor Waterpark Resort Sweepstakes – USA Today

Bottom line, this sweepstakes drove results for the newspaper AND the advertiser! And even better, the sales team worked with the client to track those results. This simple sweepstakes generated over 29,000 marketing leads, 580 online reservations and over $500k in revenue for the sponsor. That is money that came FROM the leads and opt-ins the contest received. Plus, they collected some valuable insights into activity preferences from entrants that the water park loved!

The prizes were easy and straightforward with a giveaway of passes to some entrants and a grand prize of two night weekend getaway! Since this ran and the incredible results came in, the client has increased their 2023 spend 3.5x what they spent last year thanks to these results.

The biggest takeaway from this promotion is that it is something that is easily replicable in any market – so don’t wait, start planning a promotion like this today! And be sure you are working with your clients to track results so you can show value and sell the next campaign!

Indoor Water Part Resort Sweepstakes

Best Advertiser Lead-Gen Campaign

Winner: Allen County Sheriff Department – WQHK-FM

The team at WQHK-FM helped the Allen County Sheriff Department grow a career/hiring list through this promotion! They filled 32 open positions during this campaign, and the Allen County Sheriff Department told WQHK-FM that the work they did with this promotion helped keep them afloat in the recruitment game.


  • Win Your Way To Mexico – WBCV-FM
  • Win a Trip to the Draft Selection in Vegas! – Las Vegas Review-Journal 
  • 70th Anniversary Motorcycle Mayhem – The Leaf-Chronicle
  • One Tank Getaway – WHAM-TV 

    Best Branded Content Campaign

    Winner: Hurricane PreparednessPensacola News Journal

    This sweepstakes focused on brand awareness for Pensacola News Journal’s client, Florida Power, as well as driving users to their storm preparedness site. All of this led to over 1,600 opt-ins $151,000 in revenue for the Pensacola News Journal!


    • National Beef Association Sweepstakes – Chicago Tribune
    • Iowa Pork Producers ​Quiz – KOKZ-FM 
    • Golden Girls Trivia – WHAM-TV 
    • TC Tourism ​2022 Spring Giveaway –

    Best Editorial, Promotions & Programming Campaign

    Winner: Game Night Sports Giveaway – WGN-TV

    This was a monthly giveaway with multiple sponsors that tied in with WGN-TV’s nightly “GN Sports” program. WGN-TV’s sponsors received exposure within the show as well as leads to drive ticket sales for upcoming events.


    • Daily Polls Chattanooga Times Free Press
    • Voter Registration – Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 
    • Best of the Beasts – Seven Days 
    • Weekly News Quiz –Times Union  

    Best List-Builder Campaign

    Winner: 2022 Good Day Snow DayWLUK-TV

    With 12 awesome sponsored prizes, Good Day Wisconsin utilized sweepstakes to grow their database with over 1,200 new, non-prechecked opt-ins. Each day for the month of November, a winner was picked and announced live on-air during the morning show, encouraging viewers to watch daily to see if they won. This promotion exquisitely demonstrated how you can tie database growth into your programming. 


    • Garth Madness – WBYT-FM
    • Home Schooling & Learning Style Quizzes –
    • Arkansas State Symbols Quiz – Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
    • Strait to Lincoln – KRNY-FM

    Best Recurring Revenue Campaign

    Winner: 8 On Your Plate – WRIC-TV

    8 On Your Plate was developed as an opportunity to help local restaurants increase visibility, drive foot traffic and online orders, and grow their email lists in what was a tough time for the restaurant industry coming out of the pandemic. During 2022, WRIC ran 10 separate 8 on Your Plate restaurant sweepstakes with a total of 8 different restaurants – generating over $36,000 in revenue for the station and securing over 14,000 email opt-ins for their restaurant partners.


    • Birthday Club – WGN-TV
    • Hines Furniture Athlete of the Year– The Sumter Item
    • Ingles Amazing Teacher Awards – Spartanburg Herald-Journal
    • Living in Treasure Coast – 

    Best First-Party Data Strategy

    Winner: Piggly Wiggly Payday Giveaway –

    The main goal of this promotion was to provide Piggly Wiggly with a better understanding of their customers, as well as increase their app downloads and e-newsletter signups. included custom questions to strengthen Piggly Wiggly’s data that included how often a family shopped for groceries, what they valued most when shopping for groceries, and other information that was important for the Piggly Wiggly team.


    • 2022 River Country Listener Appreciation Party Quiz – WRCV-FM 
    • Where Should You Go on Your Florida Getaway – The Villages Daily Sun 
    • Food Fight: ​Best Breakfast Bracket – St. Louis Magazine 
    • The BBQ Store & MoreWMME-FM & WQHK-FM

    Best National Sweepstakes Campaign: Revenue

    Winner: Shield Exteriors SweepstakesFederated Fort Wayne

    Shield Exteriors sponsored all 4 national sweepstakes for 2022 across all of the Fort Wayne stations. Ownership of the sweepstakes allowed Shield Exteriors to dominate the market. The contests brought in $34,000 in revenue and secured their total yearly contract of $292k!


    • Groceries for a Year – Beloit Daily News
    • $5K Tips Jar Sweepstakes – KFGE-FM 
    • Viva Live Long Live Well – South Shore Home & Style 
    • Rent or Mortgage for A Year – Forever – Delmarva 

    Best National Sweepstakes Campaign: List Builder

    Winner: Free Car Payments For A YearThe Leader

    Talk about list building – this promotion boasted an almost 50% opt-in rate with over 2,275 total opt-ins to help build their Promotions, E-edition and Birthday Club lists.  The Leader proved that national sweepstakes can bring results as they used it to help build out lists for specific initiatives. With over 1,000 new opt-ins for their birthday club, it really works!


    • Christmas Cash $15,000 Sweepstakes – KFMW-FM
    • Groceries for a Year – WRAL-TV 
    • $15K Travel Dream Vacation – Atlanta Journal-Constitution 
    • Pay Your Bills – WRBR-FM 

    Best Event Promotion

    Winner: A Guide to Medicare

    This promotion allowed’s healthcare insurance client reach their desired audience, generate leads, and gather valuable data through lead gen questions. They generated 123 hot leads and even more warm leads for their client, and also discovered that their client paid $23 per lead with this event sponsorship vs. the industry average of $162 per lead.


    • Festival of Food Ticket Giveaway – WHAM-TV
    • Chris Rock Ticket Giveaway – KESQ-TV 
    • Riverbend 2022 Quiz – Chattanooga Times Free Press 
    • Mattress Firm 50 days until the Fair – State Fair of Texas
    • 2022 Meyers Jewelers Bridal Event– Columbus Dispatch

    Best Seasonal Campaign

    Winner: Big Holiday GiveawayKTVZ-TV

    This campaign ran 16 holiday themed sweepstakes for 16 local sponsors with a chance for users to win a prize from that specific sponsor in each sweepstakes. Raking in over $15,000 in revenue, this was definitely the perfect campaign to keep the holiday cheer alive during the holiday season!


    • Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Sweepstakes – Erie Times-News
    • Free Stuff Frenzy – WWTV-TV
    • Mad for Dad Giveaway – CBS Pittsburgh
    • Christmas Song Showdown – KOKZ-FM

    Best Niche Ballot

    Winner: Mercy Health Athlete of the WeekCincinnati Enquirer 

    The Cincinnati Enquirer’s client was looking for a way to align with a marketing initiative that would promote their orthopedics department to high school athletes and their parents, and the Athlete of the Week promotion delivered! It provided opt-in and lead gen info for the advertiser throughout the year, and also generated over $79K in revenue for the the Cincinnati Enquirer.


    • Munch Madness – KLIN-AM
    • Back to Homeschool Curriculum Awards –
    • Top Nurses Awards –
    • Craft Beer Enthusiasts 2022 – Victoria News

    Best ‘Best Of’ Ballot: Small Market

    Winner: 2022 People’s Choice of SWLA – American Press

    This was the American Press’ second year running a Best Of ballot, and they turned out an amazing 98% YOY revenue growth and added 9,000 emails to their newsletter database. With high engagement from their community, and a lot of enthusiasm within the internal team, we’re excited to see how they build off this momentum!


    • Best of the Grand Stand 2022 – WMBF-TV
    • Best of Western Kentucky– WKDZ-FM
    • Best of La Crosse County – WKBT-TV
    • Best of Boise – Boise Weekly
    • Best of the Pines – The Pilot
    • Best of Sumter – The Sumter Item

    Best ‘Best Of’ Ballot: Mid-Size Market

    Winner: Best of Sun Coast Sun Coast Media Group

    The Sun Coast Media Group covers 4 papers in southwest Florida with their Best Of program. Their revenue in 2022 was $460K, which boasted an 18% growth YOY – and this revenue doesn’t include event ticket sales! They were also able to grow their email database by 15% YOY with this Best Of program.


    • Viewer’s Choice Awards – WXXV-TV
    • 2022 Best of Hawaii – KITV-TV
    • Charleston Choice – The Post and Courier
    • Best of Savannah 2022 – Connect Savannah
    • Family Favorites – Baton Rouge Parent’s Magazine
    • 2022 BOB – Chattanooga Times Free Press

    Best ‘Best Of’ Ballot: Large Market

    Winner: A-List St. Louis Magazine

    St. Louis Magazine saw huge gains in 2022, generating over $225K in revenue, which is 86% YOY growth! With over 500K votes and averaging 2,500 new opt-ins for each of their newsletters, it doesn’t get much better than that.


    • Best of The TriState – Verstandig Media
    • Voters Choice Awards – WRAL-TV
    • Vote 4 The Best – WDIV-TV
    • Best Of The Gulfshore – Gulfshore Life
    • Best Of The Best Palm Beach County – Palm Beach Post
    • Best Of The Capital Region – Times Union

    Best Photo Contest

    Winner: Real Pets Of PineStraw Magazine The Pilot

    Calling all Real Housewives fans! All of the photos from the photo contest were printed in the PineStraw Magazine July issue in a special advertising section with fun Real Housewives-style tag-lines like ‘There are no skeletons in my closet, but I have a few bones.’ Their sponsors, realtors from Keller Williams, walked away with hot leads, and The Pilot secured over $5K in revenue.


    • Most Beautiful Baby 2022 – WMEE-FM 
    • Michigan Wildlife Council Fishing – Detroit Free Press 
    • 2022 Wedding Giveaway – WLDB-FM 
    • Cutest Couples and Sweetest Day WGN-TV
    • FB: Athlete of the Month The Fredrick News-Post
    • The Guardian Dog Pack KIRO-AM

    Best Photo Gallery

    Winner: Spring Bird Photo ContestVictoria News

    How unique and beautiful! This promotion had almost 400 entries and about 100 opt-ins for the sponsor- Wild Birds Unlimited – who also included a coupon on the thank you for entering email to increase foot traffic.


    • Class of 2022 – KXLY-TV
    • My Best Kentucky Derby Story Contest – WDRB-TV  
    • Military Salute 2022 – KAKE-TV
    • ‘FUR-CAST’ – WCBI-TV 

    Best Poll

    Winner: Should SA ban horse-drawn carriages? – KSAT-TV

    After members of the City Council submitted paperwork to ban horse-drawn carriage in downtown San Antonio, KSAT-TV wanted to hear from their locals, and thus the poll was born. Paired with an article on their site, local San Antonians were able to make their voices heard!


    • How Do Montanans Pronounce These Words? – Distinctly Montana Magazine
    • To Turkey or Not To Turkey – VerStandig Media
    • Ohio Senate Debate – WJW-TV 
    • Will Smith x Chris Rock – Boston Herald 

    Best Sweepstakes

    Winner: Gift a Little Excitement – Holiday ScratchersWSLS-TV

    To promote this sweepstakes, the team at WSLS filmed ‘man on the street’ style interviews asking people how they ‘Holiday Their Way’. Those interviews were edited into vignettes that aired on WSLS and were posted to their website. All of this lead to 130,000 digital impressions on their platforms, an estimated 950,000 impressions on air, and $14,000 in revenue!


    • Beach Vacation Getaway – WDJR-FM 
    • Good Day Wisconsin $25,000 Home Makeover – WLUK-TV 
    • Crazy Lenny’s E-Bike Sweepstakes – WKOW-TV 
    • Staycation Giveaway Contest – WGN-TV 

    Best Quiz

    Winner: Go Fishing Trivia Contest – KFSM-TV

    The team at KSFM ran three fishing trivia quizzes over three months for their sponsor, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, to promote fishing license sales in Arkansas. This was the first time Arkansas Game and Fish Commission spent digital money with KSFM, leading to $14,000 in revenue for KSFM, and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission is looking to renew in 2023!


    • What Iconic Mississippi Dish Are You? – 
    • Summer Chillin’ – KESQ-TV  
    • Firearm and Holsters Information – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 
    • What Your Beer Choice Says About You – Federated South Bend 

    Best Voting Bracket

    Winner: 2022 Wall’s Medicine Center Hometown Bracket ChallengeKNOX-AM 

    This is both a feel good and successful promotion – it has it all! It provided insightful lead gen questions so the advertiser could learn more about customer preferences, like if they prefer using the pharmacy drive-up. It also showcased hometown pride, created user generated content for on-air, brought in $2,500 revenue, had a list building initiative. Maybe best of all, it brought their community together with a party for the winning town!


    • Iconic Sports Venue Bracket – WDIV-TV 
    • 2022 Buffalo Wild Wings Sauce Bracket – The Oklahoman
    • March Music Madness – The Villages Daily Sun 
    • Pizza Bracket Challenge – KLAS-TV 
    • The Ultimate 80’s Movie Bracket WBCV-FM

    Best Advertiser Program

    Winner: Federated Media – Fort Wayne

    The team in Fort Wayne saw a 27.5% increase in revenue YOY. 60% of their sellers rely extensively on promotions to demonstrate to clients how radio combined with digital promotions can drive results that they can see! Combining these efforts has brought in tons of new business and is allowing their key accounts to grow in ways that weren’t thought of before.


    • Spartanburg Herald-Journal
    • Northwest Herald
    • WGN-TV 
    • St. Louis Magazine

    Best Regional Campaign

    Winner: Generator Giveaway – USA TODAY

    The client, a solar generator company, was looking to generate marketing leads, increase sales, build their email database and social audiences, and increase brand awareness. This campaign drove $96K in revenue for Gannett, and the sponsor received 1,100 sales leads, as well as increased traffic to their storm preparedness site.


    • Purdue Farms Sweepstakes – Adams Publishing Group
    • Thank You, Teachers – Shaw Media 
    • Visit Bloomington – WMEE-FM 
    • Perfect Getaway with Pan Pacific Whistler – Black Press Media

    Best Small Market Program

    Winner: The Sumter Item – Sumter, SC 

    In 2022, they were able to sell $300K in revenue with promotions including recurring revenue, lead gen, and, of course, Best Of! Their sales team loves to sell Best Of’s, which is a top revenue earner for them. They also have fully embraced a first-party data strategy and are laser focused on growing email databases.


    • KESQ-TV – Palm Springs, FL
    • NRG Wausau – Wausau, WI
    • Oxford Magazine -Oxford, MS
    • The Pilot -Southern Pines, NC

    Best Mid-Size Market Program 

    Winner: Federated Media – Fort Wayne – Fort Wayne, IN

    Generating over 7 figures in revenue from promotions, the team in Fort Wayne brought in 73% of that revenue. Seeing 27.5% growth in revenue YOY.

    The programing team is also very focused on engaging their audience with promotions that coincide with programing benchmarks, building focused audiences to drive better open and click-through rates for their emails.

    According to Deb Williams, General Manager at Federated Media, “First, we look at the Second Street platform as a promotional tool that benefits our clients by showing them tangible results. And then SECOND, we acknowledge the platform as a great way to engage with our P1 listeners. That’s the reason for the success we’ve had. In acknowledging our client’s results before our own, we are using the platform to its full potential.”


    • Spartanburg Herald-Journal -Spartanburg, SC
    • WRIC -TV – Richmond, VA
    • Erie Times News -Erie, PA
    • KITV-TV – Honolulu, HI

    Best Large Market Program

    Winner: The Arizona Republic – Phoenix, AZ

    This team just continues to grow and innovate every year. With YOY growth in number of promotions they run, they have stacked up $552k I total revenue for 2022. And this team has their strategy figured out with weekly sales manager and sales rep meetings that allow them to ensure they all understand the value of promotions and how it can drive leads for customers.


    • The Columbus Dispatch – Columbus, OH
    • WGN-TV – Chicago, IL
    • WRAL-TV – Raleigh, NC 
    • Curtis Media – Raleigh, NC

    Groupwide Strategy

    Winner: Gannett 

    Gannett stunned us all again in 2022 with $27.5MM in revenue and a 17% total YOY revenue increase. They have locked in revenue from Local, Regional and National Sales Channels. They are constantly evolving their sales structure, strategy, sales packages, and how they report results to their advertisers.

    Revenue grew each quarter in 2022 with custom Lead generation promotions, and the Gannett team dramatically increased sales of recurring revenue promotions.

    Also, Gannett has proved once again how much knowledge sharing promotes success. They supported their sales teams with case studies, training, sales collateral, and sales launches, packaging and pricing. They also published scalable opportunities in a bi-weekly newsletter and regional monthly marketing meetings.

    Now they are partnering with audience engagement to reach subscribers with promotions messages! We can’t see how they build off all of this success in 2023!


    • Adams Publishing Group
    • Federated Media  
    • Boone Newsmedia Inc.
    • NRG Media
    • Graham Media Group
    • Shaw Media
    • Nexstar Media Group, Inc.

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