17 Big Wins for Small Markets

by Julie Foley Second Street

Teacher of the Year Photo Contest

Holland Sentinel | Holland, MI

This monthly contest from Holland Sentinel brought in $17,000 in sponsorship revenue and earned a 50% opt-in rate for their email database. You can read the full story here.

Amazing Teachers Ballot from Holland Sentinel


Owen The Elf: Shops Local Photo Sweeps

The Grand Haven Tribune | Grand Haven, MI

For the holiday season, the Grand Haven Tribune ran this photo sweepstakes campaign to drive users to local businesses in search of ‘Owen the Elf’. Each day leading up to Christmas, Owen the Elf would be at a different sponsoring local business. Users had to snap a photo of him at the store for a chance to win a $25 gift card to that business. All 24 sponsor spots were purchased within two hours and the campaign earned the paper $9,000.

Owen-The-Elf-Contest grand haven tribune


Hero of Helena Video Contest

KXLH-TV | Great Falls, MT

Top Gun Autobody sponsored this video contest from KXLH-TV to give a fully accessible handicap van away to a local veteran. The campaign was a heartwarming hit – one veteran saw a commercial and donated an additional van to give away. And, to top it all off, the campaign generated $18,000 for the station.

Hero of Helena KXLH

Favorite Firefighter Ballot

WDSN-FM | Reynoldsville, PA

This ballot from WDSN-FM was a great and unique way to celebrate local volunteer firefighters. The community loved the campaign and the WDSN email list saw a 28% increase in three months. And, to top it off, with two sponsors, the station brought in $7,000 in revenue!

WDSN-FM Firefighter Ballot

Solarbration Sweepstakes

WKBT-TV | La Crosse, WI

WKBT-TV approached Olson Solar Energy, a new business in the market, this sweepstakes as a creative way to generate awareness and leads. The advertiser provided an exciting prize of a Solar Panel System valued at $10,000. Between the contest and some additional advertising, the station brought in just under $20,000 in revenue.

Olson-Solar-Energy Solarbration


Best of Texoma Ballot

Sherman-Herald Democrat | Sherman, TX

With this multiphase ballot, the Sherman-Herald Democrat was able to maximize revenue opportunities for the local businesses in their community. The 2017 campaign earned $280,000 in revenue, a 65% YOY growth!



What Kind of Football Fan Are You: The Best or a Pest? Quiz

KCLR-FM | Columbia, MO

KCLR-FM’s fun and unique football personality quiz scored big for both the station and their sponsor, a local pest control company. With a prize of local college football tickets and merchandise, the campaign earned $2,500 for the station and $9,000 for the sponsor. You can read the full case study here.

KCLR best or pest quiz

Yard Shaming Photo Sweepstakes

KPEJ-TV | Odessa, TX

KPEJ-TV ran this photo sweepstakes to give their audience members the chance to win a yard makeover. They secured five sponsors furniture, pool, landscaping, contracting and wire installations) to give away a $5,000 yard makeover. The station earned $12,000 in sponsorship revenue.

KPEJ-TV Yard Shaming Photo Contest


Hot Wynning Wheels Sweepstakes

WDDJ-FM | Paducah, KY

To grow their email list, WDDJ-FM developed this sweepstakes with a local auto dealer sponsor to give away a brand new car to one lucky winner. Both the station and sponsor each received over 3,200 opt-ins for their email lists and 1,500 users asked to be contacted by the sponsor for more information. The station earned $5,000 in sponsorship revenue.

WDDJ-FM Hot Wynning Wheels Sweeps


Holiday Sweepstakes

Williamsport Sun-Gazette | Williamsport, PA

This holiday sweepstakes gave away $13,000 in prizes from over 45 sponsors! Over the month of November, each participating business sponsored a sweepstakes. The campaign brought in over 113,000 entries across all sweepstakes and $21,500 in revenue.

William Sun-Gazette Holiday Sweeps

Best of Sumter Ballot

The Sumter Item | Sumter, SC

The Sumter Item’s annual Best-Of ballot saw a 5x increase in revenue after moving to an online platform. In its 18th year, they brought in over $140,000 in revenue. Check out the case study for the full story.

Best of Sumter 2018 Ballot 

Gift of Magic Sweepstakes

KCLR-FM | Columbia, MO

KCLR partnered with a local travel agency to give away a trip for four to Walt Disney World. As a direct result of this sweepstakes, the sponsor added more than 1,300 qualified leads to their database, and sold six vacations – a total of almost $30,000 in revenue for Classic Travel. And, to top off the magic of this campaign, the station earned $6,500 in sponsorship investment. Read the case study to learn more.

gift-of-magic KCLR-FM

40 Under 40 Ballot

Waxahachie Daily Light | Ellis County, TX

This newspaper highlighted some of their community’s most talented individuals with this 40 Under 40 ballot. Readers could submit their nominations for the campaign, and a team from the Waxahachie Daily Light chose the winners. Winners were honored at an event and displayed in a special print edition as well as online. Sponsorships throughout the campaign brought in $40,000 in revenue for the paper.

Waxahachie 40 Under 40 Ballot 

Scared of Santa (or Not) Photo Contest

Southeast Missourian | Cape Girardeau, MO

The Southeast Missourian had jolly success with this fun twist on the classic Christmas photo contest, sponsored by a local family hospital, asked users to submit and collect votes for their Santa photos (silly or sweet). They gave away one $250 Visa gift card to the winner and one to a random user, to drive participation. The campaign earned the paper over 800 opt-ins and $9,000 in revenue. Check out the full case study here.

Scared of Santa Southeast Missourian

Readers Choice Ballot

NOCO Style Magazine | Loveland, CO

This Readers Choice ballot from the small regional magazine of Northern Colorado is finishing up its sixth year. So far, the campaign was earned over 70,000 votes and over $32,500 in sponsorship revenue! Read the full story here.

NOCO Style Ballot

Mow Your Grass Off Sweepstakes

KOAM-TV | Pittsburg, KS

The team at KOAM secured five local businesses to sponsor this lawnmower sweepstakes. With a prize of a lawnmower valued $5,000, this campaign engaged a very targeted audience. Not only did the station gain over 1,000 opt-ins for each of their four newsletters, but they also earned $25,000 in revenue.

KOAM-TV Mow Your Grass Off Sweeps

Best of Tri-County

WDSN-FM | Reynoldsvillse, PA

This was the first year of their Best-Of campaign, WDSN was able to smash previous records for local participation. The ballot collected over 72,000 votes and earned the station over 1,300 new opt-ins for its daily newsletter. And, to top it off, the WDSN earned over $32,000 in sponsorship revenue.

best of tri-county ballot wdsnfm

No matter your market size, you can deliver massive results for your media company and for your advertisers. When it comes to creating your next engagement campaign, the sky’s the limit.

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