Rascal Flatts: 2009 CM&P Award Finalist

In one of the most broad-based and fully integrated sponsorship deals ever, Rascal Flatts -- one of country music's elite touring acts -- teamed up with retailer JC Penney on the "Rascal Flatts American Living Unstoppable Tour." The partnership highlights American Living, Penney's new lifestyle apparel brand that has been developed by Polo Ralph Lauren's Global Brand Concepts.

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The tour, in support of the group's "Unstoppable" album on Lyric Street, began in June and will play about 120 cities this year and next. Rascal Flatts has also written a theme song for an American Living commercial that began airing last spring. The song is available on a special version of the CD at the JC Penney store that has accounted for more than 175,000 scans. Net proceeds from that version of the album will go to JC Penney's Afterschool Fund.

The members of Rascal Flatts promote the brand by wearing American Living apparel in concert, playing the commercial on video screens during shows, wrapping their tour buses in American Living branding, and selling special American Living tour merch at venues. The extensive onsite activation of the sponsorship includes a consumer VIP experience at each venue and VIP meet and greets.

In addition to the tour, the two-year deal includes an integrated advertising campaign that includes network TV, in-store, online, print, and radio ads. All media supports Flats, JC Penney, and American Living, as well as tour ticket sales for promoter Live Nation. An original Rascal Flatts Tour micro site is built-in to the primary JCPenney online retail store, jcp.com/rascalflatts, which can be linked to from rascalflatts.com. The integration on the JCPenney Facebook page has more than 490,000 friends.

Hershey's was association sponsor on the Unstoppable tour. The parternship includes a national television commercial and the Hershey's S'mores Rocks Your Block promotion, giving fans the chance to win an exclusive s'mores-themed block party with the group. The promotion offers Flatts-themed prizes to consumers each day from May-September, with one fan to win a private party for 100 friends featuring Rascal Flatts. Other prizes include a $2,500 Visa gift cards to create their own s'mores-themed block parties, VIP trips to Rascal Flatts concerts and 100,000 music downloads at hersheys.com/rascalflatts. The sweepstakes was promoted at-retail on specially marked Hershey's products.

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