BigBallot to Power Radio Music Awards

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The Radio Music Awards wants to get the public more involved in its second annual show, broadcast Nov. 4 on ABC. Taking a page from Major League Baseball's All-Star Game, the RMA will allow consumers to come to and a yet-unnamed sponsor site to vote for six "fan's choice" award categories.

To spur voting, there is a sweepstakes offering eight trips for two to the show in Las Vegas.

"They can go to an online section of the sponsor site [and] where they will be solicited to participate in the voting," said Jeff Gehl, CEO of BigBallot Inc., Newport Beach, CA, which is running the balloting and promotion. "We're giving fans unique categories to augment the existing categories. In return for voting, they can win event backstage passes."

The goal of the sweepstakes is to build a database of voters. "By creating an interactive consumer promotion tied to an existing media property, we're bringing the fans to the program, soliciting their part and gathering a database of music fans across the country," Gehl said. "It will build a database for the RMA, which is currently very small because this is their first major initiative."

The event is being heavily promoted through the top 150 radio stations in the country. Spots will begin running this month and continue through to the event.

Prior to the ceremony, a 48-hour Radio MegaBlast event featuring special guest performances will air live from Las Vegas. Deejays from the top 150 stations will air segments from the event to build up a buzz around the awards ceremony. The fan's choice winners will be announced during the MegaBlast event.

BigBallot, a marketing services provider that creates turnkey promotions and sweepstakes, also will tally the votes for the RMA event. It previously has handled such events as Major League Baseball's All-Star Game, the Grammys and the TV Guide Awards.

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