Announcing the 13th Annual Second Street Award Winners

15 minute read

Liz Huff Senior Director, Customer Success

From Best Ballot to Campaign of the Year, see what won! 

At the 13th Annual Second Street Awards, we celebrated the biggest and brightest success stories of 2021 from over 4,000 media partners. Check out all our winners and finalists below and learn how you can create winning promotions in 2022 and beyond!

Advertiser Lead-Gen Campaign
Winner: $10,000 Bathroom Remodel Sweepstakes – Daily Gazette

This was an incredible example of a win in the home improvement category!  Taking a costly home improvement task and turning it into a prize is sure to bring in tons of participation. Just two weeks after the campaign ended, the customer said it was worth the sponsorship investment. The campaign drove over $20k in new business for the sponsor, and a load of goodwill in the community as the prize went to a local police officer’s wife!

Finalists:  

  • Win a new roof or windows from Alliance Exteriors! – WBYR – FM 
  • Silver Dollar City Dream Job Adventure – KY3 
  • Holiday Wish and Win – The Oklahoman 
  • Gutter Giveaway – WDAF 

 

Best Branded Content
Winner: Chewy Presents: Which Dog Breed is Right for You? – Oola

This amazing campaign was part of a sponsored partnership with Chewy, in an effort to boost brand awareness and increase web traffic and conversions.  Chewy received branded content articles and social media posts while the quiz ran alongside the content.  It also coincided with a sale on Chewy’s website in honor of National Dog Day. Oola.com received $5k in revenue from the campaign, with more campaigns to come thanks to this huge success.  

Finalists:  

  • Kid’s Corner Connecticut Science Center Contest – Tribune Hartford Courant 
  • Occupational Therapy Month: Advance Therapy Quiz – Sheridan Media 
  • Win Ready Meals with Jewel-Osco – Lee Newspapers 
  • Know Your Beef – KY3 
  • Trash Trivia Waste Management – KWLM-AM 

 

Best Editorial, Promotions & Programming Campaign
Winner: Best of the Beast Pet Photo Contest – Seven Days

The Seven Days team wanted to create a contest to engage readers with their upcoming Animal Issue.  The contest was sponsored by a local emergency vet clinic. With over 900 photo submissions and some pretty creative categories – Doggone Adorable (dog photos), Purrrfect Poser (cat photos), Wild Card (exotic pets), Best Dressed (pets in costume), and Lady & The Tramp (best pals), this contest brought out the pet lover in all of us!

Finalists:  

  • Take Out Awards – Chicago Tribune 
  • Christmas Spirit Photo Contest – WJPT-FM 
  • West Michigan Farm Fun Bracket –GRKids.com 
  • HighSchoolOT Honors – WRAL-TV 
  • Ozarks Big Bite Sweepstakes – KY3 

 

Best List-Builder Campaign
Winner: Food Fight: Beer Bracket – St. Louis Magazine

For their June issue, St. Louis Magazine wanted to highlight the local beer scene throughout the St. Louis area. And the perfect way to highlight beer is with beer-themed campaigns! This amazing campaign contained a dozen different beer categories and was paired with an awesome ‘Test your brew IQ quiz’, plus, participants were entered into a draw to win $50 to the winning brewery. 

Finalists:  

  • Gamecocks vs Tigers Fan Poll – The Post and Courier 
  • Vote 4 the Best Pets 2021 – WDIV-TV 
  • 2021 Teacher of the Year – Quad City Times 
  • Times Union Weekly Quiz – Times Union 

 

Best Recurring Revenue Campaign
Winner: Hines Furniture Athlete of the Week – Sumter Item

Athlete of the Week from the Sumter Item was a 32-week program during the school year and generated $12K in revenue, culminating with an athlete of the year bracket featuring all the weekly winners! The client was extremely happy with his exposure around such a feel-good campaign. The Sumter Item keeps making improvements to the campaign – most recently they started creating digital trading cards for the athletes and have been posting them on social media.

Finalists:  

  • Englewood Health Quiz Bundle – The Record  
  • Student of the Month – My Horry News 
  • Top Notch Teacher Relief Fund – WKBT-TV 
  • The Healthcare Heroes Project – Austin American-Statesman 
  • ResCare’s Caregiver of the Month – WMEE-FM 

 

Best Audience Development Campaign
Winner: Tax the Ultra Wealthy – MoveOn.org

In today’s climate, this quiz was right on target with the MoveOn.org audience and was taken over 8,000 times. Not only did the quiz educate, but it also helped gain audience insights, and had a 75% opt-in rate for their newsletter and 25% opt-in rate for SMS messages.

Finalists:  

  • Let’s Wing It, South Florida – Sun-Sentinel 
  • Halloween Candy Bracket 2021 – WZFX – FM 
  • Test Your Lawn Care IQ – WQHK – FM 
  • Friday Night Frenzy Game of the Week – WLFI 

 

Best National Sweepstakes Campaign: Revenue
Winner: Home for the Holidays – WKRN-TV 

The team at WKRN-TV secured 6 different advertisers to the tune of $42K in revenue! Each advertiser was included in the station’s annual Home for the Holidays promotion.  With over 2,700+ entries, individual opt-ins, and lead-gen questions for each advertiser, the sponsors, and the station had a happy holiday season! 

Finalists:  

  • $15 Grand in Your Hand – Wisconsin’s Big Cheese 107.9 
  • $6,000 Sweepstakes – Cherry Creek – St. George 
  • Free Groceries for a Year – VerStandig 
  • Rent or Mortgage for a Year – Chicago Defender 

 

Best National Sweepstakes Campaign: List Builder
Winner: Win Groceries for a Year – WRAL -TV

WRAL-TV had over 3600 participants in their ‘Win Groceries for a Year’ campaign. The team followed all the best practices and was able to get 667 new opt-ins for their sponsor, Smart Shopper’s newsletter, plus a combined total of 1055 new opt-ins for their 3 newsletters.

Finalists:  

  • $4,800 Sweepstakes – WFXG-TV 
  • Froggy Fresh Start $6,600 Sweepstakes – KFGE-FM 
  • $15,000 Holiday Sweepstakes – 13 WHAM ABC 
  • $15K Giveaway – Glenwood Springs Post Independent 

 

Best Event Promotion
Winner: Kicks 99 Guitar Pull Keyword to Win – WKXC-FM

WKXC utilized on-air promos to drive listeners to their website and enter a keyword to win tickets to their biggest show of the year. This campaign brought in 32,622 entries with 1543 new opt-ins for their concert information newsletter. The Guitar Pull Keyword to Win was a great way for WKXC to build its database and drive traffic to the station’s websites.  It brought together the on-air and digital aspects in a fun, effective way!

Finalists:  

  • Mattress Firm 100 Days to the Fair – State Fair of Texas 
  • Best of Columbia Party Theme Poll – Free Times 
  • Justice League Virtual Run – USA Today 
  • Home Show Giveaway – Palm Beach Post 

 

Best Sponsored Campaign
Winner: All Things Culinary Sweepstakes – KY3 

The team at All Things Culinary wanted to increase awareness for their clients’ storefront and let them know that it was open to all and not just people in the food/service industry. By running the successful sweeps, they were able to give away gift cards to drive traffic into the store. With the promotion and the sweeps, they were able to not only get people in-store but also generate over 3,500 new email opt-ins and 1,264 new leads for All Things Culinary. Plus $70k in revenue! 

Finalists:  

  • Extraordinary Women – Austin American-Statemen  
  • Thank You Solders Virtual Card – WKML-FM 
  • Harris Ranch Beef Sweepstakes – KGPE-TV 
  • 12 Days of Sparkle Giveaway – Federated – Fort Wayne  

 

Best Niche Ballot
Winner: 2021 Women of the Year Awards – The Albany Herald 

The goal of the ‘Women of the Year’ ballot was to celebrate all the amazing hard-working women within the community while also raising money for a local women’s shelter.  The Albany Herald sold sponsorship packages to companies that had employees nominated and held a live event with over 400 people in attendance.  The program generated $23K in revenue!

Finalists:  

  • Pardi Paws Pet Ballot – St. Louis Post Dispatch 
  • 4Frenzy Fall 2021 – WDIV 
  • Give Local. – WALY-FM 
  • 2021 Holiday Cheer for Charity – The Detroit News 

 

Best ‘Best Of’ Ballot
Winner: Best of the Pines 2021 – The Pilot 

Firing on all cylinders and taking lots of advice from webinars and content, Best of the Pines 2021 came in at $208k, which is a 44% increase from 2020 (and a 40% increase from 2019!). Revenue has grown by 316% in three years, and this year The Pilot implemented a new monthly ‘winners highlight’ every month in their multiple print products, which has brought in an extra $23k. Bringing the full revenue for their Best of the Pines campaign up to $231k!

Finalists:  

  • Best of 716 – Buffalo News 
  • Best of Denton – Denton Record-Chronicle 
  • WRAT’s Shore Awards 2021 – WRAT – FM 
  • Best of the Grand Strand 2021 – WMBF 
  • 2021 People’s Choice of SWLA – American Press: Lake Charles 
  • 2021 Best of the Desert – Arizona Republic 
  • 2021 Best of the Best – Chattanooga Times Free Press 

 

Best Photo Contest 

Winner: WDHA’s Ultimate Rock Dog 

Pet contests continue to be hugely popular and WDHA’s hit all the marks. $25k in sponsorship revenue, with digital and on-air promos targeting their pet-friendly audience. Plus, entries were made into a calendar benefiting a local animal rescue, and the winner was unveiled at a fabulous event. Great results from start to finish!

Finalists:  

  • Most Beautiful Baby 2021 – WMEE-FM 
  • Cutest Couple – WJBF-TV 
  • Big Buck 2021 Photo Contest – B-99.9-FM 
  • Cutest Couples Valentine’s Day Contest – KESQ-TV 
  • Celebrate Michigan – The Detroit News 

 

Best Photo Gallery 

Winner: Saluting Those Who Served – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Photo galleries are an awesome and fun way to showcase people, pets, and things happening within your community without having to have a voting component.  They can complement things you’re already doing or be standalone campaigns.  The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette did just that! They created a great gallery to accompany their special section with a wonderful ‘Saluting Those Who Served’ gallery where readers could upload photos of those special people in their lives!  The special section also generated $50k in sponsorship revenue.

Finalists:  

  • Hot Dog Photo Gallery – WGN-TV 
  • Daytona Amazing Teachers – Daytona Beach News-Journal  
  • Picturing Our Community – WKBT-TV 
  • Back To School Photo Contest – West Kentucky Star 

 

Best Poll 

Winner: Mask Mandate Repeal Poll – Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s goal was to determine how users felt about an Arkansas state-instituted mask mandate ban being repealed by the Arkansas Courts. They also wanted to provide users with an opportunity to engage with the website, and access future stories related to the pandemic and the legal battle surrounding mask mandates.  With over 1K users, this promotion resulted in the single biggest source of new email opt-ins for their core newsletters all year. 

Finalists:  

  • MLB All-Star – Boston Herald 
  • Sweetest Big Game – WIVB-TV 
  • Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie? – CFMY-FM 
  • Favre or Rodgers? – WISC-TV 

 

Best Sweepstakes 

Winner: Great Holiday Light Tour Sweepstakes – WRIC-TV 

Conexus is a local non-profit with the goal of removing poor vision as a barrier to a child’s success. Their program provides on-site eye exams in schools where access to care or other barriers broadly prevent follow-up on vision screening referrals. Each year, Conexus runs a Gift of Light fundraising campaign, and this promotion gave the station the opportunity to highlight the Conexus mission during a time of the year when people may be more open to giving while engaging their audience with a fun contest. As a result, they were able to play a key role in raising over $17,000 for Conexus over the holiday season. Plus, award a lucky winner with a fun prize pack from the Light Tour!

Finalists:  

  • WGN-TV Staycation July Giveaway – WGN-TV 
  • Get A Room Getaway – Schneps Media 
  • KML Summer Flyaway – WKML-FM 
  • Take Out Giveaway – Rhode Island Monthly 

 

Best Quiz 

Winner: What Kind of Traveler Are You? – AL.com 

Knowing that everyone is ready to get out and travel, this quiz was created with the sponsor, Visit Vicksburg, to gain audience insights and Newsletter signups. The sponsor had over 1000 opt-ins, plus they were able to learn more about their prospects thanks to the way they answered the various quiz questions. AL.com secured 5K in revenue and Visit Vicksburg is already lined up for future campaigns – that’s a win!

Finalists:  

  • Chuck Stress Test – WRIF-FM 
  • Community Hospital Heart Health Quiz – The Daily Sentinel  
  • Okaloosa Gas District Hurricane Preparedness Quiz – Northwest Florida Daily News 
  • MasterChef Summer Grillaway – WFXG-TV 
  • Ohio Grape Spring Quiz – Columbus Dispatch 

 

Best Video Contest 

Winner: Oh Say Can You Sing – WJXT-TJ 

The team at WJXT was focused on promoting their daily lifestyle show as well as the local 4th of July fireworks in downtown Jacksonville!  While video can sometimes be a higher barrier to entry, the team did an incredible job garnering entries and generated $20k in sponsorship revenue.

Finalists:  

  • 2021 Long Island’s Funniest Videos – Newsday 
  • Home or Away for the Holidays – Anchorage Daily News 
  • 2021 Pet Video Contest – Dayton Daily News 
  • West Tennessee’s Funniest Videos – WOGY – FM  

 

Best Voting Bracket 

Winner: Next Up, New Artist Challenge – WiLD-FM 

Brackets are not just for basketball anymore!  The team at WiLD came up with an awesome way to engage listeners and showcase local talent by running a new artist challenge!  The team had proven success with brackets in the past, so they were able to secure a $20k sponsorship from a local attorney for the amazing talent bracket. With over 9k people and 17K votes, the people made their voices heard.    

Finalists:  

  • 919 Beer’s Battle of the Brews – WRAL-TV 
  • Best Holiday Movie Bracket – KOKZ-FM 
  • 2021 Cincinnati’s Favorite Beer Bracket – Cincinnati Enquirer 
  • Tampa Bay Food Truck Fight – WQYK-FM 
  • Crab Contest 2021 – Baltimore Magazine 

 

Best Advertiser Program 

Winner: Austin American- Statesmen 

In 2020 the team in Austin did $15K in revenue from promotions, not including their Community Choice program.  In 2021, the team decided to dig in and set a big goal of $250K.     

Making promotions a top priority, the sales teams held weekly meetings to brainstorm ideas and worked closely with their corporate promotions team.  They changed how their sellers viewed and sold promotions, focusing on the fact that these programs are lead generating programs. In the end, they smashed their goal to the tune of $267,587 in 2021.  And the team didn’t stop there, as they brought in $224K in Q1 of 2022!

Finalists:  

  • Federated Media – Fort Wayne 
  • Beasley Augusta 
  • WGN-TV 
  • KY-TV
     

 

Best Regional Campaign 

Winner: For the Love of Home $50,000 Giveaway– Arizona Republic 

A furniture store New Mover program drove a whopping $200K revenue for the team at the Arizona Republic. The advertiser was looking for a way to elevate and differentiate their brand while growing their lead database for furniture sales. This sweepstakes campaign covered 72 stores across multiple states. With a $50,000 shopping spree on the line, entrants were willing to answer lead generation questions about their buying intent and opted-in to receive special offers from the store! Overall, the campaign targeted new movers and generated over 18K new marketing leads for the client.

Finalists:  

  • Destinations Photo Contest 2021 – Lee Newspapers 
  • Capture Summer Photo Contest – Black Press 
  • The Furniture Warehouse Sweepstakes – Sarasota Tribune 
  • BetMGM Vegas Playoff Sweepstakes – USA Today 
  • Florida Hearing Aid Centers – Daytona Beach News-Journal 

 

Best Small Market Program 

Winner: The Oxford Eagle – Oxford, MS 

The team at The Oxford Eagle really made it happen in 2021!  They invested in training their team, understanding promotions across their entire media company, and articulating the value proposition to advertisers! All in, they generated $102k revenue in their first year of promotions and saw great success. And their sales team says they love to sell ‘Best Of’ which is a top revenue earner for them!

Finalists:  

  • The Pilot 
  • Sumter Item 
  • WRAT-FM 
  • The Times Herald  

 

Best Mid-Size Market Program 

Winner: Federated Media – Fort Wayne 

In 2021, Federated Media did over 7 figures in revenue as a result of content/promotional marketing campaigns.  With the team in Fort Wayne bringing in 75% of that revenue.    

They ran several very successful led-gen campaigns for local businesses — in categories like Financial, Home Improvement, Furniture and Grocery.  Plus, utilized National Sweepstakes and did some incredible campaigns throughout the year. 

According to Deb Williams, General Manager at Federated Media, “The Second Street platform isn’t a promotional tool for the radio station. It’s a promotional platform that benefits the station’s clients, and radio is the vehicle that ties it all together. It just so happens that the platform also helps the radio stations.”  The sellers in Fort Wayne are doing just that, focusing on client solutions, and using the platform to bring tangible results that a client can see and feel. 

Finalists:  

  • KYTV-TV 
  • Pensacola News Journal 
  • Chattanooga Times Free Press 
  • WRAL 
  • Beasley Charlotte 

 

Best Large Market Program 

Winner: The Arizona Republic 

The Arizona Republic is doing all the right things, and in their first year of promotions! Big revenue coming in from a variety of advertisers and promotions and an incredible ‘Best Of’ ballot that brought in nearly $500k in its first year. The Arizona Republic ended the year at $980,000 in promotion revenue – nearly a million-dollar program! 

Finalists:  

  • The Columbus Dispatch 
  • WGN-TV 
  • Beasley Boston 
  • Austin Monthly  
  • Beasley Detroit 

 

Groupwide Strategy 

Winner: Gannett 

The team at Gannett continues to impress with all they do. Lead-generation campaigns, ‘Best Of’ ballots, recurring revenue programs, list building campaigns, National Sweepstakes and more, all with remarkable success. 

2021 was a huge year for the team, generating $23.5MM in promotions revenue from local, regional, and national sales channels!   

The team was able to pivot strategies for virtual events and premium promotions such as Healthcare Heroes and Amazing Teachers due to what would be most relevant and needed for Sales Teams.  And speaking of those sales teams, they also supported the teams with over 100 case studies, sales training, sales collateral, packaging and pricing support, reporting templates, and more! Plus, they publish scalable opportunities for their markets in their biweekly newsletter and feature them in their monthly marketing meetings! 

The Gannett team continues to grow their Promotions business and we are thrilled and proud at Second Street to be along for the ride! 

Finalists:  

  • Lee Newspapers 
  • Gannett 
  • Beasley 
  • Boone 
  • Nexstar 
  • Federated Media 

 

Campaign of the Year 

Winner: New Roof and Windows Giveaway – WBYR-FM 

An incredible campaign where entrants could win a new roof and windows!  The federated team used the Second Street national sweeps and added lead-gen to find homeowners considering improvements to generate a pipeline for the advertiser. The icing on the cake? The advertiser, Alliance Exteriors, was able to close over $120k in new roof installs from the leads – and THAT is why the New Roof and Windows Giveaway is our Campaign of the Year!
 

Reliable products. Real results.

Every day, thousands of companies rely on Upland to get their jobs done simply and effectively. See how brands are putting Upland to work.

View Success Stories