[12/06/06 - 10:27 AM]
USA Network Announces a Nashville Star Marketing Partnership with Sonic Drive-In
New season will once again team with the restaurant chain for a multi-media co-branded marketing partnership.

[via press release from USA]




NEW YORK, NY � December 6, 2006 � On January 11, 2007, USA Network's fifth season premiere of the top-rated country music series NASHVILLE STAR debuts a duet with Sonic, the nation's largest drive-in restaurant chain, for a multi-media co-branded marketing partnership, it was announced today by Chris McCumber, senior vice president, marketing and brand strategy. NASHVILLE STAR is hosted by music superstar Jewel and co-hosted by Cowboy Troy.

The expansive partnership with Sonic includes the first-ever entitled sponsorship of NASHVILLE STAR, plus extensive promotional, on-air, in-store and online co-branded content. Highlights include:

� ON-AIR � As the entitled sponsor, Sonic will be included in all USA Network promos. The brand's affiliation is extended via the following:

1. For the first time ever, USA Network has created a scripted sponsor-integrated vignette featuring co-host Cowboy Troy and NASHVILLE STAR judge Anastasia Brown. It was filmed at a Sonic location in Clarksville, TN and teases the old adage that "something bad has to happen to you to write a country music song." The :40/:30 spot is scheduled to air on USA Network beginning December 1 and will continue in rotation for the duration of the series.

� IN-STORE � Sonic is conducting a NASHVILLE STAR themed sweepstakes in each of its 3,200 drive-ins beginning January 11 and concluding February 16, with winner announcement following the finale. Support includes NASHVILLE STAR branded bags and cups. Sweepstakes prizes include five Chevy Silverados and a year's supply of Sonic food and drink.

� ONLINE � Sonic will also receive a customized presenting sponsorship of NASHVILLE STAR microsite including rich media banners, video pre-rolls and exclusive ownership of the contestant bios, behind the scenes content area and the "What Rocks in Vegas, Rolls in Vegas" NASHVILLE STAR sweepstakes. Additionally, both usanetwork.com and sonicdrivein.com will link to one another.

"Sonic is a perfect fit for a franchise such as NASHVILLE STAR and we are thrilled to have them on board for this co-branded marketing partnership. Sonic's reach will help extend the NASHVILLE STAR brand to over a million people each day," said McCumber.

"The combination of Sonic and NASHVILLE STAR creates a powerful and truly organic marketing partnership for both brands," said Kevin McAuliffe, vice president, NBCU Cable Branded Entertainment Group. "The target audience and marketing objectives aligned perfectly which allowed Sonic to capitalize on the full life cycle of NASHVILLE STAR. Both brands used local auditions, live show sponsorship with integrations and ultimately the follow-on tour to reach consumers/viewers."

"Sonic is pleased to exclusively present NASHVILLE STAR for the fifth season of the popular show," says Todd Townsend, vice president and chief marketing officer of Sonic Industries. "The energetic and family-fun appeal of the show makes it a natural fit for Sonic."

NASHVILLE STAR on usanetwork.com

Nashvillestar.usanetwork.com will again be the official site for the fifth season premiere of NASHVILLE STAR for voting, video streaming, and contestant information, with increased video rich content. The online effort will include new and expanded features, including first ever SMS (basic text messages); WAP sites including episode guides, polls, and a photo gallery plus a mobile store offering downloadable wallpapers, greetings and ring tones. The website will also include the first-ever live online chats during the show with Nashville-based comedian Wix Wichmann; a "fan of the week" section allowing users to upload their pictures describing why they are the biggest NASHVILLE STAR fan; a gallery of contestant's performance fashions with commentary and weekly fashion tips by CHARACTER FANTASY host Jeannie Mai and an all-new NASHVILLE STAR interactive music video. Other content includes episode guides; host, judge, contestant and guest performer information.

SONIC, America's Drive-In (NASDAQ/GS: SONC), originally started as a hamburger and root beer stand in 1953 in Shawnee, Oklahoma, called Top hat Drive-In, and then changed its name to Sonic in 1959. The first drive-in to adopt the Sonic name is still serving customers in Stillwater, Okla. Sonic has approximately 3,200 drive-ins coast to coast and in Mexico, where more than a million customers eat every day. More than a million customers eat at Sonic every day; and with more drink combinations than any other quick-service restaurant � 168,894 to be exact � Sonic is Your Ultimate Drink Stop. For more information about Sonic Corp. and its subsidiaries, visit Sonic at www.sonicdrivein.com.

NASHVILLE STAR is created by Reveille and executive produced by Ben Silverman ("The Biggest Loser," "The Office") and H.T. Owens ("The Restaurant," "30 Days"). Jeff Boggs will executive produce in association with Reveille. Todd Lubin ("30 Days," "Black.White") serves as co-executive producer. The show is produced by Jon Small ("Garth Brooks Live From Central Park," "Billy Joel Live at Yankee Stadium") and his production company, Picture Vision, alongside co-executive producer Mark Koops ("The Restaurant," "Blow Out").

Reveille is a leading independent production and distribution company focused on exploiting worldwide intellectual property rights through scripted and alternative television formats. Launched in March of 2002 by Ben Silverman, the company produces innovative entertainment programming across all television genres such as the Emmy Award-winning "The Office" (NBC), which has also received two Television Critics Association Awards; "The Biggest Loser" (NBC); "Ugly Betty" (ABC); "House of Boateng" (Sundance Channel); "30 Days" (FX); "Blow Out" (Bravo); "Bound For Glory" (ESPN); "Nashville Star" (USA); "Date My Mom" (MTV); and "The Restaurant" (NBC). Reveille is also the world leader in creating integrated marketing opportunities for leading advertisers while developing alternative financing paradigms. In addition, Reveille's growing library of programming is distributed to more than 150 countries worldwide through Reveille International. The company maintains offices in Los Angeles and New York.

For photos of NASHVILLE STAR, please log on to the NBC Universal Media Village at http://www.nbcumv.com/.

USA Network is cable television's leading provider of original series and feature movies, sports and entertainment events, off-net television shows, and blockbuster theatrical films. The #1 basic cable network across the board in 3Q06, USA Network is seen in 90 million U.S. homes. The USA Network Web site is located at www.usanetwork.com. Characters Welcome.

USA Network is a program service of NBC Universal Cable a division of NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience.

  [december 2006]  

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