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[06/09/08 - 02:42 PM]
NBC and State Farm(R) Form Unique Programming and Marketing Partnership for "Nashville Star"
In addition to serving as a primary sponsor for the series, State Farm will be the presenting sponsor for a special "Hometown Concert" episode airing July 21.

[via press release from NBC]

NBC AND STATE FARM(R) FORM UNIQUE PROGRAMMING AND MARKETING PARTNERSHIP FOR "NASHVILLE STAR"

Insurance Company to Serve As Presenting Sponsor for Special Hometown Concert Episode Tied to "I'm There" Marketing Campaign

BURBANK, Calif. - June 9, 2008 - NBC and State Farm(R) announced today a unique programming and marketing partnership for the upcoming season of "Nashville Star," which premieres tonight at 9 p.m. ET on NBC. In addition to serving as a primary sponsor for the series, State Farm will be the presenting sponsor for a special "Hometown Concert" episode airing July 21, that features each of the final four contestants performing a special concert for friends and family in their various hometowns. The concert will tie in to State Farm's current "I'm There" marketing campaign.

The announcement was made by Craig Plestis, EVP Alternative Programming, Development and Specials, NBC Entertainment; Jim Hoffman, SVP, Primetime Ad Sales, NBC Universal; and Jeanette Stewart, State Farm Advertising Manager.

"As NBC has demonstrated before, this partnership with State Farm allows us the opportunity to creatively integrate the message of an appropriate advertiser with that of a particular show - in this case 'Nashville Star,'" said Plestis. "As the series' climax nears, the 'Hometown Concert' episode is the perfect vehicle to showcase State Farm's marketing campaign in a way that complements the 'I'm There' theme."

State Farm's exclusive sponsorship for the "Hometown Concert" ties in with the company's current "I'm There" marketing campaign, which targets consumers who are at the intersections of important life events. The "Hometown Concert" episode is the ideal platform and program to market the "I'm There" message, as each contestant is facing a significant personal and professional crossroad as they approach the finals of the "Nashville Star" competition.

"We have been sponsoring the 'Hometown Concert' for several seasons and are delighted to once again be part of the series now on NBC," added Stewart. "The breadth and scope of the network aligns with the neighborhood presence of our agents, and this is another perfect opportunity for State Farm to partner with local school districts."

The concerts will incorporate the "red dot" brand featured in State Farm's current advertising campaigns and also feature State Farm executives who will help introduce each performance. All money raised from the concerts will be donated to the public school district in each of the four finalists' home communities. State Farm will also donate $10,000 to each of the school districts, assisting their efforts encouraging kids to stay in school and decreasing the number of high school dropouts.

"This is yet another great example of how we can work with our clients to create customized solutions that enhance their brand message," said Hoffman. "The partnership between 'Nashville Star' and State Farm highlights what can be achieved when we start an early dialogue with our clients about their marketing goals."

The first five seasons of "Nashville Star" have launched the careers of promising artists including Chris Young, Buddy Jewel, Miranda Lambert (recent ACM Album of the Year winner), Lance Miller, and Angela and Zac Hacker -- the siblings who made it a family affair by coming in first and second, respectively, last season.

"Nashville Star" is created by Reveille and produced by 495 Productions. Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens ("American Gladiators"), Mark Koops ("The Biggest Loser") and Sally Ann Salsano ("Design Star," "A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila") serve as executive producers.

OMD handled media planning and buying for State Farm.

# # #

About NBC Universal:

NBC Universal is 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. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi.

About State Farm:

State Farm(R) insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S., is the leading insurer of watercraft and is also a leading insurer in Canada. State Farm's 17,000 agents and 67,000 employees serve over 77 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and more than 1.9 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 32 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit statefarm.com(R) or in Canada statefarm.ca(R).





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· AMERICAN GLADIATORS (NBC)
· BIGGEST LOSER, THE (USA)
· DOUBLE SHOT AT LOVE, A (MTV)
· HGTV STAR (HGTV)
· NASHVILLE STAR (NBC)
· OFFICE, THE (NBC)





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