After being in the running for almost four months, Murray State has won the “Country College Town Sweepstakes” hosted by Country Music Television.
The sweepstakes began in May and ended two weeks ago with Murray State being announced as the winner on “Hot 20 Countdown” on CMT.
The prize package includes a taping of “Hot 20 Countdown” to be hosted on the winning school’s campus, as well as a promised guest appearance by a big name country artist.
Dana Howard, manager of social media marketing, said that while the news of Murray State’s win over much larger schools such as Iowa State University and Louisiana State University is exciting, there is not much else the University knows about the show’s taping on campus as of right now.
“The format we are expecting is that they will come in and do the recording of the show on a Friday,” Howard said. “Then on Saturday there would be a concert of some sort.”
One thing Howard said she does know for sure is that CMT is going to try new forms of social media throughout the show which will hopefully keep the audience more engaged.
In preparation for the event, Murray State will be allowing producers of the show to tour campus in the near future who will decide on a location to hold the taping and rumored concert.
“We are really just waiting on them to let us know when we can start promoting things or when we will have a final date,” Howard said. “I do believe they want to announce the artist on their show first, so we won’t be able to say anything until they have announced it and are ready. So when we say watch the show Saturday, again, it will be a big, big announcement.”
Howard said she believes that student use of social media had a large impact on the University’s success in the contest.
Murray State did not pay to advertise the contest, the winning outcome came soley from student interaction.
Shelley Todd, director of the CFSB Center, said she thinks it is important for Nashville, Tenn., to know a plethora of Racers are country music fans. Todd is not the only one who feels that way.
“For any other larger school this wouldn’t have been such a big deal because things like this happen for them all the time,” Howard said. “For students at Murray State this will be an opportunity for them to see an artist the University wouldn’t have been able to afford otherwise. So this will be a really exciting event.”
Story by Breanna Sill, Assistant Features Editor