Verizon Communications will give 1,000 FiOS TV customers free Flip Ultra HD camcorders and other goodies to host Super Bowl watching parties on Feb. 7, 2010, in the hopes they'll convince some of their buddies to switch from cable or satellite service.
Only FiOS TV customers are eligible to host the viewing parties. The aim of the promotion is to let those subscribers show off the telco's service, which is touted as providing better HD quality than some cable providers that recompress high-def signals for delivery over their plant.
"The aim is to have potential customers experience FiOS first-hand and get service information from people they trust and believe in -- their friends, family and neighbors," Verizon media relations director Bobbi Henson said.
The company also announced the Verizon FiOS Game Day Challenge online sweepstakes with a grand prize -- valued at $9,500 -- of an all-inclusive trip for two to the Super Bowl in Miami, including two nights' hotel stay, roundtrip coach airfare, tickets to the game and $500 in spending money. That promo runs from Dec. 15 through Jan. 15, 2010, at www.verizon.com/biggame; no purchase or fee is required to enter the sweepstakes.
Henson declined to specify how much Verizon is spending on the Super Bowl viewing-party promo; the Flip Ultra HD cameras carry a suggested retail price of $200 each.
Verizon is partnering with House Party, an Irvington, N.Y.-based marketing company, to plan and manage the viewing parties. The telco is supplying the camcorders, which are included in the party packs that are provisioned to the party hosts by House Party.
In addition to a Flip Ultra camcorder, the FiOS TV Super Bowl party packs will include footballs, pom-poms, beer koozies, keychains, plates, napkins, cups, coasters and microwave popcorn.
Verizon will encourage the hosts to use FiOS TV's Facebook and Twitter widgets to post comments about the game on their TV screens, connecting them to other FiOS Game Day Viewing Parties. Another highlighted feature will be the pro football widget, which provides on-screen access to rosters, player details and headline news.
FiOS TV customers can apply to be one of the hosts at www.houseparty.com/fiosgameday. The deadline to apply for the party sweepstakes is Jan. 15, 2010. Verizon said it will notify the 1,000 winners by Jan. 22.
In a separate promotion, Verizon's Share the Network online referral program offers customers a $25 or $50 American Express reward card for every friend or family member they successfully convince to sign up for a multiservice bundle, for up to $600 per year.