WASHINGTON - Rajender Agarwal, of Edison, N.J., and Julie Almanza, of Rancho Mirage, Calif., literally talked their way into winning Verizon's *NSYNC concert sweepstakes.
Being a Verizon Long Distance customer earned Julie the company's grand prize. Rajender's fondness for three-way calling with his children and friends and family back in India helped him win the Verizon National Operations' *NSYNC sweepstakes. Both Verizon Long Distance and Verizon National Operations had separate contests with the same prize package.
Agarwal and Almanza won a trip for themselves and three friends or family members to Washington, D.C., three nights beginning Saturday at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel and $500 in spending money. The winners and their guests will go to the *NSYNC concert Monday night, Aug. 16, at RFK Stadium. They'll arrive by limousine and will attend a special pre-concert party. Also, each winner will receive an autographed CD of the band's new release, "Celebrity" and an autographed band photo.
Agarwal is bringing his two teenagers and 21-year-old daughter to Washington. He told Verizon, "My kids are so excited, they said I had to take the prize and take them to the concert."
The Agarwal family was picked from more than 4 million entries in a random drawing among Verizon customers who used three-way calling at least once between June 3 and July 14. Additional entries were made for customers every time they made a three-way call during that period. Individuals could also mail in their entry.
Almanza is coming with three friends. "I'm so happy I signed up," she said upon learning that she'd won the contest for being a Verizon Long Distance customer.
Verizon Long Distance began its *NSYNC sweepstakes with more than 5 million entries, from which Julie was selected, since all current customers were automatically entered. In addition, each new long-distance customer who signed up before July 14 was entered in the sweepstakes. And, an additional entry was made for every long-distance call they made as well as for printed mail-in entries.
"I know that Rajender and Julie will enjoy their stay in Washington and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with Justin, Joey, JC, Chris and Lance," said Mark Adams, executive director, Verizon Consumer Marketing.
"As a first-time national pop tour sponsor, we couldn't be more pleased with our *NSYNC association. The band members' talent is well known, but at Verizon we were impressed with their willingness to support issues that are very important to them and their fans," Adams said.
The sweepstakes is part of Verizon's new marketing strategy that includes on-line partnerships and the entertainment industry.
Verizon Long Distance is the nation's fourth-largest long-distance company with more than six million customers in 38 states. Verizon National Operations provides local and short-distance calling, call management features and Internet access in 31 states. The company's three-way calling feature allows customers to add a third party to an existing call.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 125 million access line equivalents and approximately 28 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with about 260,000 employees and more than $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.