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TCBY awards free restaurant in video contest

TCBY has awarded the grand prize in its multi-month “This Could Be Yours – The Great TCBY Store Giveaway” contest to a Northwest Arkansas couple who successfully made the case for their market and business acumen using a video and social media tools, the franchisor said.

TCBY officials Wednesday said Jared and Sarah Greer of Fayetteville, Ark., beat out four other finalists and more than 100 contestants in all, to win a new, fully equipped and stocked TCBY frozen-yogurt shop in a chain-approved location of their choice. The Salt Lake City-based operator and franchisor of more than 800 frozen yogurt stores said the prize also includes a limited-10-year license agreement, waiver of the $10,000 initial franchise fee, a $7,500 stipend to cover travel and living costs while undergoing training in Utah and a $7,500 opening promotional allowance. It valued the prize at $312,500.

“From day one, we have been impressed with the interest in our brand, and especially with the caliber of submissions we received,” said Michael Ward, TCBY president. “The decision between the five finalists was excruciatingly hard, but we feel we have chosen a winner, the Greers, who we know love this brand like it was their own. We are eager to get them up and running and serving The Country’s Best Yogurt to the supportive people of Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas.”

Swaying the judges, TCBY said, was the way the Greers literally took to the streets of Fayetteville and its campus of the University of Arkansas, their alma mater, to create a video that successfully conveyed the strength of the market. Their sophisticated use of social media in their campaign to win, as well as their high scores in the chain’s traditional franchisee screening process, didn’t hurt their cause, either, TCBY officials added.

TCBY officials said the Greers already own and manage two small businesses: Greer Property Solutions, which builds, leases and sells residential properties around the university, and Tears for Life, a medical diagnostic equipment company. They said the couple is anxious to begin the store development process, and hopes to open the restaurant this fall. The winning couple has scouted out some potential sites near the university that are now being reviewed by TCBY personnel who have traveled to Fayetteville.

The idea for the contest came to TCBY officials last year, as they were inspired by a down economy that encouraged some people to better control their own destinies through business ownership, a TCBY representative explained. She said the idea that a giveaway might create some buzz around the brand and spur additional franchise sales also played a role in TCBY management giving the contest the green light.

TCBY officials said the ‘buzz’ turned out to be considerable.

Beyond the YouTube, Facebook and Twitter activities of all five finalists, which, in turn, added to the chain’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, TCBY management said it was “overwhelmed” by the news coverage across the country in newspapers, online and on TV and radio, particularly the way local media took up the cause of their hometown competitors starting at the point when 10 semi-finalists were selected.

View the winning video submission here.

Contact Al Liddle at [email protected].

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