ANAHEIM, CALIF. — Registration for AVB/BrandSource’s upcoming Spring Summit has exceeded year-ago attendance levels, the $14-billion buying group reported.
Based on registration patterns, turnout for the biannual meeting and buy fair could surpass 2009 attendance by the double digits, BrandSource said. The show, which runs in tandem with the group’s Home Entertainment Source (HES) A/V specialty division meeting, will be held March 27-31 at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas.
Highlights of the event will include appearances by Carter Oosterhouse, host of the HGTV cable network series “Carter Can,” and rising country music artist Krista Marie.
Oosterhouse will help unveil a new HGTV Green Home mattress collection by Serta, a BrandSource exclusive. “The name of the game is foot traffic and we have huge plans to leverage the power of the Serta, HGTV and BrandSource brands to drive traffic to our stores,” said Bob Lawrence, the buying group’s CEO. “Our members will benefit from a series of national print, online and television ads directing consumers to their local Brand- Source store.
Marie, whose tune “Drive It Like I Stole It” was ESPN’s theme song for the 2009 NHRA drag race season, will perform live for Spring Summit attendees.
In other BrandSource news, the buying group has launched a national sweepstakes, offering consumers a chance to win a 2011 Ford Fiesta, laundry pairs from Whirlpool and Mitsubishi TVs. The promotion is one of several national marketing initiatives AVB will launch this year to expose the BrandSource name to consumers and drive additional traffic to its ecommerce Web site and retail stores.
The sweepstakes is named “Win With Force,” after the John Force NHRA drag race team BrandSource has sponsored since 2006. This year’s program builds on past successes, AVB said, and adds prizes from other NHRA sponsors including Castrol, Ford, Mac Tools, AAA Auto Club of Southern California, and vacation packages from Pleasant Holidays.
The sweepstakes is open to fans attending NHRA events this season. Entry boxes are also being sent to all BrandSource dealers, and consumers can also enter online at
BrandSource will additionally hold a monthly drawing on select Energy Star appliances and flat-panel TVs via the recently redesigned Web site.
“It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come in just a few seasons in terms of interacting with the race fans,” said Lawrence. “At our first promotional event in 2006 we gave away one large-screen TV. With all of the team partners involved, fans can now win over $100,000 worth of prizes through the ‘Win With Force’ promotion this season.”
BrandSource and Team Force also collaborated on an auction benefitting Ronald McDonald House Charities, a frequent benefactor of AVB. Driver Ashley Force Hood’s Ronald McDonald House-themed NHRA Mustang funny car was auctioned off earlier this month at the 48th Annual World of Wheels event in Rosemont, Ill., with all proceeds going to the charity. Hood, who is sponsored by AVB/ BrandSource, raced the Mustang in two events during the 2009 Full Throttle drag racing series.
“I was thrilled to be able to help raise awareness and donations for the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Seattle and Sonoma,” said Force Hood. “Brand- Source, one of our major sponsors, is very involved with this organization and their CEO Bob Lawrence started talking with us about getting involved in early 2009. We got really excited about all the opportunities to help so this program came together very quickly.”
AVB is a member-owned and managed merchandising group that provides buying and merchandising services for more than 4,500 retailers across the country. Its BrandSource branding program leverages the group’s 7,500 storefronts into a national chain of retailers to maintain top-of-mind recognition among consumers searching for appliances, electronics and furniture.