CBC's Soccer Day in Newfoundland and Labrador was a noble effort to become more involved in the community, and to perhaps raise the profile of The Beautiful Game' across the province. (And I'm all for that it costs practically nothing to outfit your child for soccer, versus all the gear required to play minor hockey.)
However, execution of the event in particular, the Kick for the Car Contest left something to be desired.
The prize of a 2009 Mitsubishi Lancer was heavily hyped in the weeks leading up to Soccer Day, with the good folks at Mitsubishi receiving plenty of free promotion.
That would have been perfectly fine, had the CBC actually given the car away.
But they didn't. The prize was not awarded.
Here's how it worked: viewers were invited to submit two lines of verse to a folk song, with the words changed to reflect a soccer theme. Ten people pre-qualified in this way for, as CBC described it on their web site, a "one in ten chance" to win the $27,000 car.
However, to win, they had to kick a soccer ball through a target hole, measuring 19-inches in diameter.
From a distance of 75 feet.
Without, as noted in the contest rules, any practice or warm up.
In other words, the event was structured to make it practically impossible to win that car. The odds were probably better of someone in the audience breaking into a happy dance, upon pulling a winning lottery ticket from their pocket.
If Mitsubishi paid CBC a tidy sum to participate in this promotion, then fair enough. If not, then CBC got taken for a ride. (And I bet they will take a different approach next year.)
Bottom line is, when you promote a car as the grand prize, you really have to give it away at the end. Otherwise, viewers (not to mention contestants) are going to feel cheated.
Free promotional tip: There was not a large audience at the CBC vs. Under 16 Allstars game. From what I saw on TV, the bleachers were empty. Next year, the car should be given away during a half-time kick-off, in which members of the audience line up for one kick each, until someone nails the bullseye. The stands would be packed with cheering fans, and the event exciting and suspenseful. Heck, never mind winning - I'd go just to watch.