August 25, 2015 // Franchising.com // ATLANTA – IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) today announces the Holiday Inn Resort® brand’s new collaboration with country music sensation Big & Rich. The hotel brand teamed up with Big & Rich and awarded five of the band’s most die-hard fans the chance to “run away” with them to the Holiday Inn Resort® Pensacola Beach Gulf Front for a once in a lifetime trip, which took place this past weekend.
The American country music duo Big Kenny and John Rich, who make up Big & Rich, are songwriters, vocalists, and guitarists, known for explosive live performances and a devoted fan base across America. The Holiday Inn Resort brand joined forces with the band as part of the Holiday Inn® Journey to Extraordinary campaign, which was launched in the summer of 2014. The campaign celebrates the incredible stories of each and every guest who walks through the doors of a Holiday Inn hotel. The Journey to Extraordinary campaign continues this year with a focus on celebrating the connections that travelers make while on the road – be they with loved ones, new acquaintances or their favorite musical duo.
As part of the brand’s collaboration with the band, Holiday Inn Resort is also offering more than 40,000 free downloads of Big & Rich’s new single “Run Away with You,” available for download here starting Wednesday, August 26 through Tuesday, September 22. The music video for the single, released earlier this summer, follows the story of a young couple who hit the road to see Big & Rich perform in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. From their departure from Nashville, Tennessee, to the moment they arrived at the Holiday Inn Oceanfront at Surfside Beach hotel, viewers see the special moments the couple experienced and memories they created along their journey together.
Heather Balsley, Senior Vice President, Americas Brand Management, IHG said: “The Holiday Inn brand’s collaboration with Big & Rich embodies the spirit of the Journey to Extraordinary campaign by helping these super fans create new vacation memories while enjoying a last blast of summer fun with their favorite musicians. The lyrics of the band’s newest single, ‘Run Away with You,’ echo the sentiment of adventure and discovery that we strive to enable for our guests every day as they travel and create memories along their own journeys. Partnering with Big & Rich to create this unique experience for five of their biggest fans is just one example of how the Holiday Inn brand is connecting with our guests in new and different ways.”
The five winners, chosen from an essay contest launched on the band’s Facebook page in July, journeyed from their hometowns to the Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach Gulf Front resort for a special weekend consisting of a private luau party, intimate acoustic concert and meet-and-greet with the band. Each of the winners is a long-time fan with a personal connection to the band:
For Amy Waller of Longmont, Colorado, Big & Rich concerts are a family tradition. Amy, along with her husband and two daughters have travelled all over the country in their car, which sports a Big & Rich license plate, to attend more than 15 Big & Rich concerts. Amy and her husband, a former member of the U.S. Navy, who were originally drawn to Big & Rich based on their appreciation of and respect for the military, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary by traveling to Pensacola and dancing to their song “Lost in This Moment.”
Super fans from outside Baltimore, Maryland, Shayna Matthews and her husband, a former member of the United States Air Force and White House employee, joke that they have only one photo with a President on their wall and 22 photos with Big & Rich in addition to an entire music room dedicated to the band in their home. The couple discovered Big & Rich while Shayna’s husband was away for training and Shayna heard and shared with him the patriotic song “8th of November,” bringing them both to tears. Big & Rich’s song writing inspired Shayna to find her own voice and make her childhood dream of becoming an author a reality. She enjoyed thanking Big & Rich face-to-face for giving her the courage to achieve her dreams.
Last August, Holli Dillard-Cranfill of Grasonville, Maryland, near Annapolis, was diagnosed with stage 4 endometrial cancer at age 33. After a year of surgeries and chemotherapy, the cancer is in remission. Holli and her husband have a 12-year-old foster son, who they haven’t been able to adopt due to Holli’s health and finances. He has been in the foster care system for 10 ½ years, and has never experienced anything “big” until now – attending the weekend getaway with Big & Rich. Big & Rich’s song “Run Away with You” reminds Holli of her own journey and taking the opportunity to slow down life and reconnect with her loved ones. The couple took their first trip together to Pensacola since she was diagnosed with cancer, and they plan to adopt their foster son by the end of the year.
Since his daughter was 8 years old, Joseph Frey and his family have gone to a Big & Rich concert every summer in their RV. Joseph and his wife are public school teachers from Loveland, Colorado, and their occupation allows them to take time to travel each summer and share new experiences with their daughter. But last summer was different – the river next to their house flooded, resulting in the loss of many of their belongings, and the family was forced to spend four months away from home. Rebuilding has taken a toll on their finances, and they had not been able to travel this summer, so they were ecstatic about winning the trip to Pensacola.
For Ashley Eickhoff, who lives outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, nothing brings family together more than Big & Rich. Ashley, her husband, son and daughter are avid Big & Rich fans; Evan, Ashley’s son, even dressed up as John Rich for Halloween when he was only 3 years old. Big & Rich concerts are a way for the family to spend time together, and they loved creating new memories during the trip to Pensacola over the weekend.
The Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach Gulf Front was the perfect setting for the exclusive concert, providing the band and the fans an ideal venue to connect with one another and create lasting memories. At Holiday Inn Resort properties, guests can relax in beautiful resort locations and enjoy the warm and welcoming service and multitude of family-friendly activities that create a memorable holiday getaway for the entire family.
With 1,205 hotels worldwide, Holiday Inn® is the most widely recognized lodging brand in the world and has helped millions of travelers discover the joy of travel since its inception in 1952. Designed to meet the needs of both business and leisure travelers, Holiday Inn hotels deliver memorable experiences through warm and welcoming service, contemporary design that blends the familiar with the new, and a sense of comfort unique to the brand and its iconic green sign. At Holiday Inn hotels, guests can find amenities to help them work and play, including full-service restaurants where Kids Eat Free, meeting and business facilities, bright swimming pools and comfortable lounges all designed to help guests relax and refresh, making travel more enjoyable for all. For more information about the Holiday Inn brand, visit www.holidayinn.com or call 1-888-HOLIDAY. Find us on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/holidayinn or Facebook www.Facebook.com/holidayinnhotels.
With 45 properties worldwide, the Holiday Inn Resort® brand offers family fun and relaxation from a brand name guests know and trust. Located in many of the world’s leading resort destinations, each property makes the most of its great location and offers quality accommodations, facilities and activities. Guests enjoy amenities such as multiple food options, whether poolside or in a restaurant, swimming pools, fitness centers as well as tailored services for children such as KidSuites® Rooms and a Children’s Activity Program. All Holiday Inn Resort properties also offer nightly on-site entertainment from live bands and karaoke to comedy shows. For more information about the Holiday Inn Resort brand or to book reservations, call 1-800-HOLIDAY or visit www.holidayinnresorts.com.
Big & Rich is comprised of Big Kenny and NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice” winner John Rich. The multi-platinum hit duo have garnered multiple Grammy, ACM, CMA and CMT Music Award nominations. The first single, “Look At You,” from their latest studio album, Gravity, smashed into the top 10 on the Country chart in November. Their current single, "Run Away With You," has hit radio airwaves and is currently climbing the charts. The country superstars’ first studio album, Horse of a Different Color, includes their hit infectious single, “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy).” Other hits include “Comin’ to Your City,” “8th of November” and their No. 1 hit, “Lost in this Moment.” Meanwhile, “Comin’ to Your City” is nearing a decade as the theme song for ESPN’s “College GameDay.
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organisation with a broad portfolio of hotel brands, including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, HUALUXE® Hotels and Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, EVEN™ Hotels, Holiday Inn® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites® and Candlewood Suites®.
IHG manages IHG® Rewards Club, the world’s first and largest hotel loyalty programme with nearly 86 million members worldwide. The programme was relaunched in July 2013, offering enhanced benefits for members including free internet across all hotels, globally.
IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns more than 4,900 hotels and 720,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries, with more than 1,200 hotels in its development pipeline. Over 350,000 people work across IHG’s hotels and corporate offices worldwide.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group’s holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.
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