2013 Best of the Road Contest
RM Acquisition, LLC d/b/a Rand McNally, 9855 Woods Drive, Skokie, Illinois 60077. Additional support and some Contest prizes are provided by Good Sam Enterprises, LLC ("Good Sam") and, GroundSpeak, Inc./Geocaching.com ("GroundSpeak") who, together with Rand McNally are also referred to in these Official Rules as the "Contest Entities".
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO VOTE, ENTER OR WIN THIS CONTEST. A PURCHASE WILL NOT IMPROVE THE CHANCE OF WINNING. This document describes the official rules ("Official Rules") of the 2013 Best of the Road contest organized by Sponsor (the "Contest"). The object of this Contest is for Sponsor, together with the assistance of the public, to select the best "Small Town" in the United States in each of six (6) categories: Friendliest, Most Beautiful, Most Fun, Most Patriotic, Best for Food, and Best for Geocaching (each, a "Category").
The Contest will consist of multiple parts, beginning with a public voting period during which the Small Towns will be encouraging votes and social media engagement to bolster the Town's bid for winning, followed by Sponsor's determination of five (5) Small Town finalists in each of the Categories. Each Small Town finalist will then submit materials in support of its bid to win its Category, which will be judged by Sponsor and its representatives and, together with the application of various other criteria as more specifically set forth in these Rules, be used to determine a winner in each Category.
a. CONTESTANTS: A "Small Town" eligible to participate as a contestant in this Contest is an individual city, municipality, town, township or village located in the 48 contiguous United States (excluding Alaska and Hawaii), with a population of less than 150,000, as reported in the 2010 U.S. Census ("Contestant Towns" or "Small Towns") . Each of the six (6) Categories is open for all Contestant Towns during the Public Voting Period, but a Contestant Town will be eligible to compete as a Finalist in only one Category. If, on the basis of the public voting and Sponsor suitability determination (as described in Rule 6.A.3 below), a Contestant Town is eligible to be a Finalist in more than one Category, the Category in which such Contestant Town will compete will be determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion.
b. VOTERS: To be eligible to participate in the public voting for the Contest you must be a legal U.S. resident who as of the time of voting is 13 years of age or older. Officers, directors, and employees of the Contest Entities are not eligible to Vote.
By participating as a Contestant Town or a Voter in this Contest, you agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor (and its authorized representatives) concerning the administration of the Contest and interpretation of these Official Rules, which shall be final and binding in all respects. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited by law.
4. Contest Period:
a. The public voting period for the Contest will run from 12:01 p.m. (noon) Central Time ("CT") on July 1, 2013 until 11:59 a.m. CT on September 3, 2013, inclusive (the "Voting Period"). The official time keeping device for the Contest with respect to all time-related items under this Contest is the Sponsor's Contest website/server clock.
During the Voting Period, the Contestant Towns may be engaging in activity to support their bids to become a Category Winner. Part of the Sponsor judging criteria for choosing the Category Finalists and Winners (as described in Rule 6 below) will include an assessment of the Contestant Towns success in garnering social media participation from the public.
b. Following the close of the Voting Period, taking into consideration the number of Votes received by each Contestant Town in each Category and the other judging criteria set forth at Rule 6.A below, Sponsor will choose five (5) Contestant Towns in each Category as Finalists ("Category Finalists").
c. The Finalist Submission Period will commence at 12:01 p.m. (noon) CT on the date on which Sponsor begins notification of Category Finalists as set forth in Rule 6.B below and will close at 12:00 p.m.(noon) CT on September 27, 2013.
5. To Vote:
A. Guidelines: To vote for a Small Town you must access www.bestoftheroad.com (the "BoTR Website"), locate the list of eligible Small Towns, select the "Vote" button for the Small Town, select the applicable Category, and finalize the Vote by clicking the "Submit" button. Voters may, but are not required to also submit a short review of the Small Town and/or post photos of the Small Town at the BoTR Website and/or post reviews, photos and/or videos, (as applicable to the specific social media platform) to Facebook, Twitter/Twitter Vine, YouTube, Google+, and/or Instagram (individually or collectively, "Additional Content," and also sometimes referred to in these Rules as "Online Activity"). Note that a delay may occur between submission of Additional Content to the BoTR Website and its posting. The content and activity on these social media sites will be one of the judging criteria applied by Sponsor in subsequent rounds of this Contest and will be a factor in the selection of the Best Small Town winners. Content posted elsewhere may be included in the Contestant Towns' Category Finalist submissions and, if so, the substance and quantity of such content will, in addition to the Additional Content, be part of the judging process for the determination of Category Winners, but will not be considered in the determination of Category Finalists.
B. Limit: Only one (1) Vote will be accepted per Small Town per Voter per 24 hour-period during the Voting Period. For clarification, a Voter may vote for more than one Small Town in a 24 hour period but may not vote for the same Small Town more than once during that time period. Votes are Category specific, so a Vote for a Small Town in one Category will preclude any other votes from the same Voter for that Small Town during the same 24 hour period.
C. General Rules:
iii. Without limitation, Sponsor reserves the right in its absolute discretion to refuse, disqualify, or withdraw any voter, Vote, or Additional Content, at any time during or after the Contest Period, including without limitation for obvious lack of good faith, noncompliance with these Official Rules, or obscene, offensive, discriminatory, sexually inappropriate, and those depicting violence, nudity, illegal, dangerous or explicit activity, or otherwise unsuitable content as determined by Sponsor (in its sole and absolute discretion), and such voter, Vote, or Additional Content, as applicable, will not be considered and/or will be disqualified.
iv. Additional Content not of original creation of the voter, or which are illegal, defamatory or in any way obscene, all as determined solely by Sponsor, will be disqualified.
v. Additional Content may be edited or removed by Sponsor in whole or in part for any reason within its sole and absolute discretion if it believes the Additional Content is inappropriate, not compliant with the Contest, or will have a detrimental impact on Sponsor, this Contest, or any of Sponsor's or Contest Entities' brand, products or services.
vi. Photos or videos submitted as Additional Content may not reflect or infringe the intellectual property rights, privacy or personality rights or other third party rights which the voters do not control.
vii. Photos or videos submitted as Additional Content may not contain any Trojan horse, worm or other software routines designed to permit unauthorized access, to disable, erase, or otherwise harm Sponsor's website, hardware or data.
viii. In case of a dispute, Votes will be declared made by the authorized account holder of the e-mail address submitted at the time of Vote. Such account holder is deemed to be the individual who is assigned to an e-mail address.
ix. Voters may not enter the Contest more than the permissible number of times. If Sponsor has reason to believe that a voter is utilizing fraudulent or deceptive voting methods, or that votes are not authentic, result from spamming, phishing, or similar practices, or are otherwise contrary to the Official Rules (as determined in Sponsor's sole and absolute discretion), all such votes may be disqualified.
x. Sponsor disclaims any responsibility and/or liability relating to or arising from disagreements amongst persons with respect to their Vote or Additional Content. All decisions made by Sponsor shall be final.
6. Selection of Finalists and Winners:
A. Finalist Selection:
1. Following the Voting Period, the Votes for each Small Town in each Category will be tallied.
2. The ten (10) Small Towns in each Category with the highest number of votes will qualify to proceed to the Category Finalist Selection round. HOWEVER NO SMALL TOWN WILL BE CONSIDERED IN MORE THAN ONE CATEGORY. If a Small Town is among the top ten (10) vote getters in more than one Category, the Small Town will be considered only in the Category in which it received the most votes and will be disqualified in the other Categories.
3. After taking into account any disqualifications pursuant to Rule 6.A.2 above, the ten (10) Small Towns in each Category with the highest number of Votes in the Category will be submitted to a panel of three (3) qualified persons designated by Sponsor from Sponsor's editorial staff (the "First Round Judging Panel") for a determination of the suitability of each such Small Town - in general and with respect to the specific Category - in accordance with Sponsor's editorial standards for inclusion in Sponsor publications as a "recommended or suggested destination." In the event that there are not ten (10) Contestant Towns remaining in a Category after Rules 6.A.2 above and this Rule 6.A.3 have been applied, the number of Contestant Towns in the Category Finalist round for such Category shall be reduced accordingly.
4. Each such Contestant Town that has been judged suitable in accordance with Rule 6.A.2 will then be ranked within its Category as to the degree of "buzz" created by or on behalf of the Small Town in Online Activity during the Voting Period with a rank of 10 being the most "buzz," and 1 being the least. This ranking is in the sole opinion of the First Round Judging Panel, whose decisions are final and binding. The Contestant Town's ranking number will be multiplied by 10 and the resulting number will be added to the number of Votes of the Small Town. The five (5) highest scoring Small Towns per Category will be designated as Category Finalists. In the event of a tie, the Small Town that received the higher "buzz" ranking will be selected as a Category Finalist. In the event a Category Finalist is disqualified for any reason, the Sponsor, in its sole discretion, may select the Small Town that received the next highest total score under this Rule 6.A.4 to replace such disqualified Small Town.
In the event that the process yields fewer than five (5) Category Finalists in any Category, the actual number of Category Finalists in such Category shall be reduced to the number of qualified Category Finalists obtained through this process.
B. Finalist Notification: On or about September 12, 2013, the Category Finalists will be selected and an official or representative of the Contestant Town (the "Representative") will be notified by email or telephone, at Sponsor's discretion (each, a "Notification"). If a Category Finalist Representative does not respond to the Notification attempt within 3 days from the first Notification attempt, then such Category Finalist may be disqualified and, at Sponsor's sole discretion, an alternate Category Finalist may be selected from among the Contestant Towns based on the judging criteria described at Rule 6.A above. Except where prohibited by law, each Category Finalist may be required to sign and return a Declaration of Eligibility and Liability and Publicity Release and provide any additional information and/or documentation that may be required by Sponsor. If required, Category Finalists must return all such required documents within 3 days following attempted Notification or such Category Finalist may be disqualified and a different Category Finalist may be selected based on the judging criteria described at Rule 6.A above, in Sponsor's sole discretion. All Notification requirements, as well as other requirements within these Official Rules, will be strictly enforced. It is anticipated but not guaranteed that the Category Finalists will be announced on the Contest's website on or about September 15, 2013, subject to verification and compliance with these Official Rules.
C. Finalist Submissions: Following receipt of a Notification, each Category Finalist Contestant Town will have the opportunity to submit a video or photo tour, plus an essay, to Sponsor describing why it should be the winner of the Contest in the applicable Category (collectively, "Finalist Submissions"). All Finalist Submissions must be submitted to Sponsor (via upload to an FTP site which will be designated by Sponsor in the Finalist Notification, or as otherwise arranged with and approved in writing by Sponsor in its sole discretion) by Friday, September 27, 2013, 12:00 p.m. (noon) CT. Finalist Submissions must comply with the following content formats and parameters:
i. For the video tour, avi, dv, mov, qt, mpg, mpg2, mpg4, 3gp, 3g2, asf, or wmv format not to exceed 3 minutes in length and one (1) GB in size.
ii. For the photo tour, .jpg, .png, or .gif format (up to 5 MB in size per photo) and not to exceed 24 photos with voiceover or with captions of no more than 40 words per photo.
iii. For the essay, a minimum of one hundred (100) words and maximum of six hundred (600) words in length. The essay must include a general description of the Contestant Town as well as a description of the Town's suitability in the Category in which it is a Finalist.
iv. All Finalist Submissions must be in English and cannot have been submitted previously to another promotion or contest.
v. Finalist Submissions shall be considered Additional Content for purposes of the General Rules at Rule 5.C. of these Official Rules.
D. Winner Selection: The final round of judging will occur on or about September 28, 2013 through October 7, 2013. All Finalist Submissions will be reviewed by a panel or panels of travel editors and marketing professionals chosen by Sponsor, in its sole discretion, from among Sponsor's or other Contest Entities editorial and marketing staffs or consultants. The winner in each Category will be chosen based on the following criteria: (i) the persuasiveness of the information contained in the Finalist Submission as to why the Contestant Town is the best Small Town in the U.S. in its Finalist Category (25%); (ii) the originality and creativity of the Finalist Submission (25%); (iii) the persuasiveness of the content of the Online Activity that addresses why the Contestant Town is the best Small Town in the U.S. in its Finalist Category (25%); and (iv) the volume of Online Activity about the Contestant Town between the close of the Voting Period and the close of the Final Submission period (25%).
Any ties will be broken by reference to the total number of Votes received by the Contestant Town in the Category in which it is a Category Finalist.
Judges will be using the following characteristics for each specified Category:
a. Most Beautiful:
beauty: the quality or aggregate of qualities that pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit Scenic or structural views that both awe and inspire: A community that thrives off the visual and cultural benefits of its natural surroundings, shaping its town design and structure as well as social personality to highlight them.
b. Most Fun:
fun: what provides amusement or enjoyment The experience of pure, unbiased entertainment and moments of natural enjoyment, simply because of where you are or who you are with: A community that offers all of the tools and options for enjoyment, with the personality to make it happen.
friendly: of, relating to, or befitting a friend Local residents treat each other with care and concern, and visitors are as treated as local residents: A community that gives back and takes care of its own, while welcoming new faces with conversation and genuine interest, transforming first time visits to feel like a homecoming.
d. Most Patriotic:
patriotism: love for or devotion to one's country A deep-seeded passion for the foundation and core of America's roots: A community that is knowledgeable of and values the history and principles of the country, while supporting and actively participating in the means necessary to preserve them.
e. Best for Food:
food: something that nourishes, sustains, or supplies Authentic cuisine native to the region or town that entertains the mind as much as the palate: A community where food and culture are essentially one in the same, offering as much good conversation as good taste.
f. Best for Geocaching:
Geocaching: an outdoor recreational activity, in which the participants use a Global Positioning System(GPS) or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", anywhere in the world. Towns that are Best for Geocaching will be those that are welcoming to the community of geocachers and have an abundance of well-maintained geocaches in areas that take seekers of those "caches" near unique points-of-interest within the town.
On or about October 7, 2013, the potential Winner in each Category will be selected and the Winner Representative notified by telephone and/or email, at Sponsor's discretion. If a potential Winner Representative does not respond to the Notification attempt within 48 hours from the time of initial contact, then such potential Winner may be disqualified. In the event a potential Category Winner is disqualified for this or any other reason, Sponsor, in its sole and absolute discretion, may select the Category Finalist that received the next highest total score under this Rule 6.D as the potential Winner in the Category.
Once contacted, a Winner Representative or his/her designee must, in order for Small Town to be declared eligible to receive a Prize: (i) sign and return a Sponsor's standard Declaration of Eligibility and Liability and Publicity Release (where permitted by law) and provide any additional information and/or execute documentation that may be required by Sponsor; (ii) comply with these Official Rules and any terms and conditions established by Sponsor; (iii)complete and return any tax documentation Sponsor deems necessary with their Consent. Failure to comply with the foregoing within five (5) days from the delivery of the forms to the Representative may result in the Prize being forfeited and Sponsor selecting another Small Town for the applicable Prize in accordance with the Official Rules.
One (1) prize package will be awarded to each Winning Contestant Town in each of the six (6) Categories consisting of the following:
A. A trial license to Sponsor's CVB mobile app. and Sponsor's online travel planning guide for use by the winning Small Town, subject to Sponsor's terms and conditions.
B. An editorial feature within the annual Rand McNally Road Atlas plus 50,000 media impressions on maps.randmcnally.com promoting the winning Small Town.
C. Special coverage on bestoftheroad.com and inclusion as a point of interest in the Rand McNally RV GPS and Good Sam Trip Planner.
In addition, the Winner in the Best Geocaching Category will also win a GeoTour - a tailored series of geocaches hidden at a destination's points of interest. The geocaches will focus on local history, reveal hidden vantage points, local areas of beauty, or show the Town's secret hotspots. The GeoTour prize is provided courtesy of Geocaching.com.
The approximate retail value of each Prize is $15,000.00 USD and the approximate retail value of the additional Geocaching is prize is $5,000. USD. Prize awards are subject to verification of eligibility and compliance with these Official Rules. In no event will more than six (6) Prizes be awarded. In the event of unavailability of a stated Prize (or any portion thereof), Sponsor, in its sole discretion, reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value.
8. Winner's List:
For information on the Winner's list, visit www.bestoftheroad.com on or about October 11, 2013, or send a self-addressed stamped envelope by mail to Rand McNally, Attn: Marketing Department, 9855 Woods Drive, Skokie, IL 60077, for Sponsor's receipt by November 30, 2013.
9. Release of Liability; Disclaimer of Warranty; Applicable Law:
By participating in the Contest, Voters, Contestant Towns, Finalists and Winners (or representative thereof) hereby each agree that the officers, directors, shareholders, employees, advisors, assignees, agents, licensees, and representatives of Sponsor, its advertising, media buying and promotional agencies, and all others associated with the development and execution of the Contest including the Contest Entities, and each of their respective parent(s), subsidiaries, affiliates and/or related companies (collectively, the "Released Parties") shall have no liability and shall be held harmless in respect of any and all manner of threatened or actual actions, causes of action, suits, debts, covenants, contracts, claims, and demands, including legal fees and expenses, whatsoever, arising now or in the future, including but not limited to, claims based on negligence, breach of contract and liability for any physical injury, bodily injury, death, disability, or property damage or any other loss which the entrant or his or her administrators, heirs, successors or assigns might have or could have, by reason or arising out of the entrant's participation in the Contest, and/or in connection with the acceptance, possession, use or misuse, of any Prize, whether or not caused in whole or in part by the negligence of one or more of the Released Parties. Sponsor shall not be responsible for or bear any liability for: (i) late-received, lost, unintelligible/illegible, incomplete, delayed, destroyed, or misdirected Votes or Additional Content; (ii) Votes or Additional Content which fail to comply with these Official rules; and (iii) any failure of the www.bestoftheroad.com website during the Contest Period, including any problems or technical malfunction of any computer online systems, servers, access providers, browser, server or any other hardware or software incompatibility, computer equipment, software, failure of any e-mail, Vote, or Additional Content to be received, due to without limitation technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, human or technical error, incompatibility, or any combination thereof including any injury or damage to an entrant's or any other person's computer related to or resulting from downloading any material in the Contest, all of which may affect an entrant's ability to participate in the Contest. Entrants, Finalists and Winners (and their representatives) acknowledge that Sponsor has neither made nor is in any manner responsible or liable for any warranty, representations or guarantees, express or implied, in fact or in law, relative to any Prize (or component thereof). ALL ISSUES AND QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE CONSTRUCTION, VALIDITY, INTERPRETATION AND ENFORCEABILITY OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES OR THE RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF ENTRANTS OR SPONSOR IN CONNECTION WITH THE CONTEST SHALL BE GOVERNED BY AND CONSTRUED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE INTERNAL LAWS OF THE STATE OF ILLINOIS WITHOUT GIVING EFFECT TO ANY CHOICE OF LAW OR CONFLICT OF LAW RULES OR PROVISIONS THAT WOULD CAUSE THE APPLICATION OF ANY OTHER STATE'S LAWS. As a condition of participating in this Contest, each participant agrees that any and all disputes that cannot be resolved between the parties and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, exclusively before a court located in Cook County, Illinois, having jurisdiction. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances will participant be permitted to obtain awards for and hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental, or consequential damages, including reasonable attorneys' fees, other than participant's actual out-of-pocket expenses (i.e., costs associated with entering this Contest), and participant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.
10. Miscellaneous Terms:
Sponsor may terminate, modify or suspend this Contest at any time and may amend the Official Rules or the administration of this Contest without notice in its sole discretion in any commercially reasonable manner. In the event that no Votes are received, no prize will be awarded. In the event that Sponsor does not receive any entries which adhere to these Official Rules or which Sponsor deems insufficient to garner the prize, Sponsor in its sole discretion may withhold the prizes and will not award any prizes. All Votes are subject to verification by Sponsor and Sponsor reserves the right to cancel and revoke any Vote if they are found to be improper or if the entrant is subsequently found not to be eligible pursuant to these Official Rules. The Prizes are not transferable, not refundable, and not redeemable for cash in whole or in part, will not be extended under any circumstances and must be accepted as offered. Any unused portions of a Prize will be forfeited and will have no cash value. Sponsor may terminate, modify or suspend this Contest at any time and may amend the Official Rules or administration of this Contest without notice in its sole discretion in any commercially reasonable manner. Sponsor shall not be liable to winners or any person for failure to execute the Contest, or supply a Prize or any part thereof, by reason of any act of God, any action(s), regulation(s) order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), public health crisis, equipment failure, terrorist acts, cyber attacks, earthquake, war, fire, flood, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal), labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any similar or dissimilar event beyond its reasonable control.
© 2013 RM Acquisition, LLC d/b/a Rand McNally. All rights reserved.