The site, at www.jcp.com/fans, allows fans to "debate, discuss, and voice their choice by voting for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee Class of 2010," the company says. Plans call for the Fan's Choice to be revealed on the NFL Network on Feb. 6, just before the official announcement.
The forum includes stats on all 130 candidates, and the Texas-based retailer says the process will be monitored by the accounting firm of Ernst & Young LLP.
As part of the promotion, JC Penney stores will offer eligible fans the opportunity to enter a text-and-win sweepstakes, which includes such prizes as a round of golf with Hall of Famers at Pebble Beach, Spyglass and Spanish Bay Country Clubs; a VIP trip to Super Bowl XLIV in South Florida; and a VIP experience to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend, including the thrill of tossing the coin at the 2010 Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.
Penney says it enlisted Steve Young as a spokesman for the program, and the Hall of Fame quarterback and ESPN NFL analyst got to cast the first vote. "Pro football fans are extremely knowledgeable and have never had a platform like this to express their passions for who they think should be in the Hall," he says in the company's statement. "I'm excited to see who they rally behind and how their choices compare to those of the Board of Selectors."
The company is promoting the program with a TV, radio, print, digital and outdoor ad campaign, including ESPN's Monday Night Football, "Mike & Mike," Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine . Digital ads will run on ESPN.com, NFL.com, Yahoo.com, AskMen.com, Brash.com as well as billboard in New York's Times Square.
Additional hype has already started at stadiums, including "Fan Face-Off" debates, kicking off at last week's Chicago Bears season home-opener, where Hall of Famers Dick Butkus and Gale Sayers, along with Steelers Hall of Famer Lynn Swan, participated.