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30 jul

Questions Regarding Prizing ARV

By: Sync Marketing | In: Ask Sync, Best Practices, Contests, Marketing, Sweepstakes

We are often asked by our clients and blog followers alike a variety of questions relating to online sweepstakes and contests.  We thought it might be informative to highlight some of the questions here once a month in order to offer our insight on a broader scale. This month’s topic specifically relates to questions regarding prizing ARVs.

What does it mean when a sweepstakes refers to an ARV in the official rules?

When you win a sweepstakes prize over $600, you are required to pay income taxes on the amount won. The ARV stands for approximate retail value of the prize. If for instance, the sweepstakes you are entering has a cash prize, your winning income would be the exact dollar amount of the prize. If the offered prize includes non-cash items such as a television, or a service such as a trip, it’s up to the sponsor and/or administrator of the sweepstakes to determine the approximate retail value or the ARV of each prize. For more information on taxes and sweepstakes prizes, see our previous blog post here.

What determines if I need to bond and register my sweepstakes?

The rule of thumb is that if your sweepstakes has a total approximate retail value (ARV) of all combined prizing of over $5,000, you will need to bond and register your promotion at a minimum with the states of New York and Florida. There are also other factors involved where other state or federal authorities may have jurisdiction over your sweepstakes or that your organization may be exempt from this process, so it’s best to consult an expert in the field, such as Sync Marketing, to review your promotion structure and advise you on a case by case basis.

How do you determine an ARV for a sweepstakes at Sync Marketing?

There are several instances where we work with our clients to determine the approximate retail value (ARV) of a prize for a sweepstakes or contest.  If it is an item that our client sells, we will designate the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), which is the amount for which the company that produces a product recommends that it be sold for in stores. Here is an example of how one retailer, Diamond Candles, explained the ARV of prizing in their recent sweepstakes. When determining an ARV for a service such as a trip, we do our due diligence to research the average price of the trip elements to ensure that the ARV is on target.

Check back next month for another topic of interest regarding sweepstakes and contests.  If you have any additional questions regarding this topic or another sweepstakes or contest question, feel free to send them to and they may be featured in an upcoming blog post.

15 jul

Sync Marketing: How Do I Run an Online Sweepstakes or Contest?

By: Julie Link | In: Best Practices, Contests, Legal and Prize Fulfillment, Marketing, Sweepstakes

You’ve finally made the decision to join many of your fellow companies by adding an online sweepstakes or contest to your future marketing plan. Since you’ve reached this point, you probably are asking yourself, “How do I run an online sweepstakes or contest?” First you need to identify your audience, outline your goals, pick a platform, and assign a budget, and then you might be asking yourself, “What do I do next?” Below is a check list of things that you will need to focus on to get your sweepstakes or contest off of the ground successfully:

• The Concept: The ideation process is very important to make sure that you grab your audience’s attention to get them interested in participating in your campaign.

• The Creative Design: What is the look and feel of your campaign? How will you incorporate your message in the design of your sweepstakes microsite? There are a lot of things to consider during this process.

• The Programming: How do you plan to collect the data entered by your consumers? Are you planning to send thank you for entering or reminder emails to your participants?

• The Legal: Although not as fun and “sexy,” this is one of the most important elements of your campaign. You really need to outline the legal parameters of the promotion and offer entrants clear and concise rules. Also, are you going to need to bond and register your promotion based on state guidelines?

• Customer Service: Did you plan to answer consumer inquiries during the campaign, or provide access to winners lists at the end?

• Winner Selection, Notification and Verification: Playing Santa Claus is definitely a fun part of the promotion, but making sure your potential winners meet all of the sweepstakes eligibility before you award the prize is imperative.

Prize Fulfillment: The winner has been cleared and now it’s time to deliver their prize. But wait, is the prize over $600? You are planning to send the IRS and the winner a tax form, right?

• The Metrics: So, how did it go? Without setting up the appropriate metrics, how will you know?

This list is just a basic outline of what is needed to run a successful sweepstakes or contest as there is much more involved. Here is another of our blog articles that might also be helpful to get you started.

We get calls all of the time from first-timers looking for information and what steps are needed to create their campaign. It can be initially overwhelming when you hear all of the things that go into putting together a sweepstakes or contest. That’s why we are here to help. At Sync, we will put together a program for you that will clearly outline what is needed and offer services that allows us to manage all or some of your campaign based on your needs.




02 jul

Sync Marketing: 4th of July Sweepstakes and Contests

By: Julie Link | In: Contests, Marketing, Sweepstakes

Happy 4th of July everyone! In celebration of America’s Independence, we want you to get some Independence of your own! How about some cash to buy that car you have always wanted or how about a trip to the Caribbean? Below we list out some of the best 4th of July Sweepstakes and Contests to help you get your Independence.

Michaels Summer Sweepstakes 

Want to win a $100 Michaels gift cards or $10,000 cash? Then enter Michaels latest sweepstakes by submitting your photos of summer fun, beaches and lakes, fairs, or flea markets!

Mopar Smooth Summer Travels Sweepstakes

How does a Mai Tai on the beach sound? Then head on over to a Mopar dealer and submit a photo of yourself for your chance to win a trip for two to a Sandals resort in the Caribbean!

Xome Home Remodel Sweepstakes

Get some freedom to decorate your home the way you want in Xome’s latest sweepstakes! Youc ould win $25,000 tor emodel your home.

Valpak Great American Giveaway

Nothing screams 4th of July more than The Great American Giveaway from Valpak. Enter now for your chance to win a trip to our nation’s capitol.

We here at Sync wish everyone a safe and Happy 4th of July weekend!