HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. – May 18, 2012 – Sprint (NYSE: s) announced today that Waterford, Mich., singer-songwriter and Sprint customer Tony Lucca will perform the national anthem before the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race on Saturday, May 19, at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Lucca first captured America’s hearts as the Team Adam finalist on NBC’s hit TV show “The Voice.” After his rendition of Ray LaMontagne’s “Trouble” turned all four coaches’ chairs in the audition round, Lucca’s trajectory on “The Voice” took a positive turn in the wake of performing “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel.
Lucca’s cover of Hugo’s version of Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” sold briskly, and sales of the single propelled Lucca to the No. 3 spot on iTunes Overall Singles sales chart and No. 1 on iTunes Rock Singles chart. Additionally, Lucca’s duet of “Yesterday” by The Beatles with coach Adam Levine (of Maroon 5) landed in the Top 5 on iTunes Overall and Pop Singles sales charts.
In addition, Sprint will give one lucky customer the opportunity to serve in the Grand Marshal role for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
The first 20 Sprint, Nextel, Boost or Virgin Mobile customers to register at the Customer Rewards area inside the Sprint Experience – Sprint’s mobile-marketing display – will be chosen to participate in the contest. Contestants will deliver the infamous command for drivers to start their engines to a panel of celebrity judges, who will rate the contestants and select a winner. Later Saturday evening, the chosen Sprint customer will deliver the command at the start of the 90-lap all-star event.
As part of the overall prize package, the customer named Grand Marshal will win:
· Meet & Greet with 2011 NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race winner Carl Edwards
· VIP access to the pre-race ceremony
· Introduction at the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race driver/crew chief meeting
· Introduction on the pre-race stage
· Ride-a-long in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race official pace car
NASCAR personalities Jenna Fryer (Associated Press), Jeff Gluck (SBNation.com), Marty Smith (ESPN) and Miss Sprint Cup will serve as judges for Saturday’s contest.
The timetable for Grand Marshal contest is as follows:
· 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sprint Customer Contest Registration at the Sprint Experience
· 2:30 p.m. NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Grand Marshal Qualifying Round
· 3:30 p.m. NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Grand Marshal Final Round
· 4:00 p.m. NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race Grand Marshal selected
The honorary starter for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race will be John Dupree, senior vice president-Business Sales for Sprint.
The Army Ground Forces Band Brass Brigade, a unique 11-piece progressive group, will deliver its rendition of “God Bless America” before the start of the Sprint Showdown.
The members of the Brass Brigade, whose headquarters is Fort Bragg, N.C., are part of a larger band made up of 64 soldiers who have passed highly selective auditions and are among the finest musicians in the United States Army Band Program.
Tune in at 7 p.m. (EDT) on May 19 to SPEED for coverage of this year’s NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race. Sprint customers can enjoy coverage on their Android- powered Sprint phones via NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile. To download the NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile application, which is free with any data plan, Sprint customers should text “NASCAR” to 7777 (standard text messaging and data rates apply). Tickets for the event start at $49 and are available at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com or by calling 800-455-FANS.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 56 million customers at the end of the first quarter of 2012 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in its 2011 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
To learn more about Sprint programs that protect the environment, go to www.sprint.com/responsibility or follow @SprintGreenNews on Twitter.