It’s Official: Facebook Contest Sends Pitbull To Kodiak, Alaska

By Justin Lafferty 

Miami-based rapper Pitbull calls himself Mr. Worldwide and mentions exotic locales such as Rio de Janiero, Madrid, and Puerto Rico in his songs. Thanks to some pranksters who flexed their muscles through a Facebook contest, Pitbull will probably struggle to find bottle service at one of his future locations — Kodiak, Alaska. The Walmart Facebook page of that town received the most likes in an Energy Sheets-sponsored contest, earning Kodiak an appearance from the popular musician.

Earlier this summer, Energy Sheets partnered with Facebook for a simple contest: Whichever individual Walmart store page received the most likes would also earn a visit from Pitbull. A grassroots social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter, fueled by websites such as Gawker and Something Awful, picked the most remote Walmart store possible. Kodiak Island is one of the chain of islands on the southwest part of the state. It is 410 miles south of Anchorage, and there’s 1,427 miles of Pacific Ocean between Kodiak and Seattle.

The Kodiak Walmart page has more than 70,000 likes.

The people of Kodiak — all 6,256 of them — are pretty excited for Pitbull’s arrival. Trevor Brown, executive director of Kodiak’s Chamber of Commerce, told AllFacebook that the rapper is the biggest star to visit the town, which is mainly known for its beautiful scenery and fishing:

I think it’s drummed up a lot of conversation. A lot of people are out fishing and what not, but people are talking about it … It’s great for the Chamber and the Visitor’s Bureau – free publicity. If it gets people looking at who we are, maybe it’ll pique some interest. It’s definitely a good thing for us, and I’m positive that we’ll enjoy it here too.

Brown admitted that he had to look up Pitbull, but many of the town’s younger residents are familiar with his work. The details are still being worked out, but it appears that Pitbull will perform a few songs at the town’s Walmart. Brown noted that this is usually a fairly busy time for Kodiak, which is the third-largest fishing port in the U.S., in terms of the value of fish brought in. It’s salmon season right now. Movie stars and other celebrities have vacationed in Kodiak, known as Alaska’s Emerald Isle, but Brown said Pitbull is the biggest act to make a publicized visit.

As the Kodiak Facebook page posted deals, commenters made wisecracks about Pitbull. Fans of the page were ecstatic when it was announced that Pitbull was coming to Kodiak. Here are some of the best comments:

  • You’re welcome, Kodiak! Feel free to keep him as our gift to you. #Daleeee
  • Phase #2, how do we make it so he can never leave?
  • Woohooo, way to go!!!! Hope he brings some warm clothes.
  • As awesome as the #exilepitbull campaign was (ain’t the internet grand?), this is probably a really great thing for Kodiak. Walmart Kodiak you (your marketing/social media folks) have handled yourself extremely well during this whole ordeal, kudos to you!
  • I voted to help an underdog location! You might think of cliche things about Alaska, but it’s actually an awesome place!
  • I live in Kodiak and I am excited that Pitbull is coming here! And yes people…some of us actually do know who Pitbull is and enjoy his music!

The best part about this whole situation? Pitbull is excited to go to Kodiak, and invited the people who turned the contest into a joke to join him in the rural Alaska town.

Readers: Did you take part in the effort to send Pitbull to Kodiak?

Image courtesy of the Kodiak Walmart Facebook page.