Acura, for the first time, is giving away a new vehicle via a Facebook promotion - as part of the launch for the new 2011 TSX Sport Wagon.

The social marketing blitz at Facebook.com/Acura, called Compete Like a Pro, requires consumers to register, pick from a list of qualifying active sports, create a profile to engage their friends and explain why they should win the wagon.

The entrant with the most votes will win.

Acura wants to build awareness for the new variant of the TSX sedan and attract athletes, American Honda Motor Co.'s Alice Jones, assistant manager of social media for both Acura and Honda, told AutoTrader.com. “There's a lot of room in the back of the TSX for gear for surfers, mountain climbers and skiers,” she said. Acura's qualifying sports also include white water rafting, triathlons and water skiing.

The registration period will be open until mid-March, followed by about two weeks of voting.

Several visitors to the Facebook page left comments, complaining about having to register before being allowed to read the official contest rules and frequently asked questions.

Acura is hoping to reach 25-to-35-year old active adults with the contest. Facebook attracts some 20 million users daily, a key reason automakers are increasingly turning to this and other social media hubs.

The contest was created by Genex in Los Angeles, Acura's interactive marketing agency since the mid-1990s.

The TSX sport wagon has been on sale about a month at a base price of $31,820, which includes the $860 delivery charge.

Acura is positioning the new wagon as an alternative to a compact SUV. The TSX Sport Wagon offers cargo space comparable to many SUVs in that segment with a multi-configurable rear cargo area and a lower ingress for easier loading of gear.

"The all-new TSX Sport Wagon is a smart alternative for those needing added utility," said Acura's Jeff Conrad, vice president of sales. "With the Sport Wagon, the customer simultaneously enjoys the benefits of sports-sedan performance along with SUV-like cargo capacity."

author photo

Jean Halliday is a seasoned journalist with the nation's longest consecutive run covering auto advertising. Her years in the trenches include stints at Automotive News, Adweek and Advertising Age. The native New Yorker now lives outside the Motor City. You can read Jean's blog at AutoAdOpolis.wordpress.com.

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