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"SMASH is a fantastic way to get the people who help us sell music to the public stay focused on key artist development priorities."
—Cliff O'Sullivan, UMVD Sr. VP Marketing & Artist Development
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Move over, fantasy footballers and Hollywood Stock Exchange habitues.  There's a new game in town and it's tailor-made for retailers.

Universal Music and Video Distribution has unveiled a new online game called Scoring Music and Selecting Hits. SMASH allows players to predict sales success by creating their own virtual record label with UMVD artists on the roster.

SMASH will be played on a monthly basis. Players "sign" artists to their label, utilizing artist information such as bios, tour dates and music samples available on the SMASH website, with two new acts added each month. Participants then predict which artists will earn the most weekly sales, using reported sales figures from the charts for points.

More than $50,000 in prizes will be awarded to the top six winners. The grand prize is a BMW Z3 Roadster, while first prize is a Panasonic Home Theater System, which includes a Plasma 42" television, five-CD/DVD changer, speakers and a Replay video recorder. If a winner's employer prohibits contests, UMVD will make a cash donation to the winner's charity of choice.

Registration begins March 5, with  SMASH running through the end of 2001.

Sr. VP Marketing & Artist Development Cliff O'Sullivan said: "SMASH is a fantastic way to get the people who help us sell music to the public stay focused on key artist development priorities. We plan to create the excitement of fantasy baseball in an even more compelling manner for music retail employees. And one day, we hope to be as respected and revered as Lenny Beer's Who Wants To Be A Thousandaire?' Hey, a man can dream, can't he?"

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