Contest may send rapper Pitbull to Alaska Wal-Mart

Singer Pitbull performs on NBC's 'Today' show in New York, May 25, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Pitbull, the gravelly voiced rapper known for hits “I Know You Want Me” and “Give Me Everything,” may be going to a far-flung Alaska town after a promotional contest that promised he would pay a visit to the most-liked Wal-Mart store on Facebook.

The Wal-Mart on the island of Kodiak, which can only be reached by plane or ferry, had more than 60,000 “likes” by Thursday, which Wal-Mart spokeswoman Sarah Spencer said puts it in the lead. She could not say which Wal-Mart was in second place.

“If they do win, he is definitely headed there,” she said of the city of Kodiak, 250 miles south of Anchorage. The borough that includes Kodiak has a population of 13,592.

The contest, co-sponsored by Wal-Mart and Sheets Energy Strips, began on June 18 and runs until July 15. It promised the most-liked store would receive a visit and concert by the rapper, prompting an online campaign to send him to remote Kodiak.

The Internet campaign, #exilepitbull, was created by David Thorpe, a writer for the Boston Phoenix. He said in an email that he and a fellow writer “just thought it would be funny to make Pitbull go to the weirdest possible place.”

Pitbull seems to be in on the joke. On June 30, he tweeted “I hear there’s bear repellant at Kodiak, Alaska.”

The rapper has also invited Thorpe to Kodiak with him on Twitter. “I’m delighted that he’s such a good sport about the whole thing,” Thorpe said.

Reporting by Joseph O’Leary; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Jim Loney