Bills wide receiver Stevie Johnson is usually catching footballs at Ralph Wilson Stadium, but on December 19th he was giving Facebook contest fans a special behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium.
Northtown Automotive, one of the Buffalo Bills valued partners, created a Facebook contest where six lucky fans won the opportunity to visit Ralph Wilson Stadium and receive a tour of the facilities from Stevie Johnson. The fans also had lunch with Johnson after the tour and received an autographed gift.
To win the contest, people had to "Like" Northtown's Facebook page and write an essay on why they wanted to meet Johnson. Each winner was able to bring a guest to the event.
Johnson led the tour through the team meeting rooms, locker room, weight room, Healthy Zone Fieldhouse, practice field, stadium field, stadium locker room and Players Club (where lunch was served and Stevie signed autographs for guests).
"The fans are why we go out there and play and try to entertain and win games," said Johnson. "Especially out here in Buffalo, it's freezing cold but they still sit in the stands and support their team. This was a great opportunity with Northtown to meet some fans and show them around, let them know we appreciate them and have some fun around where we work and practice."
Johnson told the guests what goes on in each area they visited and fielded questions from everyone. The guests ran into several other Buffalo Bills players on the tour including running back C.J. Spiller.
One winner had a heartwarming story about his son and the contest.
"I really won this for my son Jared," said Walt Kometz, one of the contest winners. "He's a great kid and hasn't asked for a lot from us for Christmas. Right now, times are tough. What a great present for this kid to get to come spend a day with Stevie Johnson. We kind of lied to him and told him he was coming to the dentist, and when we pulled him out of school today we told him he had to change because he was coming here to spend the day with Stevie Johnson."
Walt's son, who is a big fan of Johnson's was shocked and surprised.
"I didn't quite know if my dad was serious or not," said Jared Kolmetz, 14 years-old. "I really didn't know what to expect. I was happy and in awe."
Jared, who is playing high school football, has high aspirations.
"I think it's been amazing," said Jared. "You couldn't ask for anything better. I got to hang out with Stevie Johnson today. He gave me a pair of his gloves and cleats. It's been amazing. I want to be here some day. I want to play football."
The tour for the contest winners was a lot of fun and Northtown Automotive and the Bills were happy with the feedback on the program from Stevie and the fans.
"It's been a great success," said Danielle Schreiber, Northtown Automotive. "People really love social media, so in order for us to get more involved in our community we found that social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter are great ways to reach out to our potential customers and local community."
"All of the contest winners have had a fabulous time," added Schreiber. "Stevie's been great and we've had a great partnership with him. He's been amazing and we look forward to working with him again next year."