Chris Young Fans Take It to the Streets

All around the Nashville Convention Center, fluorescent graffiti fills the sidewalk.  Members of singer Chris Young’s street team go out in groups of four every night from 5 to 10 p.m. to draw eye-catching messages—“Booth 506!” “Keep going!”  “He’s cute!”

It’s all part of Young’s grassroots marketing campaign, and Chris’ devoted fan club has been at it for the past decade.

“They saw him open for Trace Adkins as part of a talent contest when he was 14, and a bunch of them turned around and were like, ‘Does he have a fan club?’ And we were like, ‘Sure, he’s got a fan club!  Send us $10 and we’ll send you a T-shirt.’  He’s had a big fan following ever since then,” said Young’s mother, Becky Harris, as she sold more of those shirts in Saturday morning at her son’s Fan Fair Hall booth.

“We’ve always done a lot of fan-friendly marketing because his fans have kept him in business all this time,” said Harris.  “Part of the reason that the chalk was so prevalent this year is that on July 12, his CD Neon comes out.”

Several of Young’s newest hits, including the fastest-climbing single of his career, “Tomorrow,” will appear on Neon, and the street team thought fluorescent chalk was the perfect way to let Country Music fans know about it.

“It’s pretty exciting because people will stop and ask you what you’re doing, so it’s really just a great way to help promote him,” said Terri Thompson, President of Young’s fan club.  “Whatever’s going on, you just chalk it up.”

They also handed out glow-in-the-dark necklaces and bracelets at LP Field when Young opened the evening concert there on June 11 — about 6,500 of them.   Harris believes her son’s fans are so devoted because he remains just as devoted to them.

“He was in the booth twice this week signing for three hours each time.  On Thursday, we cut the hopeful line off and thought we would make it through everybody, and we didn’t, so he stayed an extra 20 minutes to make sure he got everybody,” Harris said.  “He really kind of goes the extra mile to make sure that all the fans are taken care of.”

Young’s down-to-earth manner and hard work is paying off.  He’s always had a five-year plan, and when he turned 25 he decided he’d work towards playing LP Field during CMA Fest before he turned 30.  Just one day shy of his 26th birthday, his dream came true.

This year, he only asked for one birthday present.

“A day off,” said Harris, smiling.

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