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ALTOONA, Pa. -- Planning a road trip to Altoona? Well, you better make it fast. On April 27 the city nestled in the Allegheny Mountains will officially change its name to "Pom Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold." No need to panic; the move is part of a promotion for Morgan Spurlock's new documentary by the same name, and will only last 60 days.
The Altoona City Council unanimously approved a resolution allowing Spurlock, an Oscar-nominated filmmaker probably best known for his film "Supersize Me", to purchase the naming rights of the municipality. Locally based Sheetz joined with Spurlock to lobby the council members to give the deal a thumbs up.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Spurlock will pay $25,000 for the rights, which the governing body will use to benefit the police department in the town located 85 miles east of Pittsburgh.
Spurlock's new movie takes a satirical look at advertising and product placement in the film industry; in fact, the film itself is entirely funded by product placement and advertising. Sheetz is a top sponsor of the film, as CSNews Online reported in March.
"We didn't really know quite what to expect when we first started this thing. We took a chance getting involved in this project," says Stan Sheetz, president and CEO, Sheetz Inc. "We could look like total idiots or complete geniuses when it's all said and done... so far it's working out in our favor."
The film, which opens in theaters on April 22, points out that everything is for sale, even a small town in Pennsylvania. Sheetz and city officials will host a red carpet event and screening of the film after the proclamation ceremony on April 27.
"Practically everything in America is for sale these days," Altoona Mayor Bob Schirf adds. "Sporting events, stadium names, they all have a price tag, so we thought, 'why wouldn't we market our town the same way?' It's all in good fun."