Rapper Pitbull Visits Kodiak, Alaska, and Gets Bear Repellent
Pitbull is a man of his word.
The Miami rapper made a visit to the Walmart in remote Kodiak, Alaska, Monday after a marketing campaign resulted in his temporary "exile" there.
As part of the promotion for Walmart and Sheets Energy Strips, people had been invited to go to Facebook and "like" the Walmart location where they wanted the rapper to be sent. The promotion went viral when David Thorpe, a writer with the Boston Phoenix, suggested that people send Pitbull to the most remote Walmart, in Kodiak.
The informal campaign - promoted on Twitter under the hash tag #ExilePitbull - took on a life of its own.
While many people who participated were Pitbull fans, others voted to send the rapper away because they don't like his music, and yet others took part because they thought the plan was funny.
When voting closed July 16, Walmart's Kodiak location had more than 70,000 "likes" on its Facebook page, making it the clear winner.
A check of the page Tuesday showed the store seemed to have lost about 5,000 "likes." A few people commented that they were removing their "like" because the promotion was over and they had achieved their goal.
Many people on Facebook had nothing but praise for the rapper for following through.
"Think it's great that he made the trip to Kodiak - he is a man of the people," one poster said.
Another wrote, "I'm not really a fan of rap, but I gotta respect the fact that, even though he got sent to Alaska as a prank, he lived up to the spirit of the contest! I hope he had a great time, and I'm happy for the folks in Kodiak! Good on ya, Mr. Bull!"
During his visit to Kodiak, the rapper appeared at a community event at the U.S. Coast Guard base. About 250 people attended, according to the Associated Press. Pitbull did not perform.
The rapper received the keys to the city of Kodiak. He also visited staffers at the Kodiak Walmart, and was presented with a survival kit that included bear repellent.
Pitbull stayed in Kodiak for three hours before flying out to continue his tour, a Walmart spokeswoman said.
He tweeted Monday: "Thank U Kodiak … I am honored, truly."
Kodiak Island is about 225 miles southwest of Anchorage. It is home to the nation's largest Coast Guard base, and the island is known for its Kodiak brown bear population.
An estimated 6,300 people live in the city, according to the 2010 Census.