Ernie Ball Inc., the world’s premier string, accessory and instrument manufacturer and creators of the iconic Slinky® guitar string, today announced Ernie Ball Presents Experience Clapton and the Ernie Ball Eric Clapton Golden Pick, giving Ernie Ball customers nationwide a rare opportunity to meet Eric Clapton in London or win one of thousands of exciting prizes instantly. Fifteen grand prize winners will get unparalleled access to Eric Clapton’s private rehearsal, an exclusive meet and greet and a ticket to see Clapton live at the Royal Albert Hall in London. The London show is the climax of Clapton’s UK tour in support of his 19th studio album, Clapton.

Each and every pack of Ernie Ball electric and acoustic guitar strings purchased at Guitar Center between February 1st and April 30th will give a guitarist the chance to win one of the 15 grand prizes to Experience Clapton in London, simply by visiting www.ernieball.com/ericclapton and entering the unique code provided inside the package. Select packs will also include one of 5 color-coded, instant-winning Eric Clapton guitar picks. Each pick is redeemable for one of thousands of exclusive prizes including free Music Man guitars, VIP trips to the 2012 winter NAMM show and Guitar Center gift cards, depending on the pick’s color.

“Eric Clapton has been playing Ernie Ball strings for nearly 50 years,” said Brian Ball of Ernie Ball. “He is a true guitar legend and a close friend of the Ernie Ball family. We’re thrilled that Ernie Ball and Eric are able to provide our loyal customers with an unparalleled opportunity to experience one of the world’s great guitarists, Eric Clapton, like never before.”

15 Experience Clapton Grand Prize Packages Include:

·      Round-Trip Flight & Hotel Accommodations To London, England.

·      Once in A Lifetime Access to Attend Eric’s Private Rehearsal.

·      Meet & Greet with Eric Clapton at the Royal Albert Hall.

·      A Ticket to Clapton’s Royal Albert Hall Concert.

Eric Clapton Picks and Prizes Include:

·      Golden Pick– Round-Trip Airfare to Anaheim, CA for the 2012 Winter NAMM Show (10 winners).

·      Silver Pick – Custom Ernie Ball Music Man Guitar of your choice (10 winners).

·      Red Pick–  $100 Guitar Center Gift Cards (150 winners).

·      Black Pick– Limited Edition Eric Clapton Lithograph (150 winners).

·      White Pick – Free Pack of Ernie Ball Guitar Strings (1,500 winners).

This offer is available exclusively at one of 215 Guitar Center locations in the United States. Experience Clapton codes can be submitted online at www.ernieball.com/ericclapton. Fifteen winners will be selected at random following the promotional period of February 1st to April 30th, 2011.

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About Ernie Ball

In 1962, veteran player and teacher Ernie Ball created Slinkys®, the iconic light gauge electric guitar strings widely revered by hundreds of guitar greats including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, The Edge and John Mayer. In addition to hand crafting high-end Music Man® guitars and basses, Ernie Ball Inc. offers state-of-the-art instrument accessories that are carried in more than 6,000 stores in the U.S. and 110 countries worldwide. The family-run company maintains its founder’s dedication to preserving the musician’s playing experience and delivering superior sound quality through the development of new products, such as the revolutionary Element Shield Packaging which hermetically seals guitar strings keeping each set as fresh as the day they were made. The company also fosters artist development through musician-focused programs such as the Golden Pick promotion featuring Slash and Eric Clapton, and the world’s largest and longest running Battle of the Bands, where unsigned bands compete each year for the chance to win a $15,000 Guitar Center shopping spree and more.

About Guitar Center

Guitar Center is the world’s largest retailer of guitars, amplifiers, percussion instruments, keyboards and pro-audio and recording equipment. Our retail store subsidiary presently operates 215 Guitar Center stores across the U.S. We are also the largest direct response retailer of musical instruments in the United States through our wholly owned subsidiary, Musician’s Friend, Inc., and its catalog and Web site, www.musiciansfriend.com. In addition, our Music & Arts division operates more than 100 stores specializing in band instruments for sale and rental, serving teachers, band directors, college professors and students. More information on Guitar Center can be found by visiting the Company’s Website at www.guitarcenter.com.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. OPEN TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF JAPAN, US, AND UK.  RESIDENTS OF JAPAN MUST BE 20 YEARS OR OLDER, US AND UK 14 YEARS OR OLDER.  VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Competition ends 31 March 2011. Electric strings game inserts must be registered online by 1 April 2011. Alternate method game inserts must be registered online by 25 April 2011. For Official Rules, alternate method of entry, prize descriptions and odds disclosure, visit www.ernieball.com/ericclapton. Promoter: Ernie Ball, Inc., 53-973 Polk Avenue, Coachella, CA 92236, U.S.A.

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