What better way to inspire confidence in the housing market than a free Justin Bieber concert?
KB Home, one of the nation's largest homebuilders, is dangling free tickets to a sold-out concert in Las Vegas, in hopes to lure families with kids -- or, perhaps, teenage homebuyers.
One lucky visitor to one of KB's Las Vegas-based community homes will win four free tickets and soundcheck passes, reads a press release entitled "Got Bieber Fever? KB Home Has the Cure."
Even with the Beiber enticements, KB's Las Vegas venture faces an uphill battle. Las Vegas had America's highest foreclosure rate in May, according to RealtyTrac.
"He's huge with kids and families," gushed Craig LeMessurier, a KB Home spokesman with a 7-year-old son, to the Wall Street Journal. Less so with shareholders apparently -- a day after the press release, KB Home's stock price fell 4.3%.
The association of the sweet-faced, 16-year-old Bieber with the controversial homebuilder is odd, to say the least. After all, this is the same KB Home that paid a record $3.2 million to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2005, to settle allegations that its mortgage unit overstated borrowers' income to secure government loans. It's the same KB Home whose ex-CEO Bruce Karan was convicted recently for backdating stock options.
It's no wonder Salon's Andrew Leonard calls Bieber "the musical equivalent of a subprime liar loan."
The Bieber gimmick also reminded Motley Fool's Alyce Lomax of some other strange KB Home stunts, such as pairing up with Martha Stewart and Disney to create themed homes.
Although we are in no place to judge a potential homebuyer who happens to love Justin Bieber, just how big is that market?