BASEBALL TEAMS, PLAYERS JOIN UP FOR SEPTEMBER

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Major League Baseball, the MLB Players Association and all 30 teams -- in an unusual display of cooperation -- are joining to capitalize on the positive hype surrounding the game to woo young fans. The "September to Remember" promotional and event marketing effort began Labor Day weekend. Activities center on allowing kids access to players before and after games, and giving away autographed memorabilia. Grand prize winner of a sweepstakes gets a trip for four to meet this season's home run champion during Players Choice Awards Week at Walt Disney World in late October.

National Football League sponsor Visa USA announced the inaugural "Ultimate Fan Search," seeking the most passionate NFL team fans in 31 markets, based on 50-word essays. Winners will be flown to Canton, Ohio, for the first-ever induction of fans into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The contest, backed by publicity and online promotion (www.visa.com), runs through Oct. 31.

People is teaming with Target Stores for the first "Ready 4 Cool" fashion show series visiting eight cities this month, sponsored by haircare marketer Clairol and cable TV's VH1. Celebrities' stylists will offer tips at seminars. Winners of drawings in each city will get personal makeovers by the stylists.

Co-Options, Darien, Conn., launched a nationwide in-store supermarket sampling program themed around the California Milk Processor Board's "Got milk?" campaign. Consumers receive sample kits of products that go with milk, such as Ferrero USA's Nutella, General Mills' Golden Graham Treats, Nestle Quick and Pillsbury cookie dough. Consumers get the free bag of samples with purchase of a gallon of milk. The promotion rolls out this month to 5.2 million consumers after testing last year among 500,000.

San Francisco's Pier 39 this month converted its 3-year-old marketing partnership with Dreyer's Grand ice cream into a 14-year exclusive sponsorship agreement, expanding Dreyer's exposure to encompass a broad array of channels including pier signage, marketing materials and sampling presence at events.

Andrew Jergens Co. targets fitness enthusiasts this fall through a sampling program at 800 health clubs for its Jergens Face Care Creamy Cleanser, Protective Moisture Lotion and Daily Nourishing Cream. Promote It International, Lakewood, Colo., handles.

Toymax inked a holiday strategic partnership with Eveready Battery Co.'s Energizer to promote the brand on its new Laser Challenge toys. The deal offers instant savings on batteries, plus savings on future battery purchases.

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