Playing 'Football'

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Are you ready for some Domino's?

One of the first promotional bids in the pizza marketer's pipeline is a cross-platform deal to sponsor the 35th anniversary of TV's longest continuous running show, ABC Sports/ESPN's "Monday Night Football." The deal is estimated to be worth around $10 million by parties close to the talks.

"It's the first time we've had a significant presence on `Monday Night Football' and the first time to be involved with the only game in town on that night during a milestone year so that is exciting for us," said a Domino's spokesman.

The nonexclusive deal includes TV spots on "Monday Night Football," ESPN's "Monday Night Countdown," ESPN News and Classics, radio on ESPN Radio Sports Center, print ads in ESPN the Magazine and in-store displays. In addition, the fast-food pizza chain will put "Monday Night Football" messaging on 7 million pizza boxes for a month and will have promotional door hangers at point of sale. ESPN.com will carry a special section on its Web site that allow franchise holders to play a fantasy-football game.

ESPN is also creating pre-game promotional spots using the tagline, `"Monday Night Football' match-up delivered by Dominos." Domino's media agency MindShare, part of WPP Group, helped negotiate the deal for its client.

"This is really part of an effort by a number of folks to use `Monday Night Football' at 35 as a promotional idea," said Edward Erhardt, president-ESPN/ABC Sports customer marketing and sales.

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