MASTERCARD TIES PROMO TO ALL-STAR GAME

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MasterCard International on July 13 breaks a Major League Baseball-theme promotion during baseball's All-Star Game, introducing a nationwide sweepstakes to win an expenses-paid trip to the World Series. A new TV and print campaign based on baseball's greatest players surrounds the promotion, with MasterCard's "Priceless" advertising theme created by McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York. The promotion includes point-of-purchase support at Kmart stores. Ryan Partnership, Westport, Conn., handled the general promotion; GSD&M, Austin, Texas, handled interactive promotion duties. MasterCard is also sponsoring a new effort: balloting for MLB's All-Century Team.

American Century Investments is kicking off its first-ever title sponsorship of a sporting event by underwriting the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship beginning July 3 in Stateline, Nev. The mutual funds company replaces American Isuzu Motors, still a sponsor, as title-bearer of the event. American Century's agency Rubin Postaer & Associates, Santa Monica, Calif., is creating a new series of golf-theme TV commercials to back the effort.

Visa USA this month renewed and expanded its sponsorship of horseracing's Triple Crown; the credit-card brand now will be the exclusive sponsor of the $5 million Visa Triple Crown Challenge Bonus through 2005. Visa also will become the preferred card of tracks, including Churchill Downs, Pimlico Race Course and Belmont Park.

Men's Health recently announced it will become the official in-store sponsor of the annual Macy's Passport fund-raiser to support HIV/AIDS organizations across the U.S. Included are admission-only events to be held at Macy's downtown stores on Sept. 18 (San Francisco) and Sept. 25 (Los Angeles) to raise funds; Men's Health also will sponsor a special "Guide to Style" in support of the event.

American Express Co. recently announced plans to host its first-ever "Luxury Marketing Summit," inviting luxury-sector marketers from broad categories ranging from Baccarat to KitchenAid. The summit, which costs marketers $3,400 to attend, is scheduled for Oct. 17-19 in Phoenix, and is also open to consumers.

Gourmet and cable TV's Food Network are teaming for a July 17 event in East Hampton, N.Y., showcasing fine food, wine and entertainment at "Gourmet Global Tastings, a Food Network Event." Sponsors include Platinum MasterCard, Park Avenue by Buick, Clarins, Lincoln Financial Group and Eastman Kodak Co., among others.

LaSalle Group, St. Louis, was appointed first agency of record for Slumberjack, marketer of camping and recreation equipment. The assignment will involve

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