Inside line: Food Network gets cooking in exotic locations

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Food Network this month launches "Taste the Adventure," the cable network's largest consumer promotion in history, setting cooking shows in exotic locations. The effort, backed by spot radio, cable TV, online ads and national print ads, includes a monthlong sweepstakes to win a gourmand's dream of a 10-day private jet trip to sample the finest cuisine in New York City, the Napa Valley in California and Hawaii, plus $15,000 to spend. The promotion was handled in-house.

Nextel Communications backs its first-time sponsorship of a race car on the 2001 CART circuit with a sweepstakes giving 60 winners the chance to learn how to be a race-car driver an on actual track. The promotion, highlighting Nextel's Internet-enabled i100plus phone, is backed by direct mail and targets 500,000 racing fans and wireless customers. Devon Direct Euro RSCG, New York, handles.

Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser has signed on for three more years as the official beer of Sears Point Raceway, Sonoma, Calif., in a deal extending Budweiser's on-site promotional reach at the auto racing venue and its new $35 million expansion to include entertainment facilities.

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