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IEG, Chicago, said corporations accounted for the fastest growing new category of participants at last week's Sponsorship Value conference in Chicago. International participation also rose 10% over last year. IEG in June launches its first regional sponsorship sales conference in Los Angeles; others are planned for New York, Atlanta and Washington later this year. Contact: (312) 944-1727.

San Diego Padres recently awarded its marketing account including relationship and event marketing to De Zinno Thompson Integrated Marketing Solutions. Ad agency Franklin Stoorza previously handled.

Schering-Plough's Coppertone Sport suncare products tapped the Hadley Group, New York, for a broadly integrated sales promotion and event campaign rolling national this spring. The promotion includes targeted sampling and "parking lot sports challenge" events for ball sports in major cities, backed by local radio support.

Chevrolet will sponsor Organic Gardening's "ultimate garden tool giveaway" by providing a new extended-cab pickup as a sweepstakes prize at the International Lawn, Garden July 30 to Aug. 1 in Louisville, Ky. The annual event with 550 exhibitors will be attended by an estimated 28,000 representatives in the lawn, garden and outdoor power equipment industries. This is the seventh year the General Motors Corp. division has teamed up with Rodale Press' Organic Gardening for the sweepstakes.

To celebrate Secretaries' Week April 24 to 28, 1-800-Flowers is looking for the longest running secretary-and-boss team in the U.S. The secretary working for the longest period with her boss wins a weekend trip to a spa. Runners-up receive flowers. Contestants can enter via phone or America Online. The promotion was handled in-house.

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