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A sampling of news items in the promotion marketing field.

Council of Sales Promotion Agencies, Stamford, Conn., last week named 30 finalists from 147 entries in its annual Awards for Excellence competition. The finalists consist of three in each of 10 categories; final judging will be April 1 in Orlando at the CSPA's semi-annual meeting. For more information, call (203) 325-3911.

Yamaha Motor Corp. is revving up with national athletic footwear chain Foot Locker for a consumer promotion tied to their sponsorship of Slam Fest, a series of events pitting former and current pro basketball stars in slam dunk and three-point shooting competitions. The events will be held during the halftimes of college basketball games in March. Yamaha will award the winner of the three-point shoot-out with a motorcycle, and will give away nine more motorcycles in a sweepstakes promoted at displays in 1,400 U.S. shopping malls, as well as at Foot Locker stores and Yamaha dealerships.

Gillette Co. and Sprint are teaming up with the NCAA this month in time for the Final Four college basketball championships. Gillette will place a prepaid Foncard worth 5 minutes' long-distance calling time into each of 4 million Good News and Daisy disposable razor packs. The offer will be promoted on-pack and at the point of purchase. Each card carries one of 35 different men's and women's Final Four basketball images for collectors. Clarion Performance Properties, Greenwich, Conn., coordinated the project.

Pennzoil Co. is targeting young car owners with a promotion tied to the NCAA's Final Four running through April and featuring basketball commentator Dick Vitale. The promotion, which began last month, includes P.O.P. displays for Pennzoil's automobile oil that feature a sweepstakes to win a trip to meet Mr. Vitale at the Final Four championships, as well as 80,000 other prizes. A 30-second network TV spot from Eisaman, Johns & Laws, Houston, supports. Lifestyle Marketing, New York, coordinated the promotion with publicity work from Cohn & Wolfe, Atlanta.

Eastman Kodak Co. and Hershey Chocolate USA are joining forces for an Easter promotion that runs to April 16. Kodak Gold film packages are including three coupons for Hershey products; the latter will have a coupon for Kodak's FunSaver single-use cameras. National free standing insert coupons will appear March 19 in 50 million homes.

Pepsi-Cola Co. signed to be the official soft drink of the fast-growing Nascar races. In the three-year deal, Pepsi will sponsor a fan appreciation award at each of the 31 Nascar Winston Cup series events and a national fan club through which it will give away tickets and execute promotions. Pepsi will also create Nascar-theme ads.

DDB Needham Worldwide, Chicago, last month launched a new service called Event Marketing Resource to help clients use the fast-growing event marketing arena in entertainment, sports, arts and non-profit cause-related sponsorships. The group is headed by John Davidoff, VP-director of Event Marketing Resource.

Guardian Angels, the New York-based crime watchdog organization, is looking to raise funds by licensing its name to products likely to include videogames and comic books. Ruth Webb Entertainment handles.

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