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DeKuyper Cordials & Liqueurs' Hot Damn! Hot Cinnamon schnapps, a brand marketed by Jim Beam Brands Co., is sponsoring a "Hot Damn! Worst Blind Date Contest," handled by Knoll Communications, Chicago. Entry forms will be available on-premise, and the national promotion also will be touted through radio spots tying into a related series of celebrity auction promotions in Jackson Hole, Wyo.; Cincinnati; Columbus, Ohio; and Louisville, Ky. The grand prize for the most harrowing tale of a blind date is a trip to Los Angeles to see a taping of MTV program "Singled Out."

U.S. Tobacco this month launches its largest-ever merchandise promotion, tied to its Copenhagen and Skoal smokeless tobaccos. "Copenhagen & Skoal Outfitters: Free Gear for Lids" lets consumers redeem product lids for merchandise such as a Copenhagen silver-plated buckle (100 lids) and a Cannondale mountain bike (2,000 lids). The merchandise is promoted at the point of purchase and via a 20-page catalog available at 200 retail locations.

Soap Opera Digest launches the 1996 "Evening With the Stars" in-store sweepstakes promotion at 2,000 Rite Aid stores this June, offering consumers the chance to win an expenses-paid trip to the 13th annual Soap Opera Digest Awards Show. The promotion also includes tie-ins with product marketers at the point of purchase plus product sampling at 25 key locations.

National Ski Areas Association and the Military Resale System are teaming for Operation Ski & Snowboard for the 1996-97 ski season, aimed at improving morale and driving ski area traffic. Targeting more than 11 million authorized customers of the military retail system within the U.S., the effort includes ski and snowboard instructional programs and other incentives including sweepstakes and coupons. Burnieika Bearfield Emerson & Associates, Boston, coordinates.

Timberland Co. awarded integrated marketing responsibilities to the Ryan Partnership, Westport, Conn. It will create consumer promotions, as well as handle field marketing, media planning and buying for the shoe marketer.

The 20th Annual Chase Corporate Challenge, renamed for the second time to reflect Chemical Banking Corp.'s latest merger with Chase Manhattan Corp., this year will include more than 131,000 runners in a series of 16 3.5-mile races to be held in major U.S. cities. The series kicks off May 9 in Manhattan.

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