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March Madness. Operation Bass. Black Expo Nashville. Odyssey of the Mind.

What do they have in common? They all represent opportunities for marketers that want to push beyond media advertising and latch onto the appeal of special events.

They're also just a small taste of the coverage that Advertising Age kicks off today in "Events & Promotion Marketing News," which will appear in Ad Age on the first Monday of each month.

Some of the details:

College basketball will be heading into its annual March Madness of tournament games. Marketing heavy-hitters including Sprint, Frito-Lay and Gillette Co. are playing off the excitement.

Stroh Brewery Co.'s Old Milwaukee has landed sponsorship of 147 bass fishing tournaments run by an organization called Operation Bass Inc.

Next month's 1995 Black Expo Nashville is seeking sponsors. Among those already on board are Kroger Co., Burger King Corp. and Saturn Corp.

Also looking for sponsors is Odyssey of the Mind, which conducts a nationwide school program that encourages creative thinking and problem-solving by students.

Coming next week, Ad Age will name its 1994 Promotional Marketer of the Year in our Special Report on Promotional Marketing. We'll also cover the Update '95 conference of the Promotion Marketing Association of America.

For "Events & Promotion Marketing News," see Page 26.

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