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WASHINGTON-A pioneering spirit dominated the recent Marketing Opportunities in Black Entertainment's conference here, where African-American marketers from the entertainment and sports industries explored untouched markets and powerful new alliances.

"We would like the world to open up to our culture but we have our own market to deal with first, and that is what MOBE is really about," said Yvette Jackson Moyo, president of MOBE.

In an open, familylike forum filled with top African-American marketers in the sports, retail, music, TV and publications markets, the participants uncovered two major gaps in today's marketplace: the absence of African-American children's advertising departments within agencies and the lack of radio programs for African-American kids.

` Saatchi & Saatchi, which was once only adults, has a kids section. And advertising firms have divisions for Hispanic kids," said Marvin Stewart, marketing/outreach manager of Kinetic Super Crew.

The panel members also shared marketing techniques that use partnerships as a selling and marketing tool. Alvin Hartrey, founder, CEO and chairman of Tri-Masters International, advised linking large-scale community events with sponsorships. He is currently working with high-profile sponsors on Black College Week in Daytona Beach during Spring Break.

"Design activities that will be brought to the community by a sponsor. I can draw in the consumer, but notice that I am still in the streets," said Mr. Hartrey. "Get in their house, get in their face, give them a coupon and they will like you."

Essence and five other national African-American magazines also collaborated with retailers to create store displays that grouped all six magazines in one bin.

"[Essence] didn't have the advertising or promotional money," said Yvonne Pearson, single copy sales director, for Essence, "so together we devised a promotional plan."

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