INSIDE LINE: Travel Channel links with VW for Road Tour

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Travel Channel has teamed up with Volkswagen of America for a repeat of its Great American Road Tour launched last year. In an 18-city mall tour running from late July through mid-November, Travel Channel will execute a search for on-air presenters and offer a sweepstakes for consumers to win a seven-day, six-night adventure, with local cable affiliates helping promote the effort locally.

Bandai America and cable TV's Fox Kids are teaming up for a promotion surrounding the Oct. 6 release of "Digimon: The Movie," with a sweepstakes to win one of eight grand-prize packages, each consisting of eight tickets to the movie plus a special Digimon-themed iMac computer created by Bandai and the entire lineup of toys tied to the film. Mail-in entry details will be described on the air and in print ads in Fox Kids magazine. Contest entry deadline is Sept. 30. A separate sweepstakes invites moviegoers to collect game cards, then enter at Toys "R" Us, to win a variety of prizes including one grand prize of a TV, DVD player and PlayStation and shopping sprees at Toys "R" Us.

Procter & Gamble Co.'s Physique haircare brand inked a widespread sponsorship with Sport & Social Clubs of the U.S., including sponsorship of a beach volleyball tournament this month in Chicago, plus integrated marketing exposure through club markets across the nation and product sampling in 10 major cities this fall. At outdoor sports events, Physique will sponsor "Club Physique," offering information on products, plus styling tips and demonstrations.

Pfizer has teamed with Olympic medalist and world champion diver Wendy Williams for a publicity campaign designed to raise awareness of depression, in a program tied to the Women's Sports Foundation called Minds in Motion. The program will distribute educational information about depression through special events across the nation and Ms. Williams will serve as spokeswoman of the effort.

ESPN recently announced it will expand its X Games franchise to include the X Games Global Challenge, to be staged outside the U.S. every other year beginning in 2002, with teams participating in bicycle stunt riding, skateboarding and aggressive in-line skating. Qualifying teams will compete from the U.S., Canada, Australia/New Zealand, Japan, the rest of Asia, Europe and Latin America, and final rounds will be broadcast on cable TV's ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN International, backed by global on-site and on-air sponsorships.

Promotion Marketing Association stages a three-day Basics of Promotion Marketing seminar in New York Sept. 26-28, and on Sept. 27 the organization will present its Promotion Marketer of the Year Award, also in Manhattan. Information: (212) 420-1100.

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