PetsMart mixes food and flyball

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[phoenix] PetsMart is fetching big interest with its national "Authority Flyball Tour" competition for dogs, and the retailer hopes to expand the competition next year.

The 68-city tour began in December and concludes this month. The canine competition is staged during halftimes of Harlem Globetrotters basketball games, gaining exposure to thousands of spectators. PetsMart is a sponsor of the Globetrotters.

The pet supply retailer's private-label Authority dog food will continue to be title sponsor of next year's expanded flyball competition.

Flyball is an increasingly popular event, and other marketers and retailers are expected to jump in with their own competitions next year.


Ralston Purina Co.'s Purina has sponsored an annual series of local competitions culminating in a national shoot-out among top dogs.

PetsMart's Authority tour pits two teams of four dogs against each other in a timed relay race involving running, jumping and retrieving.

PetsMart, one of the nation's largest pet supply retailers, operates more than 570 stores worldwide.

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