The Buzz

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Turns out athletes can be more than just role models. Elite Model Management's Celebrity Division, New York, has an agreement with Madison Square Garden Sports Properties to use players from the New York Knicks, Rangers and Liberty to find modeling opportunities for the athletes. Knicks guard Allan Houston was the first player to participate, appearing in a Tommy Hilfiger fashion show during New York Fashion Week. Said Steve Mills, president of MSG Sports Properties: "It's really unique, and it comes out of us and Elite really figuring out ways to position our players and have our players a part of the fabric of this market." He added that one of his hopes would be for an advertiser or sponsor of the Madison Square Garden TV network to use one of the athletes in its creative.

Crown Media Holdings' Hallmark Channel plans a $10 million holiday promotion, its biggest ever, with Nestle USA, Campbell Soup, and eBay as major sponsors. The Nov. 16-through-Dec. 31 campaign centers around a sweepstakes and sponsorship of four original movies - "Santa Jr.," "Silent Night," "Snow Queen," and "A Christmas Visitor." Each partner will spend over $1 million for spots on Hallmark. The partners will also get a presence in Hallmark Gold Crown stores. Other sponsors in the effort include New York Life, Discover Card, Walgreens, and JCPenney.

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