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Volume 23 No. 29
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Woods, Duval plan to tee it up for prime-time shootout on ABC

Good friends Tiger Woods and David Duval will hit the course for a live, one-on-one showdown broadcast on ABC during prime time on Aug. 2, insiders say.

The first-of-a-kind event — created by IMG and ABC in association with the PGA Tour — will be held at The Sherwood Country Club in Los Angeles.

ABC is expected to make an official announcement this week, but the network has just begun to pitch sponsorship and media packages. Woods' backers such as American Express Co. and Rolex are expected to get the first crack at sponsoring the event.

Major advertisers in MLB team programs will be rooting hard for home runs this year. PSP Sports Marketing, the game program publisher for about a dozen MLB teams, is offering advertisers a complete refund on large advertising packages if any MLB player smashes the single-season home run record this season. Each package is valued around $100,000, and an insurance company will cover the costs if someone smacks 71 homers.

This sort of "in-sured promotion" linked to on-field events has been surging in popularity over the last two years. But it usually involves major consumer product purchases, such as an appliance store refunding the cost of all new television sets purchased within a certain period if the local NFL team goes undefeated. This is the first known instance where such an offer has been used as a business-to-business incentive.

American Specialty Underwriters insured the program, factoring in the ho-hum early season performances of Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa when setting the rate. According to an executive at New York-based PSP, the insurer determined that it was a "long shot" that the record will be eclipsed this season.

Someone at Dr Pepper/7Up Inc. must be a hockey fan. In one of the stranger pieces of ambush marketing seen over the last few years, the company's Canada Dry brand is running a promotion around the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs but with no official tie to the league.

The NHL, which has to break a sweat just to get its own sponsors to run consumer promotions, is generally not the target of ambush tactics. But Canada Dry bottles now refer to the "1999 Men's Professional Hockey Championships" for a contest in which the names of NHL cities and a number appear underneath each bottle cap. People who turn in caps with the winning city and the correct number of games played in the finals will get to split a $250,000 prize. A small note indicates that the contest is not endorsed by the NHL.

Canada Dry's only official tie to hockey is that the brand is a major advertiser on both Fox and ESPN NHL broadcasts this year, and the Fox Sports logo appears on each bottle. But because Coca-Cola Co.'s Surge brand is the official soft drink of the NHL, Canada Dry did not get any dasher board space during national telecasts — something Fox is normally able to deliver to its top advertisers.

The contest is nebulously called "On the Glass," although tickets are not included in the prize packages.

British luxury car-maker Jaguar found an unexpected way to make its Triple Crown sponsorship pay off. Two new cars on display at Churchill Downs during the Kentucky Derby were driven away by spectators who paid $75,000 in cash on the spot. Perhaps they missed their rides home and didn't want to wait for a cab.