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McDonald's Got Game and Its Guard Up

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CHICAGO McDonald's "Winning Time" contest bowing later this month with national, online and in-store advertising support reduces the number of game pieces to one and adds security via an advisory group formed last fall.

In addition to food, cash and 2003 Corvettes, prizes linked to a "time" theme include free Cingular wireless minutes, playing tennis with Venus and Serena Williams, a National Basketball Association trip to meet Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and attending Nascar's Dover 400 race in Delaware to meet Winston Cup driver Tony Stewart.

The Marketing Store in Oak Brook, Ill., where McDonald's is headquartered, will manage the promotion, which breaks March 25. Advertising support will be created by Frankel, DDB, Leo Burnett and Burrell, all in Chicago, as well as DRM in Miami, said Neil Golden, McDonald's vice president of U.S. marketing.

"Winning Time" marks the company's first U.S. contest since Simon Marketing of Atlanta collapsed under the weight of a multimillion-dollar scandal in the summer of 2001.

The company will release additional game details the week of March 17.