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Tennis Channel Books 'Sweetest Match'

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NEW YORK The Tennis Channel said today it has signed a deal with California Giant Berry Farms, Watsonville, Calif., in a co-branding effort to support the network's first-time coverage of the Wimbledon grand slam tennis tournament, June 23-July 6 in London.

The partnership, "The Sweetest Match," will see Tennis Channel messaging on 20 million packs of strawberries in 3,000 retail stores beginning this week, including Kroger, Albertson, Safeway and Wal-Mart. The package will tout Tennis Channel's planned 100 hours of Wimbledon coverage as well as a "Win a Trip to Wimbledon" sweepstakes that offers the chance to attend the 2009 event in London. The promotion was handled in-house.

Support includes print in trade magazines, POP and a dedicated Web site, www.thesweetestmatch.com, with details of the sweepstakes, California Giant Berry Farms recipes and other highlights. Financial details were not released.

Wimbledon events also will be shown on ESPN, with the men's and women's finals on NBC.

"This partnership with California Giant Berry Farms takes advantage of a unique circumstance that brings both of our worlds together each summer," Robyn Miller, svp, marketing at Tennis Channel, Los Angeles, said in a statement. "More than Wimbledon and the strawberries and cream associated with the tournament though, both brands reach health-conscious consumers and benefit from a cross-promotion that's clever and fun."