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Circle K Steps Up Regional Promos

NEW YORK -- Last month, Alimentation Couche-Tard's Circle K convenience store chain stepped up its regional promotional activity that tied-in with national manufacturer campaigns, and is currently offering a sweepstakes around its fountain offering, according to a report by the In-store Marketing Institute.

The chain's Midwest division is highlighting its proprietary Polar Pop soda fountain service in a "Pour It & Floor It" sweepstakes this month, which awards a grand-prize Chevrolet Camaro. Fifteen secondary winners get $100 Circle K gift cards.

Consumers may enter online, though text message or in-stores May 5 through Aug. 3, the report stated.

In Circle K's regional divisions, stores offered promotions tapping into national campaigns, including:

-- Coca-Cola Co.'s sponsorship of the 2010 Federation Internationale de Football (FIFA) World Cup. In Circle K's West division, an exclusive sweeps running May 1 through June 30, will award $100 Circle K gift cards to a total of 26 winners during weekly drawings. An instant-win component awards 650 $5 store cards and 19,500 free music downloads from Universal Music. Entry is online or via text message. A similar effort is being conducted in the Great Lakes, Southwest, Southeast and Gulf Coast divisions.

-- Circle's K's Florida, Southeast and Arizona divisions are participating in a sweeps by Dr Pepper Snapple Group's 7UP brand, called "Green is Smart." Running through June 30, the promotion awards five Mercedes-Benz Smart Fortwo cars. Entry is online.

-- Mars Inc. began an overlay to its "Great M&M's Brand Character Vote," and Circle K is offering a free M&M's collectible cup with purchase of a $3.50 meal combo, consisting of an Oscar Mayer hot dog, one M&M's candy SKU and a 44-ounce ThirstBuster fountain drink. The chain's Florida division is participating.

In Arizona, meanwhile, that division continues its partnership with Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks. Stores offer downloadable coupons for each strikeout recorded by a Diamondbacks pitcher during home games. A microsite tallies the totals for the most recent game and season.

And the Southeast division partnered with Coca-Cola's Full Throttle to offer discount tickets to the National Hot Rod Association's Four-Wide Nationals, held March 25-28, in Concord, N.C. Customers can receive $8 off the $25 ticket price by bringing an empty Full Throttle can to the racetrack's ticket office.

Circle K and NOS Energy Drink became title sponsors of the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series' Outlaw Showdown event May 28, in Charlotte, N.C.

In its social responsibility efforts, Circle K supported the Children's Miracle Network in April by offering shoppers who donated $1 at checkout a paper "Miracle" balloon and an 25-cent coupon from Hershey Co.'s Kit Kat. Similarly, the chain's Midwest division sponsored the "Circle K 5K Run/Walk" April 10, in Columbus, Ind., to raise funds for the nonprofit.

In other promotional news, the In-store Marketing Institute reported BP's ampm chain this month launched a new sponsorship of the inter-league games played by Chicago's two Major League Baseball teams with a regional instant-win game.

Called the "BP Crosstown Cup," the promo encompasses the six games between the Cubs and White Sox that will be played June 11-13 and June 25-27.

"We think the creation of the Crosstown Cup, made possible through this unique, two-team, one-city partnership with our friends at BP, will elevate Chicago's summer baseball rivalry to a new level for fans on both sides of town," White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in an April press release that was cited by the In-store Marketing Institute.

To enter the instant-win game, shoppers must purchase at least eight gallons of gas from May 5 through July 6. Upon doing that they will receive scratch-off game cards with instant-win results. Roughly 800,000 game cards are being distributed, and the grand-prize winner receives four tickets to a choice of a Cubs or White Sox home game in September, where the winner will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. The prize also includes $10,000 in BP gift cards, four team jerseys and a $400 transportation allowance, according to the report. Ten runners-up will win tickets to a September game with onfield access during batting practice, $2,250 in BP gift cards ("gas for a year") and $200 in transportation allowances.

Speedway SuperAmerica
Marathon Oil subsidiary Speedway SuperAmerica (SSA) is hosting a sweepstakes from ConAgra Foods that awards a trip to World Wrestling Entertainment's "SummerSlam," being held Aug. 15 in Los Angeles. Entry is automatic through May 31, with purchase of two Slim Jim Giant snacks using a Speedy Rewards loyalty card, or online by redeeming 50 Speedy Rewards points, according to the In-store Marketing Institute report.

In addition, Speedway stores are using point-of-purchase materials to promote the "Speedy Rewards Beverage Club," which awards one free coffee, fountain or frozen drink after purchase of six.

Cooler clings also offer a "Mix and Match" promotion in which two-for specials are priced in correspondence with the chain's color-coded shelf system, the report stated.

For special responsibility initiatives, SSA will sponsor the 19th annual Speedway SuperAmerica Miracle Golf Tournament this month in Kettering, Ohio. The event benefits Children's Miracle Network. SSA raised approximately $4.5 million for the nonprofit in 2009, and $34 million since 1991, according to a press release issued by CMN and cited by the In-store Marketing Institute.

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Speedway SuperAmerica Raises $4.5 Million for Children's Hospitals
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