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    Tops Markets Sets Marketing Play with Buffalo Bills

    The grocer will be the game-day sponsor of the "Battle of Lake Erie" between the Bills and the Cleveland Browns.

    Tops Markets, LLC and its hometown football team, the NFL's Buffalo Bills, this week revealed a new marketing deal under which the regional grocery chain will sponsor the "Battle of Lake Erie" promotion leading up to a Nov. 17 game of that name pitting the Bills against the visiting Cleveland Browns.

    Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

    Starting Oct. 26, shoppers who buy participating products in-store with a Tops BonusCard will be entered to win tickets to the "Battle of Lake Erie" game at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Ticket prizes can be either outdoor or inside the M&T Bank Club. The grand prize will be eight seats in a private suite.

    Tops will serve as the game-day sponsor of the event. The first 55,000 people to arrive at the stadium on the day will receive commemorative rally towels.

    The Williamsville, N.Y.-based grocer will also host two live promotions at the game where fans can win Tops gift cards by showing their Tops BonusCards.

    The sponsorship deal also encompasses stadium and print advertising, target marketing, and community partnership opportunities.

    Among its other activities with the football team, Tops is sponsoring the Bills Kickoff Kid contest, in which eight winners are chosen for each home game of the 2008 season to retrieve the tee after the Bills kick off the football.

    Additionally, the grocer sponsored a Bills Training Camp Night Practice and handed out free tickets to the practice at its stores, recently hosted the Bruce Smith wall of fame autograph signing at one of its locations, sponsored the Fan Food Drive to Benefit the Food Bank of Western New York, and has assisted its suppliers in activating their own sponsorships.

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