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Lingerie Bowl has new sponsor
Online gambling site replaces automaker Dodge as sponsor of controversial show.
January 13, 2004: 8:39 AM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Online gambling site has replaced automaker Dodge as the sponsor of the Lingerie Bowl, the controversial Super Bowl halftime pay-per-view show that will feature models wearing lingerie playing tackle football.

Dodge withdrew its sponsorship of the show last month due to objections from its dealership group and customers. The show's promoter, Horizon Productions, Inc., announced the new sponsor Monday.

Some potential participants in Feb. 1's Lingerie Bowl.  
Some potential participants in Feb. 1's Lingerie Bowl.

"It is refreshing to have a title sponsor that is decisive and does not allow a few radical groups to dictate how they spend their advertising dollars or with whom they partner," said a statement from Horizon President Mitch Mortaza. "Our new partners will allow us to produce the kind of sexy and edgy Lingerie Bowl that made the event such a media darling and fan favorite!"

Despite the name of the show, the players in the game will wear short shorts, along with a sports bra, in addition to protective gear, not the skimpier lingerie shown in Horizon's promotional photos.

Horizon also announced it had a new charity to give some of its proceeds to -- AIDS ReSearch Alliance of America. The previous charity, the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR) said it would not accept money from the event. A spokeswoman with amfAR said the group had not known the full details of the show when it originally agreed to accept donations.

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A statement from the new charity said it was pleased with the publicity the show will give to the problem of AIDS.

"We're excited about this unique opportunity to partner with Horizon Productions to bring this message of awareness to people who are increasingly at risk for HIV infection, as well as to the community at large," said the statement from AIDS ReSearch Alliance Executive Director Irl Barefield.

Horizon did not give details on the amount of money raised by the sponsorship. But Joe Eberhardt, executive vice president of global sales and marketing for Chrysler Group, the North American unit of DaimlerChrysler than includes Dodge, said the sponsorship would have been "a very small amount of the overall marketing for Dodge -- about $1 million to $1.5 million."

Eberhardt told CNN/Money that Chrysler Group originally decided to sponsor the show to reach a group -- males 18 to 35 years old -- that it felt was underrepresented in its current marketing. He said Chrysler decided to pull out of the event because it wasn't worth the distraction or company executives' time to deal with complaints about the sponsorship.

"It wasn't just the dealers. We were hearing from every kind of stakeholder," he said. "It got to the point where I didn't want to open the newspaper anymore."  Top of page

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