Car maker joins fest

Lincoln Mercury to test marketing at Savannah Film & Videos

HOLLYWOOD — The U.S. Film Festival Circuit, a recently formed marketing coalition of 20 smaller fests around the country, said it has signed Lincoln Mercury as a first big sponsor.

Lincoln Mercury will use the circuit’s Savannah Film & Videos fest, which begins Oct. 26, as a test of the circuit’s possibilities, offering attendees test drives, a special screening and reception. Lincoln also will finance 50 regional TV spots and ads in trade pubs such as Daily Variety to tout the fest. Deal was made through Lincoln’s ad agency, Young & Rubicam, which will handle the creative campaign.

Organizer TSE Sports & Entertainment is pitching the circuit as a way to more easily buy sponsorships for a group of festivals, and as a way to increase the leverage and financial support for the festivals themselves, which include Malibu, Maui and Austin. The circuit officially starts next January with the Palm Springs festival and culminates in a December 2003 awards dinner.

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