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Sponsors return to ‘American Idol’

Ford, Coke, AT&T still in tune with reality show

Ford, Coca-Cola and AT&T are back as the corporate sponsors of “American Idol.”

For the latest edition of “Idol,” which launches Tuesday, contestants will once again be seen in Ford-branded musicvideos. Ford plans to promote its Focus, Fusion, Edge, Escape Hybrid, Mustang and Flex models in the spots.

The auto manufacturer will award an Escape Hybrid to this year’s two “Idol” finalists.

Coke, meanwhile, will once again sponsor a backstage “Coca-Cola Red Room” on the show. Cola company also is launching several fan contests, including a “Design Your Own Judges’ Coca-Cola Cup” competish.

AT&T will once again sponsor wireless voting for “Idol” and offer text, tones and video services that relate to the show.

Ford and Coke have been with the show — now in its seventh season — since its start.

The old AT&T was an inaugural sponsor; when AT&T Wireless was purchased by Cingular, that company became the wireless partner. Cingular co-owner SBC then took over AT&T — which in turn bought Cingular’s other owner, Bell South; as a result, Cingular was rebranded with the AT&T name last year.

“Idol” comes from 19 Entertainment and FremantleMedia North America.

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