Buddy Lee Getting Big Web Exposure

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Lee Jeans has kicked off several Web promotions for its Dungaree product line as part of a back-to-school effort called Be Like Buddy Lee.


Heading the initiatives were co-branded Web sites with JCPenney and Kohl's.


The site with JCPenney, www.buddyleeandjcp.com, features a sweepstakes that asks viewers to write an essay stating how their personalities are similar to Buddy Lee, the jean manufacturer's mascot of 80 years. The grand prize gives the winner and a guest the chance to attend any major sporting event, including travel and ticket costs. In-store promotions and circulars distributed Aug. 12 in various markets will promote the site.


The promotion is meant to build brand and collect e-mail addresses for future offers from Lee Jeans.


The JCPenney site also offers free Buddy Lee boxer shorts with any Dungaree purchase exceeding $21.99 at one of JCPenney's stores or from its e-commerce site during the week of Aug. 12. Viewers who click on the promo see a pop-up box with details and a link to JCPenney's main site, where they can buy the jeans.


The co-branded Kohl's site, www.buddyleerocks.com, is running a sweepstakes called Rock Around the World, which has a grand prize of a round trip for two to see any rock/pop concert in New York, London or Sydney, Australia. Ticket and hotel expenses are included.


Two hundred units of the MP3 Rio 600 Digital Audio Player and nearly 1,000 CDs with 100 songs from mp3.com artists will be given away as secondary prizes.


The site also advertises peel-to-win game cards that are available at Kohl's stores and via mail. Participants will be able to peel back a designated area on the card to reveal an identification number. They will then be able to use the number at www.buddyleerocks.com until Sept. 24 to see whether they have won an item from an array of possible prizes.


The Lee Dungaree product line, which includes an assortment of men's, women's and junior's jeans and pants, also has received a new Web site for the campaign. Viewers at www.leedungarees.com can find a location for various retail corporations that carry different selections of Lee Jeans products.


"We are a manufacturing and marketing firm, not a retailer," said Nancy McDonald, Internet communications manager at Lee Jeans, which is part of VF Corp., Merriam, KS. "We let our partners with retail expertise handle [e-commerce], and we try to help them do what they do best."


She added that "the fact that we have relationships with multiple retailers enables our entire catalog to appear online. That's what makes the Internet effective for us. It'd be pretty hard to get all of the items to appear in a 30-second TV spot, for example."


Lee Jeans will run banner ads during the coming weeks at ESPN.com and TheOnion.com, which is a news parody publication targeted at college students. One banner at TheOnion.com will plug a staring contest with the Buddy Lee character at www.leedungarees.com.


"It's not a real contest where there'll be prizes given away," McDonald said. "Buddy Lee, of course, doesn't blink. It's more of a humorous thing to get people to click through."


Lee Dungarees also will be the official sponsor of ESPN.com's "Two-Minute Drill," an online version of the cable station's sports game show. The online contest launches Aug. 15. Lee will sponsor it through Nov. 15. Contest winners will receive trips to see a live taping of the game show.


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