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February,
2004

TOBACCO INDUSTRY NEWS (cont.)

Natural American Spirit Names 2003 Retail Display Winners

Santa Fe - Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. has announced the winners in the Natural American Spirit Retailer of the Year 2003 contest.

The contest, which ran from June 1st, 2003 through June 30th, 2003, asked retailers to create a display/promotion using promotional materials that SFNTC created especially for the contest. The accordion-style cigarette identification poster, along with a pair of pop-up, oversized cigarette packs, were sent along with every entry request. These point-of-purchase items gave retailers the starting point to create some dazzling results.

This year two Grand prize winners walked away with $5,000 each. Kishore Patek, owner of Prescott Food Store, created two displays for his prize-winning entry. The first display surrounded the register with Natural American Spirit products and POS materials. The second took a few more creative liberties. This display featured an in-store tobacco field with a large three-dimensional tobacco chief logo overlooking it all.

John Agee of Knucklehead's Tobacco created a canoe scene, complete with paddling packs of NAS. Floating down a river at sunrise was John's inspiration for the serene, natural look that he feels represents Natural American Spirit.

At Smoker Friendly #32, Alison Hendrikson and Virginia Thompson created an entire Santa Fe-inspired village complete with houses, tractors, and a clock tower.

The Natural American Spirit Retailer of the Year Contest, started in 1998, encourages all retailers to enter. The incentive this year, apart from the increased sales and traffic, was a free Mini Digital Spy Cam for every eligible entry.

"This promotional display has not only sparked interest in all blends of Natural American Spirit Tobacco," said Sabrena Thompson of Tobacco House, Inc., "it has also increased sales."

The Tobacco House, Inc.'s third place entry placed an emphasis on Southern culture and Natural American Spirit Perique blend, which is grown entirely in St. James Parish Louisiana.

Alligator Alley, an old drive-thru car wash that has been renovated into a drive-thru convenience store, created stunning hanging displays using posters, packs, and all sorts of promotional materials. "This promo has really helped our (Natural) American Spirit sales," reported Alligator Alley's manager, Michelle Dean.

The 7th Annual Retailer of the Year Contest challenges retailers to create and showcase a display or promotion between June 1 and June 30, 2004. The 2004 winners will be chosen based on innovation and creativity. For more information on this year's contest or Natural American Spirit brands, contact SFNTC, Tel: (800) 982-7454.


Tabacos de la Cordillera Opens Miami Warehouse, Seeks Distributor

Miami - Tabacos de la Cordillera U.S., Inc. has opened a Miami warehouse to import premium, hand made cigars it produces in Costa Rica. The company is currently seeking selective distributors to promote and distribute its products.

Tabacos de la Cordillera produces four brands. Cumbres, its top brand, Purisco, and Picos are all long filler blend, while Colinas a mixed long and short fill blend (sandwich). Each line is rolled from Nicaraguan, Dominican Republic, and Costa Rican tobaccos, utilizing either U.S. or Indonesian wrappers.

Tabacos de la Cordillera U.S., Inc., 3106 S.W. 8th Street, Miami, Fla. 33135, Tel: (305) 541-6623, Fax: (305) 541-6632, Email: tabacos@tabacordillera.com, Web: www.tabacordillera.com.


Palms Hotel's Super Sunday Celebration Showcases CAO

The "Super Sunday" celebration hosted by The Palms Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, where CAO cigars served as the official cigar sponsor, drew over 2,00 guests to the ultra-trendy hotel in a two-day celebration of Super Bowl XXXVIII on Jan. 31-Feb 1. Celebrities in attendance at CAO-sponsored parties included George Gavin and Joe Maloof, Reggie Jackson, Derek Jeter, Peter Rose, Rollie Fingers, and Chad Clifton, among others.

The CAO brand presence was strongly felt throughout the weekend, including a CAO Cuban-Shmooban party for VIP guests, CAO video-loop in heavy rotation on the Palms 60 foot outdoor LED screen on Palms-channel in-room TV, and at four hotel venues during the Superbowl broadcast. The Palms is home to celebrity-frequented spots including Ghosts Bar, Rain, and Skin.


Padilla Cigars Featured in Rapper 50 Cent's Video

When Interscope Records recording artists 50 Cent and G-Unit were recently filming their new music video, "Wanna Get to Know You" in Key Biscayne, Fla., 50 was introduced to Padilla Cigars (www.padillacigars.com) on the set. Alongside a multi-million dollar home, extravagant cars, and many sexy women, the cigar was used as a very rich and lavish "must have" in his video.

The video incorporated luxury brands including Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborgini, Crystal Champagne, as well as Padilla Cigars, all featured in the prestigious Key Biscayne setting.

50 was later interviewed by MTV, BET, and other music channels while enjoying a Padilla cigar, and during subsequent filming, 50 Cent made a special request for more Padillas.

Ernesto Padilla, president of Padilla Cigars, made the special delivery himself and puffed alongside 50.

"50 is a professional who enjoys the good life and demands the best quality," noted Padilla. "He loved my cigars, and that says it all."


Perdomo Honors Miami Dolphin "Marks Brothers"

The day after Mark Clayton and Mark Duper became the 13th and 14th inductees into the Miami Dolphin "Honor Roll" during halftime on ABC's Monday Night Football, the venerable Miami Touchdown Club held an award luncheon at Shula's 2 restaurant in Miami Lakes to honor the famous Dolphins duo known during their heyday in the 1980s as "The Marks Brothers" and the favorite targets of Dolphin legend and future Hall-of-Famer Dan Marino. The duo combined to help Marino re-write virtually every NFL passing record.

Both players, who are avid cigar smokers, were delighted when Jim Mandich, the Dolphins' radio color commentator and former player who started at tight end for the Dolphins' perfect season of 1972, presented each with a commemorative box of Perdomo Estate Seleccion "Prestigios." Eah box was ornately laser-sculpted recognizing their induction into the Miami Dolphin "Honor Roll" along with their name, uniform number, and individual Dolphin statistics for receptions, yards and touchdowns.

Clayton and Duper entertained the Miami Touchdown Club members by speaking extensively about their careers, including their chemistry with Marino and their sometimes rocky relationship with their Hall-of-Fame coach Shula.



SMOKESHOP - February, 2004