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August 1998
Volume 25
Number 4

RETAILER & TOBACCO INDUSTRY NEWS (cont.)

J.C. Newman Partners with Local Smoke Shops for Cigar Promotions Nationwide
Veteran cigar manufacturer J.C. Newman Cigar Co. of Tampa, the distributor of Arturo Fuente cigars, is sponsoring a series of one-day events to promote their cigars and accessories. The J.C. Newman Cigar Spectaculars, held at hundreds of retailers nationwide, has been introducing the company's cigars and accessories to cigar enthusiasts across the U.S. since the program began in May.

This promotion is the biggest in the company's 103-year history. The events will feature samplings of the company's Cuesta-Rey and La Unica cigars and raffles for cigars, Diamond Crown humidors, and other cigar accessories.

"J.C. Newman Cigar Spectaculars are designed to help retailers drive traffic and build excitement with their customers," said Eric Newman, president of J.C. Newman. "At the same time, it's a great way for us to build brand loyalty. It's really about getting back to basics - putting a great cigar in people's hands and letting them try it."

The company is providing more than $1,500 in free cigar samples and accessory prizes to each participating smoke shop. J.C. Newman area sales managers work closely with retailers to promote the Cigar Spectacular, providing customized invitations, flyers, and a poster announcing the event. The first 75 consumers to show up receive their free Cuesta-Rey or La Unica cigar. All attendees can participate in the raffles and will walk away with a free Cuesta-Rey cigar cutter.

"We are sure consumers will be excited by the chance to enjoy Cuesta-Rey and La Unica cigars," said Newman. "The bottom line is, these Spectaculars will be fun."

J.C. Newman Cigar Company began sponsoring the Cigar Spectaculars in April, with plans for 350 events throughout the year.

Swisher's Premium Cigar Division Named Sponsor of SJI's Cigar Bus
Swisher International Group, Inc.'s Premium Product Division has entered into a joint marketing agreement with SJI Group, Inc. naming Swisher as the exclusive sponsor of SJI's Cigar Bus.

Swisher has planned an extensive appearance schedule for the Cigar Bus including a number of Senior PGA Tour events this year. The company also plans to use the Cigar Bus during the year at industry trade shows and at events and promotions it will be conducting with SJI as well as various other retail accounts.

"We are very excited to be working with Swisher's Premium Product Lines in this joint effort to promote their products and our distribution channels," said J.D. Jenkins, chairman and c.e.o. of SJI Group.

SJI's Cigar Bus is a 41-foot customized motor coach which serves as a mobile showroom. The bus also functions as a rolling billboard, displaying distinctive color logos and giant-sized cigar graphics. It is used by SJI and Swisher at trade shows, to call on wholesalers and large retail accounts, and for promotional appearances. The Cigar Bus with graphics depicting Swisher's Bering products was unveiled in April at the International Cigar Exposition in Las Vegas.

"SJI's Cigar Bus is a wonderful marketing innovation that has quickly proven to be of great value to our overall marketing efforts," noted Harry Oulundsen, vice president and general manager of Swisher International's Premium Products. "From its initial introduction featuring our products at the International Cigar Exposition, to its most recent appearances, it has been a big hit with retailers and consumers alike."


Bits and Pieces
ALBANY, New York - Officials in New York state reached agreements with five major retailers in May aimed at preventing the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products to young people. The companies, which included Kmart Corp., agreed to remove cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products from accessible areas, develop employee training programs on tobacco sales laws, and install scanner locks at cash registers, preventing cigarette sales transactions from being completed until cashiers enter a valid date of birth.
The Players Grill & Cigar Company Launches NFL-Themed Cigars and Accessories
Florida-based Del Sol Cigar Company, manufacturer of the La Concha Reserve and Sloppy Joe's Flavored cigar lines, and The Players Grill, have teamed up to produce a line of professional football-themed cigars and accessories. The Players Grill is a new restaurant and bar concept with an NFL player's motif, in partnership with NFL Players, Inc., the marketing arm of the NFL Player's Association.

Two lines of cigars - Players Vintage and Players Legacy - have been created for The Players Grill, the first of which opened in Orlando in June. Both lines are handmade in Tamboril, Dominican Republic by the Tabacalera Palma factory. The cigars made their debut in July, available initially only at The Players Grill restaurant. The company plans to make the cigars available to the U.S. market in August.

The Players Vintage consists of filler from a blend of aged Cuban-seed, Dominican-grown tobacco, a Dominican olor binder, and an aged Connecticut shade wrapper. It is available in five sizes; Robusto (5 x 50), Lonsdale (6 x 44), Torpedo (6 x 52), Churchill (7 x 46), and Corona (5 x 42). The Players Legacy consists of filler from a blend of aged Cuban-seed, Dominican-grown tobacco, a Dominican olor binder, and an Indonesian wrapper. The Legacy also comes in five sizes; Robusto (5 x 50), Lonsdale (6 x 44), Torpedo (6 x 52), Churchill (7 x 46), and Perfecto (4 x 42). The cigars, which feature The Players Grill emblem on the bands, are packaged in redwood-stained, Spanish cedar boxes, some of which will be autographed by prominent, retired NFL players.

A line of accessories bearing the cigar-band logo is also being produced. These include handpainted and etched crystal ashtrays, cigar lighters and cutters, a collector series of Zippo lighters, apparel, leather cases, and custom humidors. The featured humidor will be a desktop model that resembles an actual professional football, autographed by legendary NFL players. The accessories will be released in time for the start of the football season in September. The Players Grill bar and restaurant features an upscale menu, conference facilities, interactive areas, and a retail gift shop. A second location is scheduled to open in the spring of 1999 in New York City's Time Square. Ten more locations are planned for cities such as Las Vegas, Dallas, Chicago, and Miami. The Players Grill & Cigar Co., 8614 Tara Place, Lakeland, FL 33809, Tel/Fax: (941) 816-0016.

Web Sightings http://www.gaandron.com

Retailers can visit an extensive new information-only web site from tobacco distributor G.A. Andron of Deer Park, Long Island. Visitors can view an electronic version of the company's wholesale product catalog, featuring cigarettes, tobaccos, cigars, lighters, accessories, and more.
Health Tips Offered for Cigar Smokers

While issuing a warning to cigar smokers that they face a much greater risk of health hazards than non-smokers, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons also offered advice for those who choose to continue to smoke. To minimize health hazards: don't inhale, smoke smaller cigars, hold the cigar between the teeth rather than the gums and lips, keep cigars out of the mouth when not actively smoking, and limit smoking to special occasions.

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