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 Golfers Lee Trevino and Natalie Gulbis Featured in Crowne
Plaza's First Multi-million dollar National TV Campaign
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ATLANTA (April 11, 2007) – Two professional golfers, two golf journalists, one Latino comic and a heavy metal rocker arrive at a meeting room…the set-up for a comedy skit?  Nope, it’s the setting for Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts’ first national television advertising campaign.  Slated to debut April 12, the multi-million dollar TV and online campaign features national golf commentator/journalist David Feherty attempting to moderate an entirely unscripted conversation amongst TV personality and golf fanatic George Lopez, shock-rocker and avid golfer Alice Cooper, golf-great Lee Trevino, LPGA star Natalie Gulbis, and outspoken golf scribe Dan Jenkins.

Branded as “The Place to Meet,” Crowne Plaza assembled these six seemingly disparate personalities in a Crowne Plaza meeting room to showcase the brand’s new golf affinity marketing program, the cornerstone of which is the title sponsorship of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial PGA TOUR golf tournament.

“Golf has long served as the informal ‘place to meet,’ so developing a golf platform was a natural way to further align our meetings focus with our customers’ interests and hobbies,” said Kevin Kowalski, vice president, brand management, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts.

“Our new ad campaign further emphasizes our focus as ‘The Place the Meet,’ increasing brand awareness and consideration while activating our golf platform on a national scale,” Kowalski added. “By showcasing highly entertaining dialogue among some of golf’s most unique personalities in a Crowne Plaza setting, we’ll entertain our core target - who share a love of golf - and bring to life our meeting room experience in a bold, new way.”

In a series of six 30-second spots, the group of golf professionals and aficionados – who share a love for the game – imparts insights and witticisms on golf-related topics ranging from game secrets and superstitions and changing the rules to playing golf with spouses and banning “belly putters.”  Feherty also appears in three 15-second spots that show him consulting with a Crowne Plaza Meetings Director to prepare for his meeting with the aforementioned personalities.  These spots will highlight Priority Club Rewards and the Crowne Plaza Sleep Advantage™ program.  Additional exclusive web clips will be shown online at Crowne Plaza’s new golf portal at www.crowneplaza.com/golf.   

Created by Fallon Minneapolis, each spot marries Crowne Plaza as “The Place to Meet” with the special tenets of golf and the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in a way that is fresh and contemporary.

“I thought the idea of bringing together such different people with varying opinions to talk golf in a Crowne Plaza meeting room was brilliant,” said George Lopez.  “It was also one of the best gigs ever.  I mean, I got to talk golf with my idol, Lee Trevino, and get harassed in person about my game by David Feherty.”

“Believe it or not, I’m one of very few rockers who don’t trash hotel rooms,” said Alice Cooper.  “When I’m traveling to a pro-am golf tournament or on a concert tour, I look for a hotel that feels as much like home as possible so I can relax. Crowne Plaza definitely meets that need, so collaborating with them on this ad campaign was a natural fit for me.”

On April 12, Crowne Plaza will launch the initial phase of a global golf portal (www.crowneplaza.com/golf) to amplify further the brand’s golf affinity program and help drive trial among business travelers who share a love for golf.  Produced by Digitas, the golf portal will serve as a source for Crowne Plaza’s global golf initiatives and will present content for the brand’s global regions – Americas, Europe/Middle East/Africa, and Asia-Pacific – such as golf tips for travelers, featured golf courses and golf news, as well as customized regional content.  The Americas’ customized regional content will include exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, links to the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial web site and links to the Priority Club Rewards Pro Shop and Auction sites, as well as other special promotions and incentives. 

To complement the new advertising, Crowne Plaza is bringing the rich tradition and experience of golf to its hotels by offering various themed golf events and year-long promotions, including hosting PGA TOUR tournament viewing parties for its guests during the entire 2007 season, exclusive specialty drinks such as the “Gentleman’s TeeTM " and the “Birdie,” and “Putt for Points” contests in which guests can accumulate Priority Club Rewards loyalty program points.  At many hotels, a copy of Colonial the Tournament: 60 Years of Greatness will be on a coffee table in the room, with a tournament week viewing schedule for the May 24-27 event on a bed pillow.  An exclusive global promotion is set to launch in June and culminate in the fall to keep the golf momentum going.  

Crowne Plaza also has set a goal to raise a minimum of $2,000 at each hotel to support Cure Kids Cancer Coalition.  Through April 15, guests and associates have the opportunity to participate in the Birdies for Charity program in which they can to pledge a flat dollar amount, or $.01 or more per birdie achieved by tournament players, with pledges correlating to the number of birdies shot during the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial Tournament in late May.

This year, the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial boasts a $6 million purse with $1,080,000 million going to the tournament champion. Additionally, the tournament winner also will take home one million Priority Club Reward bonus points.  The tournament, to be held May 21-27, is the longest running PGA Tour tournament still being held at the original site.  For more information about the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial golf tournament in May, visit www.crowneplaza.com/invitational.

About Crowne Plaza® Hotels and Resorts
As part of the InterContinental Hotels Group global portfolio, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts has 260 hotels in 48 countries located in major urban centers, gateway cities and resort destinations. Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts is the number one growth brand within its segment in the U.S. (source: Lodging Hospitality Annual Brand Report, March 2006).  Crowne Plaza is The Place to Meet. The ideal upscale hotel choice for small-to-medium-sized business meetings, Crowne Plaza provides personalized service and one point of contact for hassle-free, successful meetings.  In addition to superior meetings offerings, Crowne Plaza recognizes the importance of getting a great night’s sleep while traveling and now guests can enjoy the brand’s Sleep Advantage program including a sleep kit, quiet zones, guaranteed wake-up calls and new bedding. As always, Crowne Plaza hotels provide quality fitness facilities, upscale dining and exceptional room accommodations.   All Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts participate in Priority Club Rewards. With more than 30 million members, Priority Club® Rewards is the first, largest and fastest-growing guest loyalty program in the hotel industry.   For reservations at Crowne Plaza properties, visit www.crowneplaza.com or call 1-800-2CROWNE.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC of the United Kingdom [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms.  InterContinental Hotels Group owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, over 3,700 hotels and 556,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world. 

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Contact:

Natasha Gullett
 Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts
 natasha.gullett@ihg.com
 Ph:  770.604.5597

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Also See: Laughter the Best Medicine; Comedian Frank Caeti to Humorously Highlight the Hampton Brand's New Amenities on National TV / September 2004
Holiday Inn Express Attributes TV Campaign to a 20% Increase in Revenue Per Room; The Stay Smart TV Spots Receives TIA Odyssey Award / Aug 2001
Holiday Inn Hotels Begins Multi-million-dollar Marketing Campaign that Asks Guests to Look Again at the Brand / June 2006
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