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DRAGONS' DEN AND FRITO LAY LEAD WAY TO SEASON SIX

Right now, there are eco-preneurs across Canada lining up for the chance to be featured in a special SunChips-sponsored episode of CBC's Dragons' Den during the NHL final-round playoffs in June.

The episode, called Greenvention, will air June 7 and feature the best of an almost two-month audition process currently underway across Canada. It stands alone as neither an extension of season 5 nor the start of season 6, bridging the gap between the show's finale this month and its start again in September. SunChips is the title sponsor of the audition tour for the show, as part of the brand integration for the one-hour special.

The sponsorship and integration is the product of a meeting between Frito Lay Canada and its agencies of record for SunChips, OMD and BBDO, about six months ago, Scott Moore, CBC GM and CBC Sports executive director, tells MiC.

"It's a good example of how we work with various companies and their agencies," he explains. "They wanted to be part of the show, they wanted to do something that would speak to their commitment to eco-friendly packaging and to the environment, and so we sat with them and both of their agencies, creative and media, and came up with a really integrated solution that works on any number of levels for Frito Lay."

Sun Chips is promoting the Greenvention tour on its website, urging Canadians to pitch their green business ideas at the auditions for the chance to be one of the top three ideas chosen to be included in the special episode, which will have a grand prize of $100,000.

The season finale of Dragons' Den on March 17 attracted 2.5 million viewers (2+) at its peak, with an average of two million over the course of the show. Brand integration opportunities for season six are currently being negotiated, Moore says.

"We try not to do off-the-shelf integration opportunities," he explains. "What we've done well with a number of our sponsors is to customize them to meet their specific needs.

"For next season, we're always open to new ideas," he continues. "The challenge for any sponsor, and for broadcasters, is the long lead time for integrations, if you're going to be truly integrated into the program, because production starts through the summer. But we're always open to talk about Dragons' Den or other opportunities for our partners, with enough lead time."

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