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Upper Deck evolves with video trading cards

BY Allison Cerra

CARLSBAD, Calif. — Upper Deck will unveil its latest innovation this spring.

New Evolution video trading cards will make their appearance in the 2011 Upper Deck football collection, which will be released April 12.

Four standout gridiron stars comprise the initial unveiling of the Evolution inserts: running back Adrian Peterson, quarterback Tony Romo, wide receiver DeSean Jackson and hard-hitting linebacker Patrick Willis. Each of the booklet-type cards measure in at the same height (3.5 in.) and width (2.5 in.) as a regular trading card, Upper Deck said.

In line with the launch, Upper Deck is running a series of online Evolution banner ads and launched a special landing page devoted to the product’s debut next month at UpperDeck.com/Evolution.

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Safeway gets nod from AFP

BY Allison Cerra

PLEASANTON, Calif. — Safeway this week received an award for demonstrating commitment to various causes through financial support and encouragement.

The retailer said it received the 2011 Freeman Philanthropic Services Award for Outstanding Corporation from the Association of Fundraising Professionals. AFP presented the award to Safeway’s EVP Larree Renda, who also serves as chair for the company’s charitable organization, the Safeway Foundation.

Safeway raises and donates more than $200 million in monetary and product support to various causes, including cancer research, education, hunger relief and organizations helping people with disabilities, according to the company.

“Safeway is a model of corporate citizenship, not only taking the lead on a broad range of issues, but also working closely with local employees to ensure that community needs are addressed through its philanthropy,” said Paulette Maehara, president and CEO of AFP. “Safeway is a shining light of innovation and dedication to the charities it supports, and all of us at AFP are honored to be able to recognize the company for its philanthropic efforts.”

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P&G, Teva deal: A complementary alignment

BY Alaric DeArment

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — In the universe of business partnerships, a joint venture between Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Procter & Gamble is like two galaxies coming together.

(THE NEWS: P&G, Teva enter partnership. For the full story, click here.)

Market analysts see a lot of potential in the deal. Morgan Stanley called it a “modest positive” due to the strong growth potential, despite combined joint venture sales being 1.5% of the mix and “of limited importance to the stock.” In addition, Morgan Stanley pointed out that the venture would promote cross-channel growth by taking advantage of Teva’s presence in pharmacies and P&G’s presence in supermarkets and other stores.

Over-the-counter switches represent another major opportunity, with Teva having a natural advantage as a generic drug manufacturer; P&G sold its prescription drug business to Warner Chilcott in 2009.

With P&G controlling 51% of the venture and Teva controlling 49%, Teva’s OTC drugs will add about half a billion dollars to P&G’s sales. Most of Teva’s OTC business is in the European Union — especially Germany — as well as Eastern Europe, Russia and Latin America.

To be sure, Teva and P&G have strengths that will complement each other — P&G with its portfolio of globally recognized brands and Teva with its enormous manufacturing capacity. With Teva doing the manufacturing, P&G will have greater access to a host of new markets, especially emerging economies and Europe. Teva, which is more well-known in the United States for generic prescription drugs, will be able to take advantage of P&G’s brands.

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