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January 12, 2007

“Fresh From Florida" To Sponsor Legendary Sebring Endurance Race

The “Fresh from Florida” message will be promoted to millions of people around the globe this spring during the 55th running of the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson announced today.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has partnered with Sebring International Raceway to sponsor America’s oldest sports car endurance race, which will be held March 14-17, 2007. The winner of this year’s race will celebrate victory with a glass of “Fresh from Florida” orange juice in the winner’s circle.

Nestled among the orange groves of Highlands County, the Sebring International Raceway is legendary for its international sports car racing event, patterned after the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans in France. Each year thousands of race fans arrive for the premier race of the American Le Mans Series to watch the world’s leading manufacturers battle on the challenging 3.7-mile road course.

“Sponsorship of this internationally acclaimed event is an excellent way to promote ‘Fresh from Florida’ agricultural products to consumers around the world,” Bronson said. “The growing popularity of racing, especially with younger audiences, makes this an excellent venue for reaching an important segment of the population.”

As part of the sponsorship agreement, the “Fresh from Florida” logo will be displayed year-round on a permanent billboard located at front entrance of Sebring International Raceway and two billboards located on the track, on 10 barrier signs around the track during the race, on 30 banners throughout the racing venue, in display space in the midway area during the event, on a full-page ad in the souvenir program, and on the Sebring International Raceway web page.

“At the conclusion of the race, all eyes will be on the winner’s circle where the victor will celebrate with a glass of ‘Fresh from Florida’ orange juice,” Bronson said. “This is an exciting way to advertise our state’s signature product on the global stage.”

Sebring International Raceway evolved from a World War II military base known as Hendricks Field. Since 1950, Sebring has been the center of sports car racing in North America. Previous winners at Sebring include Mario Andretti, Phil Hill, Dan Gurney, A.J. Foyt, Stirling Moss, Juan Manuel Fangio and Bobby Rahal.

“We are proud of our association with the ‘Fresh from Florida’ campaign,” Sebring President and General Manager Tres Stephenson said. “Helping market Florida agriculture and Florida-grown products is especially important to our community. Sebring’s worldwide stature makes it an ideal venue to partner with the ‘Fresh from Florida’ campaign.”

The sponsorship was funded by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services as part of the Florida Agricultural Promotional Campaign, an identification and promotional program designed increase sales by helping consumers to easily identify Florida-grown agricultural products at retail stores. The “Fresh from Florida” campaign also helps increase public awareness of the importance of Florida’s agriculture industry, which has an estimated overall economic impact of more than $87 billion annually. For more information about the “Fresh from Florida” program, visit Florida-Agriculture.com.

For more information:
Martin May
(850) 488-0163

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