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The Sports Licensing & Entertainment Marketplace and Picnic • Tailgate Show (11/9/06—11/11/06) has arranged hotel rates and airfare discounts with Travel Planners,  the leader of creating high-value, low-hassle housing programs for trade shows. Stay at top-rated hotels like Hard Rock Hotel, Caesar's Palace Hotel and Casino or Hilton Las Vegas at exclusive show rates. Air and car discounts, too!
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How about a special sales meeting during the show? Want to book it outside of the convention center? America's Guest will make those arrangements for you—hassle free. 
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Want to see a Vegas show while in town? What about taking out that special client for dinner at one of the most popular restaurants? Want to travel VIP style? Key2Travelthe show's official Concierge service—will make arrangements for you.  
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Bristol Motor Speedway has gotten on board with Smiling Bulldog.


Smiling Bulldog Ready to Attack
Rug Manufacturer Eager to Make Industry Debut
October 17, 2006

When Bo Keister was first pitched the idea for the Original Tailgate Party Rug, he knew it was a winner. The hard part was learning the ropes of the licensed market. Initially, Keister incorporated under the name OTGPR. But the acronym proved to be a mouthful for potential customers. “No one could ever remember it,” Keister admits.

Then he and his wife came up with a gem, Smiling Bulldog Enterprises, after their own dog, Bruce. Armed with a catchy name and an eye-popping product, Keister dove headfirst into manufacturing and marketing.

“The Original Tailgate Party Rug can be used as an indoor rug, but it’s really intended as a way to decorate the tailgate of your truck or car in the parking lot before the game,” he says. “The colors and graphics are amazingly vibrant. We use real photography and sublimation print.”

A Virginia Tech Door Mate

The result is a beautiful montage of a team’s most recognizable icons—stadium shots, local landmarks, and the mascot. All are combined to offer an almost 3-dimensional look that is also durable. The carpet itself is a sturdy needlepoint polyester, while the bottom is matted with a non-skid backing. Smiling Bulldog also offers a smaller version, the Door Mate, and is looking to expand its product line with items like stadium seat cushions.

Currently, Smiling Bulldog holds licenses with nearly 20 schools, including Nebraska, LSU, North Carolina, and Auburn. The company launched the party rug in Virginia with Virginia Tech and West Virginia models. According to Keister, the response has been overwhelming.

“People tell us they are works of art,” he says. “We’ve actually gotten calls from framing shops, thanking us because people have gone to them asking for custom frames for the products.”

The next big date on Smiling Bulldog’s calendar is the Sports Licensing & Entertainment Marketplace and Tailgate • Picnic Show this November in Las Vegas. Keister is excited to see the industry’s reaction to the party rug.

“We believe that college football and NASCAR may be our top markets,” he says. “But we also want to reach the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball. Our product is perfect for mass merchandisers. We’d like to find partners who are already licensed, and are interested in manufacturing our products.”

“We’ve doing a lot of work locally,” adds Keister. “This show is going to be our coming-out party nationally. The Original Tailgate Party Rug is the kind of product that makes people go ‘Wow!’”

A West Virginia Party Rug


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