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Controversial oven mitt giveaway revised

Joe Hettler | Friday, January 23, 2004

A controversial marketing promotion for an upcoming men’s basketball game has been changed, but not in response to a recent Sports Illustrated reference that mocked the promotion, a spokesperson for the athletic department said Thursday. The original promotion included distributing potholders to the first 1,000 women fans at the Feb. 14 game between Seton Hall and Notre Dame, but has been changed to now include men, said Monica Cundiff, director of events and promotions. The giveaway was referenced in the Dec. 15 “Sign of the Apocalypse” section of Sports Illustrated, where unusual quotes or facts are brought to readers’ attention.Cundiff said the sports promotions department changed the promotion several months ago, and not in response to the Sports Illustrated mention. She has received only three e-mails concerning the original promotion since its adjustment.”We had received a couple of calls, but already internally we said, ‘Maybe people are going to look at this and it’s not the right idea or sexist.’ However, that wasn’t our idea to leave out men or even to say that the women are the only cooks,” Cundiff said. “Our idea was simply that it’s Valentine’s Day and women like to receive gifts on Valentine’s Day. That’s what we we’re going at. The sponsor liked the idea of oven mitts and pot holders.”Cundiff also said that she has attended a past Green Bay Packers game and St. Louis Cardinals game at which oven mitts and potholders were given to fans. The main reason for the promotion was to try something different that had yet to be done at a Notre Dame sporting event, she said. According to Cundiff, staff in the sports promotion department collaborate and choose promotions for all Irish sporting events.