What's in a name? For Canadian Dunlops, it's money

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In what even the company calls one of its most bizarre marketing ideas to date, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is offering cash to any Canadian with the surname "Dunlop" who is willing to legally change his or her name to "Dunlop-Tire."

In the "Dunlop Tired of Your Name Challenge," the company is offering to split $25,000 (Canadian) among the first 50 newly renamed Dunlops. Participants also will get up to $200 each to pay for expenses related to legally changing their names.

A Goodyear spokeswoman says Dunlops who are residents of Canada and are over the age of 18 have up to Jan. 11, 2002, to express an interest in changing their name, and until March 11, 2002, to do it legally to get part of the cash.

So far, about 45 Dunlops have asked the company for more details, she says.

All of this is to increase the brand awareness of Dunlop tires in Canada, the spokeswoman says. "Companies spend millions of dollars naming sports arenas, so we thought, why not rename people?"

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