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Bills and Tops announce 50th Season plans

Posted Feb 23, 2009

The Buffalo Bills announced Monday that Western New York hometown grocer Tops Friendly Markets will be the presenting sponsor for the Bills 50th Season.

As part of the announcement the team introduced a classic 50th Season logo. The logo incorporates the number "50" in a dark navy blue with the red, standing Buffalo logo, the charging Buffalo logo, the years 1960 and 2009 and the Tops logo - all outlined in gold.

The Bills also announced the start of fan voting for the Bills 50th Season All-Time Team presented by Tops. Fans may visit buffalobills.com and vote for their own personal Bills All-Time team from a select list of former Bills legends. The Bills All-Time Team website features unique, vibrant and interactive voting pages for fans to enjoy. A historical team video welcomes fans to the voting process and additional elements such as player action photos, statistics and player position videos are all part of the animated voting process. Fans may place a widget from the website highlighting their picks for use on their own personal home pages, blogs or social networking sites.

Beginning February 23rd the punter, kicker, special teamer and offensive positions are available for fan voting. On March 25th, the voting for the defensive players and head coach will begin. The Bills website will be updated regularly to feature exciting video and stories relating to the positions open for voting. Voting for all positions will conclude on Sunday, April 19th and the Bills All-Time Team, as voted by the fans, will be announced at the Bills Season Ticket Holder Draft Day Party on Saturday, April 25th. The Bills All-Time Team members will be introduced to the fans in person during the first regular season game at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

The players listed in the Bills All-Time Team voting pages were nominated by the Bills Wall of Fame (WOF) Committee during a special WOF Committee meeting in January. Players nominated to the list by the WOF Committee had to have played for the Bills for at least four seasons or have been a member of the Bills 25th Anniversary Team.

In addition, fans may register and enter the Tops All-Time Team contest to win a Tops five-minute shopping spree with a Bills player, 50th Season autographed merchandise, $50 Bills Store gift certificates and more. An exclusive line of 50th Season merchandise is available at Tops Markets, The Bills Store locations in Orchard Park and Eastview Mall in Rochester, as well as online at buffalobills.com.

"We were looking for a local company that could help us create awareness for this milestone and Tops simply touches more people than any company in Buffalo," stated Pete Guelli, Bills senior vice president of business ventures. "Tops is the perfect partner to title the Bills 50th season. In celebrating this historic occasion for the Bills, Tops clearly understands the value that our brand brings to their consumer marketing."

"Tops Markets and the Buffalo Bills are two hometown teams that share a long, proud history in the Western New York area," said Frank Curci, Tops Friendly Markets president and CEO. "We are excited to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime 50th Season with the Bills, bring two strong, local brands together and share what promises to be a memorable year for everyone in our community."

The Bills also announced Season Ticket Holder incentives such as an exclusive Season Ticket Holder Draft Day Party, commemorative 50th Season tickets and a 50th Season collector's style lithograph not available to the general public and more. In addition, a $25 season parking pass savings and the chance to win Super Bowl tickets are part of an early renewal incentive. Season tickets are currently on sale by visiting www.buffalobills.com, calling 1-877-BB-TICKS (1-877-228-4257) or by visiting the Ralph Wilson Stadium box office.

Finally, the Bills announced two additional 50th Season partnerships with Perry's Ice Cream and Labatt Blue. Perry's Ice Cream will launch a new ice cream flavor with special Bills 50th Season packaging along with some soon-to-be announced promotions leading up to the start of the Bills regular season. Labatt Blue will launch new packaging around the Bills 50th Season and will also offer mail-in All-Time Team balloting through Tops Markets and other local participating retailers. More details regarding these 50th Season partnerships will be announced in the future.

Tops Markets, LLC, is headquartered in Williamsville, NY and operates 71 full-service supermarkets and five franchise supermarkets. With over 10,000 associates, Tops is the leading full-service grocery retailer in Western New York, Central New York, including Rochester, and Northwestern Pennsylvania. For more information about Tops Markets, visit the company's Web site at www.topsmarkets.com.

Founded in 1959, the Buffalo Bills are one of the most storied franchises in the National Football League (NFL). The Bills have won two American Football League (AFL) Championships (1964 - 1965) and won an NFL record four straight AFC Championships (1990 - 1993) that included four trips to the Super Bowl. The Bills are a progressive organization and pride themselves on the regionalization of their team. They hold their training camp in Rochester, NY and were the first NFL team ever to play a home game in Canada with the Bills Toronto Series that began in 2008. As Western New York's top-rated sports and entertainment choice, the Bills annually entertain nearly one million fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium, produce the region's number-one rated sports television programming, have one of the NFL's largest fan clubs with the Bills Backers, and host the most visited team website in Western New York. Under the guidance of newly elected Pro Football Hall of Fame member and original team founder, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., the Bills will celebrate their 50th Season in 2009. For more Bills information, please visit buffalobills.com or call (716) 648-1800.