Best Western, MasterCard International Score With 2006 FIFA World Cup(TM) Soccer Sweepstakes

Gold Crown Club(R) International Members Can Earn a Chance to Win VIP Trip to Germany With Every Worldwide Hotel Stay, February 12-April 30, and Meet International Football Legend Pele, When Paying With MasterCard, Official Partner of the 2006 FIFA World Cup(TM)

PHOENIX, Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ — Best Western International and MasterCard International have teamed up to send one lucky fan and a guest to Germany this summer for the 2006 FIFA World Cup(TM) soccer tournament, and a special meeting with Hall of Fame superstar, Pele.

Members of the hotel chain’s free loyalty program, Gold Crown Club(R) International, will be automatically entered into the Best Western(TM) International/MasterCard(R) FIFA World Cup(TM) Sweepstakes with each worldwide stay between February 12 and April 30, 2006, when they use their MasterCard cards as their method of payment. The grand prize winner will receive a trip for two to Munich, including tickets to the Opening Ceremonies and Opening Match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, courtesy of MasterCard International. As a VIP guest at an exclusive pre-tournament reception, the recipient will also meet the sport’s most heralded player, beloved ambassador, and official MasterCard spokesperson, Pele.

Rounding out the package are complimentary airfare, Best Western accommodations for five nights, a $500 (USD) MasterCard Gift Card and a congratulatory dinner, along with ground transportation and local sightseeing opportunities.

“Like Best Western, the sport of soccer is recognized for its extensive, and continually growing, global footprint,” said Dorothy Dowling, senior vice president of marketing for Best Western. “Its popularity reaches across all ages, borders, and cultures. We are thrilled to partner with MasterCard to bring this once-in-a-lifetime FIFA World Cup experience to our Gold Crown Club customers.”

“MasterCard and Best Western seek to help frequent travelers have extraordinary experiences along their journeys,” said Julie Blacklock, vice president, Travel & Entertainment Industries Acceptance, MasterCard International. “Both organizations enjoy a strong global presence, and we are proud to offer Best Western’s Gold Crown Club customers and MasterCard cardholders a prize with a worldwide appeal as broad as that of the FIFA World Cup.”

Along with the VIP package, numerous first- and second-place prizes will also be awarded, including additional FIFA World Cup tickets and autographed memorabilia, courtesy of MasterCard. All winners will be announced in early May.

To be eligible for the sweepstakes, guests must be MasterCard card holders and Gold Crown Club members. To join or for further details, customers may visit or call 1-800-WESTERN.

About MasterCard International

MasterCard International is a leading global payments solutions company that provides a broad variety of innovative services in support of our global members’ credit, deposit access, electronic cash, business-to-business and related payment programs. MasterCard manages a family of well-known, widely accepted payment card brands including MasterCard(R), Maestro(R) and Cirrus(R) and serves financial institutions, consumers and businesses in over 210 countries and territories. The MasterCard award-winning Priceless(R) advertising campaign is now seen in 105 countries and in 48 languages, giving the MasterCard brand a truly global reach and scope. For more information go to

About Best Western International

Launched in 1988, Best Western’s Gold Crown Club International loyalty program is one of the industry’s few truly international travel clubs. Members across the globe can earn points towards an extensive array of product and service awards — including Global Free Room Nights; dining, shopping, and entertainment gift certificates; as well as airline miles — at Best Western hotels throughout North, Central and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Consumers can now cast their votes for Gold Crown Club as their favorite loyalty program at

Best Western International is celebrating its 60th Anniversary as a membership association of independently owned and operated hotels that provides marketing, reservations and operational support to its members. Growing from a string of roadside motels starting in 1946 Long Beach, CA, to THE WORLD’S LARGEST HOTEL CHAIN(R) with 4,200 hotels in 80 countries, Best Western is one of the industry’s most endearing iconic brands. For more information on Gold Crown Club International, visit

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