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CNN Secures AstraZeneca for Fit Nation

For the second year in a row, CNN Ad Sales and Marketing Group signed pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca International to sponsor the network’s Fit Nation initiative, a 52-week series examining obesity in America.

Based on a Harvard University medical study that found that one hour of exercise could add two hours to a healthy adult’s life expectancy, the program will challenge Americans to collectively complete 500,000 hours of exercise, in theory extending life by 1 million hours.

The initiative kicks off in March with a cross-country tour encouraging consumers to enroll in the challenge.

Advertising will include integrated billboards on CNN’s House Call with Dr. Sanjay Gupta and CNN Newsroom, as well as monthly sponsorship of Fit or Fat, a segment on Anderson Cooper 360. On-air sponsorship includes a one-hour investigative special and a three-part investigative series by Gupta.

The series will also air on American Morning with integrated on-air billboards for AstraZeneca.

On the digital end, AstraZeneca is sponsoring a suite of ad opportunities on the CNN.com Fit Nation Web site, including user-generated content on CNN Exchange.

At the grassroots level, the initiative is tied to a retro Airstream camper, which hits the road in March and will attend major festivals and events around the country. The camper will feature CNN and AstraZeneca co-branded logos, as well as on-site AstraZeneca messaging in video and electronic displays.

Fit Nation began last year, attracting the attention of advocates such as cyclist Lance Armstrong and former President Bill Clinton. New to the program this year is Fit Nation Challenge America, soliciting viewers to pledge a certain number of hours of exercise for the year.