SBD/21/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

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  • ADIDAS SIGNS ON WITH MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

         MLS Chair Alan Rothenberg and adidas soccer Manager Tom Kain
    announced a multi-year sponsorship agreement involving adidas
    uniforms and footwear for the Columbus, OH franchise.  Rothenberg
    said the agreement designates adidas as an "official uniform and
    footwear supplier to MLS" and expects to announce "one more"
    uniform supplier later this week.  Kain said the agreement
    continues adidas' support for the growth of soccer in the U.S.
    through "start up efforts" such as MLS, clinics and programs for
    all levels of soccer and its players.  Rothenberg expects to
    announce more investors and franchise cities for the MLS in the
    coming weeks.  Nike already supplies uniforms and footwear for
    six MLS teams while Reebok supplies for three teams.  Mitre
    Sports provides the official game ball (THE DAILY).
         WORLD CUP:  South Africa intends to bid to host the 2006
    World Cup.  The South African Football Association announced its
    intention in a letter to FIFA.  Besides South Africa, the German
    Football Association has also declared an interest in the 2006
    Cup (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 9/20).
    

    Print | Tags: MLS, Nike, Reebok, Washington Nationals
  • FRANKEL TAKES AIM AT SPORTS COVERAGE, CITES GENERAT'L SHIFT

         In a column in yesterday's L.A. TIMES, Bonnie Frankel, "who
    last year successfully challenged an NCAA rule that prevented
    older female athletes from competing in college sports," says
    "there has been a generational shift in how" women feel about
    sports, and "the only way to ever change decisions by male media
    executives is to change the financial balance in their
    advertising dollars."  Frankel believes women are "still
    relegated to the 'back of the bus' when it comes to media sports
    coverage," and that the Harding/Kerrigan story "nearly undid us"
    since it "took on soap-opera rather than athletic proportions."
    Frankel:  "Corporate America is missing the boat.  Yes, hire
    female sportscasters -- but more important, turn them loose on
    sports news about women.  The inevitable result will be a whole
    new advertising audience you never dreamed existed" (LOS ANGELES
    TIMES, 9/20).
    

    Print | Tags: NCAA
  • FTC TIGHTENS THE LACES ON SHOE COMPANY CLAIMS

         The Federal Trade Commission said yesterday that the "Made
    in the U.S.A." claims of New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc. and Hyde
    Athletic Industries "were false because not all of the components
    are made here."  New Balance -- which advertises shoes as
    "Proudly Made in the U.S.A." -- intends to fight the charges.
    Kathy Shepard, New Balance spokesperson:  "We believe
    (regulators) are trying to take a new position regarding the
    footwear industry and make us an example."  Shepard said that
    "about 70 percent to 75 percent of New Balance's shoe components
    are made in the United States, with the rest made in China and
    Taiwan."  Hyde Athletic -- which promotes its Saucony brand as
    being "Built with Pride in Bangor, Maine U.S.A." -- "agreed to
    settle the FTC's claim without admitting or denying its charges,
    and "will be able to sell its current inventory of shoes with the
    U.S.A. labeling" (Sharon Walsh, WASHINGTON POST, 9/21).
         THE FEDS:  FTC regulations say that to use "the 'Made in the
    U.S.A.' label, 'all or virtually all' of the component parts must
    be made domestically and 'all or virtually all' of the labor to
    assemble them must be performed here."  C. Steven Baker, FTC
    regional director:  "People can make things wherever they want.
    They just can't deceive people by saying it's all American made
    if it's not" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/21).
         DECISIONS NOT UNANIMOUS:  FTC regulators voted 3-1 to cite
    New Balance and 3-2 "to issue the consent agreement with Hyde."
    Mary Azcuenaga, an FTC commissioner who dissented in both cases,
    "said she thought the standard for 'Made in the U.S.A.'
    assertions was being too strictly interpreted in the Hyde
    complaint" (Katherine Hobson, BLOOMBERG BUSINESS
    NEWS/PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/21).
         LET'S GO TO THE VIDEOTAPE:  This morning's WALL STREET
    JOURNAL reports that New Balance "invited FTC officials to visit
    its factories before deciding on charges," but the offer was
    declined.  Instead, New Balance "mailed a videotape of the
    factory process to FTC regulators" (Jeanne Sadler, WALL STREET
    JOURNAL, 9/21).
    

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  • LABATT "FACING DOWN" INSTITUTIONAL SHAREHOLDER "REVOLT"

         In this morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL, Larry Greenberg
    reports that institutional shareholders of John Labatt Ltd. are
    concerned about the company's overall direction, and "nervous
    about the company's plans to get deeper into the sports and
    entertainment business."  Labatt currently has a varied sports
    portfolio that includes the Blue Jays, a stake in the Toronto
    SkyDome, and Canada's TSN sports television network -- "which now
    generates 'substantial earnings' after years of heavy start-up
    costs."  Greenberg:  "Labatt reckons that making investments in
    other sports teams will boost TSN's advertising revenue.  It also
    wants to take advantage of TSN's expertise by acquiring
    additional broadcasting interests."   Heather Arnold, partner
    with Toronto pension fund manager Knight, Bain, Seath, & Holbrook
    said "sports and entertainment are 'glory assets' that enhance
    management's profile but return little to shareholders."  In a
    plan to "allay" shareholders' concerns, Labatt has a plan to sell
    49% of its sports and broadcast businesses -- "a move that
    analysts estimate could yield proceeds to Labatt of C$500M" and
    cut "the company's interest in the Blue Jays to about 20 percent"
    (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/21).
         ALSO FROM THE JOURNAL ... VIDEO GIANTS READY TO BATTLE:
    Sega of America and Nintendo are preparing to "do battle" during
    the upcoming holiday season, and both companies -- the nation's
    two largest video-game makers -- are embracing different
    strategic approaches.  Sega will push its new 32X adapter, which
    "attaches to [its] Genesis video-game player and transforms it
    from a 16-bit machine into a 32-bit unit"; while Nintendo says it
    "will offer a more exciting array of software titles."  Jeff
    Goodby, chairman of Goodby, Berlin & Silverstein, Sega's ad
    agency:  "We've got a product that will make the 15 million Sega
    Genesis machines now in place 40 times as fast."  Nintendo
    VP/Marketing Peter Main:  "Our campaign will stress that you
    don't have to buy yet more hardware in order to have a great
    entertainment experience" (Jeffrey Trachtenberg, WALL STREET
    JOURNAL, 9/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Labatt Brewing, Toronto Blue Jays
  • NEW AND IMPROVED WHEATIES STILL HAS SWEETNESS

         Olympic champions Bob Richards and Bruce Jenner appeared
    alongside NFL legend Walter Payton today on "CBS This Morning" to
    make the announcement of a "new, improved Wheaties."  Bruce
    Jenner on being a spokesperson for Wheaties: "It's more exciting
    and more difficult to get on the Wheaties box, than it is to get
    on the cover of Sports Illustrated."  Payton: "It's like being
    President of the United States."  Jenner: "We're having our
    Wheaties breakfast here, this is very exciting" (CBS, 9/21).
         GENERAL MILLS BACK ON TRACK:  Following General Mills 9%
    earnings decline in the 1st fiscal quarter, General Mills Chair
    Bruce Atwater said that the company is "back on track" (Sally
    Apgar, Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 9/20).
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, NFL, Sports Illustrated, Time Warner, Viacom, Wheaties
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