SBD/27/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

SPONSORS GIVING IDITAROD THE COLD SHOULDER

     According to Jo McIntyre in this week's ADVERTISING AGE,
corporate sponsors of the Iditarod -- such as Iams and Timberland
-- are "nervous about controversy" stemming from complaints by
animal-rights activists and "are backing away."  Byran Brown,
Communications Dir for Iams, which contributed $175,000 in money
and dog food this year:  "Rather than continue to ask for major
changes in the current format of the Iditarod sled dog race, it
is in the best interest of all concerned that Iams Co. withdraw
from active sponsorship of the race."  Timberland, which has a
$1M involvement in this year's race, is "weighing whether to
sponsor next year's race."  Jay Steere, Timberland Senior Manager
of Events and Promotions:  "We are disappointed (about the
dispute between activists and the race committee) because we
think the nucleus of the Iditarod, the idea of man and woman
going on an equal basis against the elements, is a powerful story
and one we feel helps us position our brand in a positive way."
Stan Hooley, Exec Dir of the Iditarod Committee:  "Timberland
understands the value of sponsorship of this event for them.  The
dilemma is how difficult are these special interests groups going
to make it for us" (Jo McIntyre, AD AGE, 9/26 issue).
     ATTENTION MILLER BREWING -- FISH HAVE RIGHTS, TOO:  Ray
Scott, founder of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, wants
Miller Brewing to stop airing its "Bass Ball" commercials, which
feature players "hurling what appears to be a largemouth bass
from base to base."  Scott:  "For 25 years, we've been trying to
get people to respect this fish, and here we have people slapping
a bass across a man's face, throwing it around the bases.  Wonder
if they'd be willing to film a commercial with somebody throwing
a kitten or a poodle puppy? ... I want Miller to get off our
bass" (Gene Mueller, WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/26).
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