Sunoco Debuts "Essence Of Racing" Campaign Executive Transactions Isiah Thomas Expected Backlash Over Hiring FanDuel Brings On Most Of Zynga Sports Team Georgia Approves Increased Athletic Budget Kentucky Adding Ribbon Boards At Rupp IndyCar Ponders How To Attract Fans Long Term Jeff Gordon Hired As Full-Time Analyst For Fox Danica's Sponsorship Status To Be Telling For NASCAR Classified Advertisements
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Walt Disney Co. is considering opening a 35,000-square foot, two-level store at Fifth Ave. and 55th Street in New York (CRAIN'S NEW YORK BUSINESS, 9/26-10/2 issue)....Puma will re- enlist Walt "Clyde" Frazier to promote its "Classics" shoe line, "which has seen a resurgence driven by 'Suedes,' the shoe that once bore Frazier's nickname, and a more sweeping move across the marketplace to simple retro styled sneakers." Ads are likely to appear in spot network buys on such shows as "Roseanne" and "Beverly Hills 90210" (BRANDWEEK, 9/26 issue)....The Family Channel has signed a multi-year continuation of their agreement with Roush Racing to sponsor Roush's NASCAR Winston Cup Series Family Channel Ford driven by Ted Musgrave (NASCAR NEWS, 9/94 issue). ....Timberland will spend $120,000 to restore a hiking trail in a nature reserve in the Swiss Alps. The company's name or logo will appear on billboards and signposts along the 7km route (FINANCIAL TIMES, 9/28)....Chevrolet will be title sponsor of a new $43,000-plus event in Detroit "designed to tap into the world's largest bowling market of 250,000 participants. And if the first Chevrolet Bowl-Off flies, the company might go national, hoping to tap into a sport played on a sanctioned level by 2.7 million men, 2.5 million women and nearly 1 million youths" (DETROIT NEWS, 9/27). ....Intergold Ltd. of Calgary got the contract to design and manufacture the NBA championship rings for the Houston Rockets (CALGARY HERALD, 9/27)....Miller Brewing signed a 4-year strategic marketing partnership with NTN Communications to develop interactive programs (BRANDWEEK, 9/26)...."The Garth Brooks Collection" CD has sold 3 million copies in three weeks -- notable since it is available only at the McDonald's. The CD costs $5.99 (WASHINGTON POST, 9/28).
Lincoln-Mercury and its ad agency, Young & Rubicam, roll out a $45M, one-day "blitz" tomorrow to introduce the Mercury Mystique. The campaign features 24 spots on NBC, 11 pages in USA TODAY and other promotions. Y&R Exec VP & Dir of Broadcast Bob Igiel said the idea occurred to him in January when he noted that NBC's Thursday night had become one of TV's strongest nights and the Mystique roll-out was planned for a Thursday. Igiel: "We had these shows that people work very hard to see." The campaign is compared to Apple Computer's '84 Super Bowl announcement of the Macintosh and also seen as a signal that network TV "is far from dead" (Jay Mathews, WASHINGTON POST, 9/28).
Local promoters were pleased with the 14,342 attendance of last night's Stars-Kings NHL exhibition game at the Alamodome, the largest crowd for a hockey game in the Alamodome. Robert Marbut, President of SA One, the Spurs-related sports marketing group: "This did much better then we thought. ... We had people coming up buying tickets through the middle of the second period. They just kept coming." Tickets for the highest- and two lowest- priced categories sold out. Marbut: "When you consider the Kings drew about 8,000 in Phoenix two nights ago, it speaks very well for San Antonio." SA One will sponsor two regular season NHL games. Sales reps for the city's new IHL team, the Iguanas, also like the strong attendance. Iguanas GM Jim Goodman said interest is "through the roof the last few days" (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS- NEWS, 9/28). For more on NHL exhibition attendance, see the "Turnstile Tracker" in tomorrow's SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY.