SBD/25/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

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  • BASEBALL THREATENED AS JAPAN'S NATIONAL PASTIME, TOO?

         Japan's first professional soccer league, now in its second
    season, has become "universally" supported throughout the
    country, according to the latest issue of THE ECONOMIST.  Last
    year, in its first season, the J League's 10 teams attracted more
    than 4M spectators.  The success of soccer "may be new-found" but
    the sport is as "solid" in Japan as it is "anywhere in the
    world."  For many Japanese, soccer games have provided a escape
    from watching baseball, the country's only sports alternative
    (ECONOMIST, 10/22 issue).
    

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  • CALLAWAY GOES OUTSIDE THE TOUR FOR NEWEST ENDORSERS

         Callaway Golf, maker of Big Bertha irons and woods, will add
    Tommy Smothers and Kenny G to its endorser lineup in next year's
    TV ads, the first time the company has used non-pro golfers.
    Callaway will spend $12M on its '95 ads which are done in-house
    (ADVERTISING AGE, 10/24 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: Callaway Golf
  • DC ARENA SPONSOR, USAIR, POSTS BIG LOSS FOR THE QUARTER

         USAir Group Inc. yesterday reported a third-quarter loss of
    $180.1M and "predicted a continued drop in revenue for the
    remainder of the year as its airline struggles to cut" $1B a year
    in costs.  Airline officials estimated that as much as $40M of
    this year's 3rdQ loss "is a direct result of passengers turning
    to other airlines" after last month's crash of a USAir jetliner
    outside Pittsburgh that killed 131 people.  USAir owns the naming
    rights to the arena owned by Capitals/Bullets owner Abe Pollin
    (WASHINGTON POST, 10/25).
    

    Print | Tags: Washington Capitals
  • INTERNATIONAL SPORTS TV CONFERENCE GROWS IN STATURE

         The 5th annual Sportel international TV sports market has
    "solidified its stature as an up-and-coming conference, doubling
    the number of exhibitors" from last year.  Both buyers and
    sellers were "giving the four-day convention high marks."
    Several exhibitors, including the NBA, ESPN International, World
    League of American Football with Fox Sports and the NFL,
    Australian Football and Tomwil said interest and sales were
    "strong as many" media buyers followed up initial meetings at the
    previous week's MIPCOM market in Cannes, France.  Sportel also
    showed how "televised sporting events have expanded, with such
    varied product available at the market as a series of top
    tournaments" from the Pro Squash Association to the Int'l
    Trampoline Federation.  The conference had 57 exhibitors and more
    than 200 companies represented by more than 500 participants
    (Wayne Walley, ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 10/24 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, NBA, News Corp./Fox, NFL, Walt Disney
  • IS THAT YOUR LOGO OR ARE YOU JUST HAPPY TO SEE ME?

         The Univ. of KY has decided to alter its official Wildcat
    logo after numerous complaints that the mascot's rolled tongue
    resembles a penis.  Alyssa Middleton, Assistant Director of UK
    Marketing, Promotion and Licensing, said that a new logo is
    already being produced at Collegiate Licensing of Atlanta.
    University officials said that there are no plans to take any
    current Wildcat paraphernalia off the shelves and there are no
    plans to repaint the Wildcat logo on the main scoreboard at
    Commonwealth Stadium.  UK Associate Athletic Director Larry Ivy
    said that there had been "many calls" recently complaining about
    the logo: "We thought it was just a joke initially, but we've had
    more than one call."  Jim Edmon, who designed the logo eight
    years ago, claimed that he has "always been proud" of the
    drawing:  "The idea that I would have done something
    intentionally to the Wildcat logo is ridiculous" (AP/ Louisville
    COURIER JOURNAL, 10/25).
    

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  • LITTLE GIANTS GIVE NFL REASON TO CHEER

         The NFL's role in the Warner Brothers film "Little Giants"
    marks the start of the league's major initiative to get more
    involved in Hollywood and promote football products, players and
    sponsors.  NFL Properties designed a marketing program for Warner
    Brothers, creating radio spots and promotions for the 62 markets
    in which the movie opened.  The NFL is also talking with Warner
    Brothers about launching the home video around Super Bowl time.
    NFL Properties VP for Business Development Greg Garber: "We see
    movies as a grass-roots marketing tool to bring the game to a new
    generation of fans" (Jeff Jensen, AD AGE, 10/24 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: NFL
  • RCA NEW AD PUSH FOR THEIR DSS DIGITAL SATELLITE

         RCA launched a national advertising campaign for the DSS
    digital satellite receiving system on ABC's "Monday Night
    Football."  The DSS system enables consumers to watch up to 175
    channels of satellite TV including a wide array of sports
    broadcasts.  Gilbert Ravelette, VP of brand management for
    Thomson, the company which helped develop the DSS system: "It's
    appropriate that we launch this multi-million dollar national
    advertising program on ABC's Monday Night Football, since the RCA
    digital satellite system will provide consumers with the most
    extensive array of [TV] sports programming available."  Airing of
    the DSS promotion will continue through January, 1995 (RCA).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, Walt Disney
  • SPORTS FIGURES AS ENTERTAINERS: THE PROS AND CONS

         In this week's "must read," ADVERTISING AGE's Jeff Jensen
    looks at the growing trend of sports as an entertainment
    industry, noting that many athletes now refer to themselves as
    entertainers.  "Such is the mind-set among professional athletes
    in the post-Jordan era, where being like Mike means being a
    polished celebrity who can slam, spike and strut for the
    highlight reel, give good sound bite without embarrassing
    himself, his sport and his sponsors; and be able to find that
    Disneyland film crew amid the pandemonium of winning a world
    championship."  Jensen notes that "among the biggest changes
    within sports:  just what constitutes a league."  The NBA "has
    become by its own admission an international media company,"
    complete with its own production facility and studio in NJ,
    called NBA Entertainment.  NBA Properties President Rick Welts:
    "We often compare ourselves to the Walt Disney Co., actually.  We
    have theme parks -- 27 scattered across the country.  We have
    characters -- figuratively and literally.  We have licensed
    products.  We just don't make feature films.  But we do make
    1,100 new episodes every season with no repeats."
         LEAGUE STRATEGIES:  Jensen notes that the "evolution of
    sports into show business stems from the leagues' strategy of
    positioning their businesses as entertainment that can appeal to
    both the casual and serious sports fan.  A key part of that
    strategy was to turn their athletes into celebrity entertainers,
    and it worked, perhaps too well."  Referring to the labor unrests
    in the leagues, "now, these athletes want to be paid their fair
    market amount that entertainers of their stature can command."
         MARKETERS WORRIED?  Companies that have come to depend on
    sports leagues as "important marketing vehicles fear that if
    leagues can't contain their costs, those costs will get passed on
    to them.  That could result in sponsorship prices that could
    scare away marketers."  Bill Schmidt, VP/Sports Marketing for
    Gatorade: "That's the only issue that might deter us away from
    using sports as a marketing vehicle."  But despite the labor
    problems, many advertisers say the leagues will continue to be
    "viable marketing vehicles" (ADVERTISING AGE, 10/24 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: NBA, Walt Disney
  • U.S. SPORTING GOODS IMPORTS ON THE DECLINE

         According to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association's
    analysis of data from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, sporting goods
    imports for the first half of '94 were down compared to the same
    period in '93 (SGMA):
    
    
    YEAR
    TOTAL
    % CHANGE
    1989-90
    $2.635B
    +19.1%
    1990-91
    2.604B
    - 1.2%
    1991-92
    3.011B
    +15.6%
    1992-93
    3.241B
    + 7.6%
    1993-94
    3.054B
    - 5.8%

    LARGEST Y-T-D DECREASES
    Tennis racquets
    -38%
    Non-leather athl shoes
    -20%
    Leather athletic shoes
    -18%

    LARGEST Y-T-D INCREASES
    Soccer balls
    +89%
    Backpacking tents
    +74%
    Ice skates
    +72%

     

    Print | Tags: SGMA
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