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According to the December issue of TENNIS, Converse "plans to launch six new tennis shoes this spring" and "three of the six will be backed with a 120-day no-questions-asked stability guarantee." Dennis Driscoll, Converse tennis shoe manager: "We think it's good timing because when a category's down, a lot of competitors take their eyes off the ball. Besides, we think tennis is already starting to comeback." In the early 1980s, the company's "heyday" was marked by deals with Jimmy Connors and Chris Evert (TENNIS, 12/94 issue).
"Driven by increasing worries about a slowing economy and rising interest rates," the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 91.52 points yesterday -- the stock market's "worst single-day loss in nine months." The Dow closed at 3677.99, down 2.4%, extending the two-day loss to 137.27 points. According to this morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL, the "carnage was widespread, with all major indexes suffering big losses." The S&P 500 "skidded" 8.21 to 450.09; the NYSE Composite Index fell 4.26 to 246.32; and the Nasdaq Composite Index was "crushed" by traders for a decline of 16.53 to 741.21 (Dave Kansas, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/23). SPORTS COMPANIES TAKE A HIT: All but two of the 13 sports stocks tracked by THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY were down at the close of yesterday's market. Callaway Golf fell 2 1/8 to 34 5/8; Cobra Golf dropped 1 1/2 to 33 3/4; Sport Supply dropped 1 to 9 7/8; and Reebok slipped 3/8 to 38 1/4. The only gainers were Sportmart and The Sports Authority --up 1/2 and 1/8, respectively. For our full listing of stock prices and trading volumes. In separate news, Sport Supply cited "rising interest rates" and the NHL's labor woes as its reasons for pulling out of a plan to acquire an undisclosed hockey equipment manufacturer (DOW JONES NEWS/SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/23). OVERSEAS REAX: This morning's FINANCIAL TIMES reports that Asian and European markets "were depressed yesterday by Monday's 45 point fall." The FT-SE 100 index was down 42.3 points to 3,078.7, and most European exchanges "declined about 1 percent, with the exception of Italy, where the Mibtel index dropped 2.8 percent" on news that the prime minister is facing "questioning about bribery allegations." The Nikkei 225 average fell below 19,000 -- the first time since February -- and the Hang Seng Index suffered a 3.8% drop (Coggan/Bransten/Harverson, FINANCIAL TIMES, 11/23). GOOD NEWS FOR MICKEY: The FINANCIAL TIMES also reports this morning that the Walt Disney Company has posted record fourth- quarter earnings of $226M, and "for the first time in more than a decade, films made more profit in the full year than theme parks (excluding Euro Disney)." Led by the success of "The Lion King," fourth-quarter operating income from films nearly doubled to $189M on sales up 43% to $1.26B. "For the year as a whole, operating profits from films rose 38 percent on sales up 30 percent to $4.8B" (Tony Jackson, FINANCIAL TIMES, 11/23).
Legg Mason has signed a multi-year agreement to serve as title sponsor of the annual ATP Tour stop in Washington, DC. The tournament, managed by ProServ, is owned by the Washington Tennis Foundation, a non-profit group that offers tennis instruction and academic tutoring for under priviledged children. Chip Mason, President & CEO of Baltimore-based Legg Mason: "We were pleased with the results from the 1994 event. The work of the Washington Tennis Foundation satisfied our desire to make a postive impact in all the communities in which we do business." Donald Dell, ProServ's Chair & CEO: "Our tournament has international status in the tennis world, but its real impact is felt regionally. That's why it is an especially good fit to have a title sponsor that is so strong in the region and so committed to the growth of the event and its inner city sports programs." Last year's purse was $675,000, and over the past 25 years, the tournament has raised more than $5M for youth programs (ProServ).
Canon, Sharp, Panasonic, Miller and Remington have joined Gillette, Jeep-Eagle, Dean Witter and NAPA as sponsors for the John R. Wooden College Basketball Classic. The sponsors get ad units within NBC's telecasts, as well as positions on Dorna USA's AdTime signage system (INSIDE MEDIA, 11/16-29 issue)....Enviromint has been licensed to mint a limited edition of 5,000 pure silver medallions, 1,000 24 kt. gold medallions and 95 pure gold medallions honoring Penn State and Oregon in this year' Rose Bowl (Enviromint)....Shawmut Bank unveiled a major marketing and ad blitz to attract skiers to NH this winter (Shawmut).