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Aramark announced yesterday their purchase of Harry M. Stevens concessions. Among HMS's accounts: Fenway Park, Shea Stadium, Meadowlands, Churchill Downs, Miami Arena, Houston Astrodome and Nassau Coliseum. Aramark will add those to the 100 already in their "leisure-services portfolio." Aramark, which is privately held, did not disclose how much it paid nor how much HMS would add to its $5B in annual revenues. Presently, 28 of Aramark's 120 accounts are related to the four major sports. Although the business has "suffered" from the loss of baseball and hockey, Aramark "considers these to be short-term disruptions" (Andrea Knox, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 12/13). PEANUTS, SODA, PHONES! Cellular phone service could be the next concession service introduced at ballparks and arenas (Valerie Lister, USA TODAY, 12/13).
This week's ADVERTISING AGE reports that Fila is "aiming to maintain its surging momentum" by boosting ad spending 30% to an estimated $20M, most of which will support the Hill Series, a footwear and apparel collection endorsed by Pistons Forward Grant Hill. Fila's marketing efforts with Hill will be the "most aggressive in its 10-year history in the U.S., and promises to be the most significant replication of the Nike-Michael Jordan marketing formula" since Reebok's Shaq campaign in '92. Fila claims its footwear sales will rise 20% this year to $300M, while apparel sales will be up 56% to $70M. The Hill Series will not only feature basketball shoes, but cross-training and other shoes as well. TV ads will air on BET, ESPN and MTV. Foot Locker, which will sell exclusively an all-black version of the Hill basketball shoe, is finalizing details of a co-op ad program (Jeff Jensen, AD AGE, 12/12 issue). MORE ON JORDAN'S LOONEY TUNES: Warner Bros. is developing a feature-length movie starring Looney Tunes characters and Michael Jordan that mixes live action with animation. The film could be ready by next summer. Quaker Oats' Gatorade brand, McDonald's and Nike -- all Jordan sponsors -- are being "eyed as promotional partners." F.A.M.E., which manages Jordan's marketing, is also exploring film projects and TV specials about his life (Jeff Jensen, AD AGE, 12/12 issue).
Citing higher interest rates, the parent of Arby's roast beef restaurant called off a planned purchase of Long John Silver's restaurants (AP/CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/13).... A judge in Seattle dismissed a lawsuit by Karen Sparks, who says R.J. Reynolds' cigarette ads featuring Joe Camel encourage young people to buy cigarettes. Also named in the suit: RJR Nabisco and ad agencies McCann Erickson and Young & Rubicam (USA TODAY, 12/13)....Sprint will use Dodgers pitching prospect Chan Ho Park, as an ad spokesperson aimed at Korean-Americans (Michael Hiestand, USA TODAY, 12/13).... Triple Crown Sports and the Mickey Owen Baseball School have together entered into a marketing agreement to promote youth baseball in '95 (Triple Crown).