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NFL players, TV celebrities and recording artists will descend on Miami during Super Bowl week for the Madden Bowl '95 tournament -- the first ever national celebrity football video competition. The contestant field will be selected on a "fame and game" basis; celebrity status combined with skilled proficiency at the John Madden Football video game. EA Sports, THE SOURCE magazine and "The Box -- Music Television You Control," will be the sponsors (EA Sports).
Labatt Breweries of Canada has "moved into magazine publishing in its latest bid to brew up business." This month, the company started to mail hundreds of thousands of copies of its new magazine, BEER, in two versions: one targeted to adults 30 and over, and the other "geared to the younger set." The latter version uses more "casual language and pitches such trendy brands" as Labatt Ice and Labatt Genuine Draft. One promotion includes a toll-free sports and concert ticket hot-line that reads: "Standing in line sucks. And standing in line for seats that make your nose bleed sucks even more." The issue for older readers touts Labatt Blue and John Labatt Classic with a toned- down pitch (Marina Strauss, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 12/14). Also yesterday, Labatt claimed that it has "nabbed" a 45.4% share of the Canadian beer market (FINANCIAL POST, 12/14).
Coors unveiled plans for an on-site micro brewing facility at Coors Field yesterday. Coors Brewing CEO Peter Coors made the announcement at Coors Field in Denver. The brewery will produce beer year round and is scheduled to open with Coors Field in '95 (Coors)....Gillette Co., a new sponsor of the Women's Sports Foundation, plans to launch a line of shaving gel aimed at women. Satin Care for Women will hit store shelves in April (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/13). ....According to a National Sporting Goods Association analysis, sporting goods store sales surged in New England states during the 5-year period '87-92 (NGSA)....Atlanta- based SportsTown Inc., "which has struggled with old inventory and under performing stores," will add Athlete's Foot shops inside their superstores. The move will allow SportsTown to sell Nike and Reebok brands (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 12/14)....The Walt Disney Company is planning a theme park somewhere in Latin America in the next decade. The park would be built in either Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay or Peru (REUTERS/N.Y. TIMES, 12/14).
According to INSIDE MEDIA's Chuck Ross & Laura Rich, McDonald's Corp., "in a major blow to local TV stations," is taking all of its money out of spot broadcast for '95. The company spent "well over" $100M on spot TV in '94. One McDonald's spokesperson: "We're shifting to a substantially national focus by moving the majority of our TV spot media spending to national network, cable and syndication. We're going to be getting more bang for our bucks." Along with the networks, Leo Burnett, which does McDonald's national buying, "is the big winner in the change." The shift is also a "significant financial blow to the two dozen or so agencies that the fast-food giant uses on a local basis." The move by category leader McDonald's could have "serious repercussions for stations, reps and agencies if other fast-food companies follow" (COWLES BUSINESS MEDIA, 12/13). MCDELIVERY: McDonald's VP Paul Facella said the initial success of the free delivery experiment in New York will lead the company to continue the service. And if numbers "continue their upward trend," the service might be expanded to other cities (Alan Wax, N.Y. NEWSDAY, 12/14).