SBD/8/Sports Industrialists

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  • NAMES IN THE NEWS

         Former Orioles VP for Business Affairs ROBERT AYLWARD joined
    Baltimore ad agency Image Dynamics Inc. as Exec VP.  Aylward left
    the Orioles earlier this year when PETER ANGELOS took over as
    owner (Baltimore SUN, 12/8)....Magic Exec VP of Business
    Operations JACK SWOPE visited the IHL Cleveland Lumberjacks and
    studied their operations.  The DEVOS FAMILY, which owns the
    Magic, is interested in putting an IHL team in Orlando (ORLANDO
    SENTINEL, 12/8)....WALTER PAYTON announced that he has become
    partners with IndyCar owner DALE COYNE, making Payton the first
    African-American IndyCar owner.  Payton-Coyne Racing has no
    sponsor yet, but will carry Payton's No. 34 (USA TODAY,
    12/8)....ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that Seahawk MICHAEL
    FRIER, paralyzed in an automobile accident last week, will
    "receive $100,000-$120,000 annually for the rest of his life if
    he remains disabled," thanks to the NFL's most recent collective
    bargaining agreement.  Previously, Frier would have received
    "$9,000 a year for the rest of his life for a permanent, non-
    football disabling injury."  Mortensen:  "The benefits package
    that came with the salary cap may be unparalleled in sports"
    ("SportsCenter," 12/7)....According to ESPN's Jackie MacMullan,
    CHARLES BARKLEY said, when told a new collective bargaining
    agreement might include a rookie salary cap: "Big deal, I want a
    veteran's raise cap" ("SportsCenter," 12/7).
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, ESPN, NFL, Orlando Magic, RDV Sports, People and Pop Culture, Walt Disney
  • TALKING OLYMPIC SPONSORSHIPS WITH ACOP

         With nearly 20 months to go before the start of the 25th
    Olympiad, THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY spoke with Chris Weldon, VP
    of Marketing for ACOP.  ACOP is the joint venture marketing arm
    between ACOG and the USOC.  Weldon addressed ambush marketing,
    new sponsorship categories and upcoming announcements.  Weldon
    says to expect another major sponsorship announcement within the
    "next week or so."
         THE DAILY:  What are some of the strategies you are using to
    prevent ambush marketing?
         WELDON:  It's a two-prong strategy.  The first and most
    obvious has to do with the legal protection that we enjoy by
    virtue of the Amateur Act, and the special protection that
    Olympic entities have to protect their trademarks and
    terminology.  So we're being very vigorous in assuring that non-
    sponsors and non-licensees do not use Olympic symbols and
    terminology to try to imply an association with the Olympic games
    or Olympic team when one does not exist.  The second side has to
    do with education.  Education of the public, as well as education
    of the marketing and advertising community and trade press -- to
    help those groups understand what ambush marketing is, why it is
    detrimental to the Olympic effort in this country, and in
    particular why it is detrimental to the athletes.
         THE DAILY:  Is there a line between where ACOP or the
    sponsor is responsible to prevent ambush marketing?  For example:
    If a top national TV sponsor chooses not to buy time on
    affiliates owned and operated by NBC.
         WELDON:  From time to time, companies who are sponsors have
    chosen not to buy one type of media or another and have been
    ambushed.  We don't really look at it in terms of a line between
    where our responsibility stops and theirs starts, or vice-versa.
    All our relationships with sponsors are viewed as partnership
    relationships, and so we feel it is incumbent on us -- and on
    them -- to work diligently all the way through the relationship
    to try to protect their investment and insulate ambush
    activities.  We work with them, literally on a daily basis, to
    try to make sure that, number one, they are taking advantage of
    as many media opportunities as possible to communicate what their
    relationship with us is.  But at the same time, we recognize that
    it is impossible for any sponsor/company to foreclose every media
    opportunity for its competitors.  We need to work together to
    make sure that the communications that are made through those
    particular media channels that are still open are accurate and do
    not try imply an association where one doesn't exist.
         THE DAILY:  Will there be an effort with NBC to prevent the
    sale of ad time to rivals of Olympic sponsors?
         WELDON:  First of all, we make sure that it's our sponsors
    who have the first opportunity to buy exclusivity, or failing
    that, as much of the time in their category as possible.  We
    wouldn't presume to tell NBC that if our sponsor chose not to buy
    exclusivity in its category, that NBC can't then turn around and
    sell some of that time to a sponsor.  What we will then
    concentrate on is an attempt to assure that the message delivered
    by the competitor is not one that implies some association
    between the [U.S. Olympic] team, the Games and that advertiser.
         THE DAILY:  Give us an update on sponsorships sold.
         WELDON:  We've announced 23 sponsors now.  Seventeen of
    those companies are either the worldwide top sponsors or members
    of our highest national program, which we call the "partner
    program."  The other six get the level of sponsorship rights as
    commensurate with their investment in the games.
         THE DAILY:  What major categories are still open?
         WELDON:  One that has received a great deal of coverage that
    we haven't closed yet is the automotive category and we're still
    working hard on that.  No automotive deal has been consummated
    yet. ... Over and above that, basically every other category is
    still open, so long as it doesn't violate the exclusivity of a
    signed sponsor.  And we still have several categories that will
    be at significant levels.
         THE DAILY:  Are you on schedule with sponsorships?
         WELDON:  Number one, look at the size of the investment
    we're asking; and two, look at the complexity of these
    arrangements which stem in large part due to the size of the
    investment.  It takes a good bit of time to come to terms on the
    exact specifications of each of these deals. ... I feel very good
    about where we are, and I think everybody's pleased with our
    progress to date and feels very comfortable that the funding that
    is necessary will all transpire. ... I think the next six months
    is very critical.  That will get us pretty close to one-year-out.
    While we will not have finished sponsorship sales, we'll have a
    pretty good idea of 90 plus percent of who the participants are
    going to be.
    

    Print | Tags: NBC, People and Pop Culture, USOC
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