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For the second year in a row, Coca-Cola will "pitch a giant tent near the Super Bowl, where it will throw an 'interactive' party for fans." For five days in Miami starting January 26, the company will present "Touchdown Town," featuring NFL player appearances, live music and entertainment, games and attractions, a pin trading center and a nightly laser show. This year's party is expected to draw 100-120,000. According to Ben Deutsch, public relations manger for Coca-Cola's sports sponsorships and marketing, it will be the only Super Bowl-related activity to continue on the Monday after the game. This will be the fourth year Coca-Cola has stayed out of the on-air ad "fray during the game." Deutsch: "We've found that this is a better way to activate our sponsorship of the NFL. It brings the event to the consumer in the most direct possible way." The company also plans Round Two of "Coca-Cola Big TV" programming during Super Bowl weekend, this time teaming up with TNT. Programming will kick off Friday night during TNT's NBA game. Through the weekend, TNT will interrupt its programming hourly with news reports about the game. Ad sponsorship for Coca-Cola Big TV, estimated at $100,000 each, are believed to be sold out, with Coke, Reebok and Frito Lay "taking prominent positions in the telecast" (Cynthia Mitchell, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/12). McDONALD'S: Sources say that the two football fanatics featured in the company's Super Bowl ads will make several live appearances during the playoff games as well as the Super Bowl. McDonald's, however, has not yet decided whether to use the characters in Super Bowl spots which the company plans to use to launch a new tagline: "Have you had your break today" (Jeanne Whalen, AD AGE, 1/9 issue). AD WATCH: USA TODAY began a "Super Bowl Ad Watch" column. Today, Dottie Enrico profiles the National Pork Producers' two 30-second ads (USA TODAY, 1/12). HALF-TIME SHOW: Singer Tony Bennett will headline the Frito-Lay Doritos halftime show. The Raiders of the Lost Ark- inspired theme is being produced by Disney. Sony is teaming up with Blockbuster Music and Video shows for a sweepstakes promotion tied to the halftime show featuring Bennett (Jeff Jensen, AD AGE, 1/9 issue).
Dorna USA's AdTime rotational signage system will be installed behind home plate at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh during '95. The addition of Three Rivers brings the total number of MLB stadiums using AdTime to thirteen: nine AL, four NL. Dorna USA COO Jerry Cifarelli: "With thirteen Major League ballparks in place, AdTime offers baseball advertisers coverage through an extensive network that will deliver approximately 250 million television households in 1995. All told, AdTime will be seen in nearly 50% of all televised baseball games in 1995" (Dorna USA).
ESPN is looking for advertisers to be the presenting sponsor of four different pro sports leagues -- Arena Football, National Professional Soccer, Major Indoor Lacrosse and Roller Hockey. The cost? About $2M a year for which "sponsors will get a varied merchandising/promotional package, as well as commercial time on ESPN's coverage of the leagues." ESPN Dir of Sponsorships and Business Development Paul Slagle: "We're not just packaging them together to sell media time; it is everything from on-air to on- site exposure." Putting a "single theme" on the four leagues will help all involved, according to Slagle. "It will enable us to cross-promote the leagues, and to give them more personality and identity, and it should provide a continuity and a thread for advertisers." ESPN will look first to the soft-drink and fast food companies, as the sports appeal primarily to a young male audience. A presenting sponsor will get media spots, exclusivity, logos on uniforms, arena signage, and other benefits for the year round programming (COWLES BUSINESS MEDIA, 1/11).
The golf equipment industry is in a fierce competition to "secure the world's No. 1 player as a spokesman, salesman and walking billboard for its irons." Nick Price, who previously was under contract with Ram, was "disappointed" both with Ram President Jim Hansberger's refusal to listen to him in matters of research and development, and his contract of only $150,000 a year plus $5,000 per victory. Price: "I wanted to take [Ram] to the next level. I went to him with extremely good ideas ... and they fell on deaf ears. I don't want to be with a company like that." Currently, Price is "weighing offers" from Cobra, Taylor Made, Maruman, Bridgestone, Pro Group. In addition, little-known Atrigon Golf Company of Camarillo, CA has offered the star $2.5M plus 10% of the company, 1% international sales and "total freedom to redesign its irons." Because it may take Price until June to make his decision, he may lose out. Companies could balk because June "is too late in the season to start an advertising campaign and justify an enormous financial commitment" (Tim Rosaforte, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, 1/16 issue).