SBD/27/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

AS THE WORLD WATCHES MIAMI, THE NFL KEEPS AN EYE OVERSEAS

     Top officials of the NFL, News Corp. and Reebok took time
out from Super Bowl week to elaborate on the specifics of the
World League of American Football, scheduled to debut this spring
in six European cities.  Reebok was presented as the league's
first sponsor and the official supplier of uniforms, shoes and
sideline apparel.  In addition, the NFL announced that News Corp.
was joining the World League as a 50/50 partner.  Joining NFL
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and NFL President Neil Austrian, were
WLAF President & CEO Marc Lory, Fox Sports President David Hill,
WLAF consultant Bill Walsh, and Reebok Senior VP of Marketing
Dave Ropes.  The teams:  Amsterdam Admirals, Barcelona Dragons,
Frankfurt Galaxy, London Monarchs, Rhein Fire, Scottish
Claymores.          FROM THE LEAGUE:  NFL President Neil Austrian
would not expand on any "specific timeframe" for expansion beyond
Europe or how the league would measure the WLAF's success there.
But he did tell THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY that the presence of
"strong partners" would differentiate this venture from the
WLAF's first effort.  Austrian:  "Fox, witnessed by Murdoch, has
a great interest in expanding this to Asia and other parts of the
world, and I think they're ready to go as soon as we feel
comfortable.  So, whether it's two years, three years, four
years, I couldn't say at this point.  But the overall intent when
we got together with News Corp. was that this would truly be a
World League, not just six teams in Europe."  Austrian said the
marketing of the WLAF in the U.S. would be "totally non-
aggressive":  "The merchandise will probably walk off the shelves
over here.  I think it's great merchandise.  But the game itself
is being developed as a European game right now, and we plan to
focus all of our marketing attention right there."  Austrian said
they would encourage Reebok to sell WLAF merchandise in the U.S.
Bill Walsh, who is serving as a consultant to the league, noted
the love for soccer in Europe:  "We're going to speed up American
football."
     FOX'S VIEW:  News Corp. Chair Rupert Murdoch addressed the
news conference from Washington via video hook-up.  Murdoch:  "I
know the tremendously exciting game of American football can
transcend the boundaries of this country."  Murdoch said that
News Corp. would televise the games on Sky TV in Britain and Fox
Germany, with every intention of keeping the games live.  After
the news conference, Fox Sports President David Hill told THE
SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY said that the sale of ad time would be the
responsibility of the local broadcasters.  Asked whether the
decision to partner with the NFL on the WLAF was related to Fox's
NFC contract, Hill said News Corp., as "the world's biggest
international broadcaster," saw the World League as a "great
opportunity.  But they're two totally separate entities."
     REEBOK:  Reebok's Dave Ropes: "Our global alliance with NFL
Properties and our sponsorship of the World League of American
Football are significant opportunities for Reebok to advance both
our performance footwear and apparel technologies and enhance our
brand's visibility."  Reebok staged a fashion show of the WLAF
uniforms.
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