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Coca-Cola unveiled its 13 new commericials for its flagship brand, Coke Classic, which continue the succesful "Always" campaign for the 3rd year. The slogan has been changed slightly to "Always and only Coca-Cola." In Atlanta, Chris Roush writes that five of the ads "place heavy emphasis on battling private- label sodas" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 2/14). "Qualities like taste, the contoured Coke bottle and the red disk logo are even more prominently stressed than in the last two years" (Stuart Elliott, N.Y. TIMES, 2/14). Ten other ads, from Creative Artists Agency, will be released next month (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/14). MARKET SHARE REPORT: Beverage Digest, an industry newsletter, reports that Diet colas lost ground last year, while Coke Classic, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew and Sprite all gained. In the soft drink market, top-ranked Coke rose from 20.1% in '93 to 20.4%, while No. 2 Pepsi rose from 17.7% to 17.8%. Among sports drinks, No. 1 Gatorade (78.2%) lost ground to Coca-Cola's Powerade (10.1%) and PepsiCo's All Sport (5.4%). Gatorade held 85.6% of the market in '93 (Herry Berkowitz, N.Y. NEWSDAY, 2/14). PEPSI TO SPIN OFF RESTAUARANTS? USA TODAY reports some analysts are predicting a spinoff of PepsiCo's restaurant division -- Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut (USA TODAY, 2/14). A-B TO ICE RELATIONSHIP WITH LABATT: Following Labatt Breweries' legal loss to Anheuser-Busch over the terms "ice beer" and the ice brewing process, there is speculation that Labatt's agreement with A-B to brew Budweiser in Canada could be in jeopardy. While Labatt spokesperson Sharon Paul said the two issues have no relation, A-B officials could not be reached for comment. The deal brings Labatt C$45M in annual profits (Marina Strauss, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 2/14). In St. Louis, Robert Manor reviews the testimony by August Busch IV in the Labatt trial and the view the trial provided behind the scenes in the beer wars. A-B announced that it will replace Ice Draft with two new beers Bud Ice and Bud Ice Light (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 2/13).
WELCOME TO PLANET REEBOK: Universal Studios, FL, will open Planet Reebok -- "a sports/entertainment/retail/ restaurant complex" set to open in 1996 in Orlando. According to BRANDWEEK, "The complex will match Reebok endorsers with Universal amusement park technology." Reebok Senior VP of Integrated Marketing Dave Ropes: "You might face a Roger Clemens fastball or shoot free throws with Shaquille O'Neal" (BRANDWEEK, 2/13 issue). SEGA HITS LONDON: Sega, the Japanese video game maker, has chosen London as the site of "Europe's first virtual reality theme park." The proposed indoor complex, set to open by Summer '96, will be located in the Trocadero, a shopping and entertainment center in Picadilly Circus. The 10,000 square meter project will surpass Sega's other theme park, Joypolis in Yokohama, Japan (FINANCIAL TIMES, 2/14). ABC'S OF INTERACTIVITY: USA TODAY's Kevin Maney reports that Cap Cities/ABC "no longer wants to be defined as a broadcaster, even though the driving force of the company today is the ABC broadcast network. Cap Cities/ABC wants to be a software company, creating the entertainment and information -- the 'software' -- that will run on any and every technology out there." Some deals Cap Cities/ABC has entered: A $100M investment in the Spielberg/Geffen/ Katzenberg DreamWorks venture; partnership with video game maker Electronic Arts on multimedia software; a joint investment with EA in Sports Lab, a S.F.-based company developing "virtual reality sports rides"; development of on-line searchable programming; and ABC Online, an area found on America Online (USA TODAY, 2/14).
Sun Apparel, a leading jeans manufacturer, announced the signing of NBA Hall-of-Famer Jonh Havlicek to represent Real Pro jeans, targeted to men over 40. Havlicek joins Joe Greene and Luis Tiant in the campaign, which debuts March 1995 under the tagline, "When Men Were Men and Jeans Were Jeans" (Sun Apparel)....Stride-Rite is making the "largest investment ever" in its Keds brand with a $25M image campaign. Keds Senior VP/Marketing Kate Bednarski, formerly of Nike: "We have the greatest brand loyalty of anyone. The image just needs some dusting off" (BRANDWEEK, 2/13).... Following the completion of Nike's acquisition of Canstar, for C$27.50 a share, Nike Manager of Investment Relations Rick Anguilla said there will be no immediate management changes at Canstar, but that the focus this winter will be on marketing (OTTAWA CITIZEN, 2/11)....S-K-I Ltd., the owner and operator of several major ski resorts, has hired an investment adviser to help evaluate a possible merger or sale of the company. S-K-I stock rose from 3 7/8 to 16 3/8 on Monday (USA TODAY, 2/14)....Fresh off its purchase of athletic shoe maker Ryka, L.A. Gear "will remain acquisition-minded in 1995," according to president Bill Benford (BRANDWEEK, 2/13 issue).
The NHL is joining other major team sports with a participatory grassroots program called "Breakout." The program combines street and roller hockey instruction, exhibition and competition in a portable outdoor venue, and appearances by local players. Initial plans call for an eight-city tour from July 15 through September. NHL Dir of Fan Development Ken Yaffe said the league "hopes to tie in existing corporate sponsors and local marketers." Breakout will be handled by Streetball Partners, which runs similar programs for the NBA, NFL and MLB (BRANDWEEK, 2/13).