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TEXACO CUTTING BACK ITS PARTICIPATION IN MLB ALL-STAR GAME
Published February 21, 1995
While Texaco will again sponsor fan ballots for the MLB All- Star Game, the company will not actively participate in pushing the vote. Last year, Texaco used its service stations as an outlet for fans to vote. This year, fan voting will strictly be conducted in the ballparks. AP's Skip Wollenberg writes, "Texaco faces a dilemma shared by dozens of companies that rely on major league baseball games as a way to advertise their products and services." Companies like Texaco, a charter sponsor of The Baseball Network, have a while before deciding on their strategy, because the first TBN broadcast is not until the All-Star Game. But other advertisers must decide more quickly. ESPN Exec VP Ed Durso, whose network carries its first game April 2: "I'd be less than candid to say demand was as robust as we had hoped it would be. Some are directing their money elsewhere, but we continue to press ahead under what is a more difficult situation." But Tribune Broadcasting Exec VP Dennis FitzSimons said, "We have been pleasantly surprised by the willingness of our sponsors to stay with us." The Tribune Co. also owns the Cubs (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 2/20).