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NFLP LOOKING TO RING UP CREDIT CARD CATEGORY
Published February 6, 1995
"Topping the shopping list" for NFL Properties this offseason are new agreements in the credit card and computer categories, according to Terry Lefton in this week's BRANDWEEK. The two categories are currently held by American Express and Zenith Data Systems. AmEx "had done little to leverage its sponsorship until this past season," when it tied in with Foot Locker and Logo 7 in an NFL 75th anniversary promo. While sources in Miami for last week's Super Bowl said that AmEx is likely to re-up, there is also talk that NFLP is talking to Visa and CitiBank. As for the computer categories, NFLP has not determined how to split hardware and software. But IBM, Compaq and Microsoft "are the obvious targets, each already a top buyer of NFL air time." The NFLP is "wary" about a long-term deal, in case technology renders "the installed base of hardware and software obsolete" (BRANDWEEK, 2/6 issue). OTHER NFLP NOTES: After this year's "successful throwbacks promotion," NFL owners are "sold on the value of alternate uniforms." The league is working on a plan to "evolve" many clubs' regular jerseys and add special events jerseys, such as the Cowboys. NFLP Senior Dir of Apparel Licensing Jeff Sofka: "Our problem is no longer convincing the clubs. It's determing which is first in line for a new jersey."....With Reebok on board as top-line NFL Pro Line licensee, "the talk among marketers in Miami was how long it would be before the league brought in Nike." But one NFL exec countered: "We don't want to get into a situation where Nike's the lead dog. The NFL doesn't need Nike; Nike needs the NFL. We're not the NHL after all."....Hershey will add a national promotional element to its sponsorship in '95. Last season, Hershey ran programs in select markets, tying in local teams and retailers (Terry Lefton, BRANDWEEK, 2/6).