SBD/6/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

REEBOK ANNOUNCES GLENN ROBINSON SIGNING AT SUPER SHOW

     Reebok announced at the Super Show that it has "won one of
the fiercest endorsement battles in recent basketball history,"
in signing Glenn Robinson.  Reebok plans to use him in all
marketing communications.  His first appearance in ads could be
this spring in a spot called "Moms," featuring the mothers of
several Reebok basketball endorsers talking about their sons
(ADVERTISING AGE, 2/6 issue).
     CONVERSE READY TO PLAY "HARDBALL":  Converse will unveil a
new brand positioning for its performance line in July -- called
"Hardball."  Converse President Mickey Bell:  "Hardball is the
new vision for Converse performance -- it's an attitude, a style,
a mindset and a strategy we have adopted to achieve our goals of
becoming number-one in basketball, breaking through the second
tier cluster of companies to become the number-three athletic
brand in the United States and the number-five brand worldwide."
The campaign will be supported by the company's first 60-second
ad featuring six Converse basketball endorsers:  Larry Johnson,
Kevin Johnson, Latrell Sprewell, J.R. Rider, Julius Erving and
Larry Bird.  The flagship shoe will be the $80 R.A.W. Energy
shoe, worn by Kevin Johnson (Converse).  Converse's performance
line will also carry a new logo beginning next fall -- "a
variation of its classic blue star logo called shooting star" (AD
AGE, 2/6 issue).
     REEBOK'S OTHER HOOP SUPERSTAR:  BET's "Off the Court"
profiled Shaquille O'Neal and his endorsements. Magic GM Pat
Williams:  "Let's face it.  Shaq has come on at exactly the right
time -- when the sport was hungry for a visible sports figure who
could serve as the role model" (BET, 2/4).
     THE SLOW BOAT JUST GOT SLOWER:  The athletic footwear
industry should be forced to raise prices if the U.S.'s decision
to impose $1.08B in punitive tariffs on China goes into effect on
February 26, as expected (N.Y. POST, 2/6).
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