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  • AMERICA3 WINS MUST-WIN RACE WITH THEIR NEW MALE TEAMMATE

         The decision to add a male crew member to the previously
    all-female America3 yacht racing team "has the potential to
    create far more consequences down the road than winning or losing
    the right to defend the America's Cup," according to Barbara
    Lloyd of the N.Y. TIMES (see THE DAILY, 3/20).  The team won an
    important race yesterday with new tactician Dave Dellenbaugh.
    They need to win five of the next seven races to have a chance at
    defending the Cup.  While most of the all-female crew has "toed
    the company line so far in accepting the addition of a male
    counterpart on the boat, only time will tell whether such an
    important decision so late in an America's Cup campaign turns out
    to be fortuitous."  Writes Lloyd, "The switch was made in haste
    and apparently without the knowledge of more than a handful of
    the crew."  And Dellenbaugh's presence has "raised questions,
    including a watchful eye by corporate supporters of America3 who
    bought into sponsoring an all-female crew."  Lloyd also notes
    that "still at issue is whether the women actually pushed for the
    change, or whether it was an idea imposed upon them by male
    management" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/21).  Michael Hiestand gives America3
    owner Bill Koch a thumbs-down for his decision to add a male crew
    member: "If you're selling novelty, you should deliver" (USA
    TODAY, 3/21).  But Koch said that the sponsors of America3 are
    "at peace" with the decision: "All the sponsors that we talked
    to, including the one who had a contract that said we could not
    have a man on the boat, said they were all for the decision.  And
    they were behind it 100 percent" (WASHINGTON POST, 3/21).
    

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  • GETTING BACK TO ASICS: COMPANY TO REORGANIZE

         With sales down and employees "reeling from a layoff
    announced" late last week, execs at Asics Tiger Corp. are meeting
    today to "map out a new long-term strategy and figure out how to
    slash expenses."  The sport shoe and athletic clothing maker is
    looking to reduce spending in every phase of operation.  The
    layoffs have been a result of "sluggish sales."  Last year, Asics
    sales fell 10%, "though how many dollars that represents isn't
    clear."  The company, which disclosed sales in the early '90s,
    when it was growing at a rate of about 20% a year, now keeps
    specific sales data private.  A spokesperson would only say that
    Asics generates at least $250M in revenue a year.  Asics, like
    other athletic shoe makers, "has been hurt by the popularity of
    boots and sandals."  Asics spokesperson Lisa Brama:  "The hip-hop
    trend has gone on longer than we anticipated.  Our hope and
    belief is that athletic shoes will become fashionable again,
    particularly next year with the Olympics" (Andre Mouchard, ORANGE
    COUNTY REGISTER, 3/21).
    

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  • MARKETING THE LIPTON CHAMPIONSHIPS AND TENNIS

         From '92-94, the official poster for the Lipton
    Championships in Key Biscayne, FL "was a cross between Gone With
    the Wind and Miami Rhapsody, tasteful paintings of the 2-year-old
    Lipton Stadium and photos of palm trees and beaches.  And then
    there's the 1995 Lipton poster -- an orange fireball vaguely
    similar to the Miami Heat logo, centered on a stark black
    backdrop."  According to first year Lipton Championships CEO
    Laurence Kashdin: "This is about seeing tennis in a different
    way."  Eric Conrad of the Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL writes,
    "There is a transformation under way at the 1995 Lipton event,
    but the Lipton is just one snapshot in an industrywide response
    to depressing tennis participation and equipment-sales numbers
    served up since 1990."  How tennis can become "cool" may be the
    "biggest test" the sport has faced.  "The most striking clash of
    images at this year's Lipton Championships may be the strong
    presence" of MTV-Latino Network.  But Lipton's '95 changes go
    beyond MTV.  Roughly five acres at the tennis complex is covered
    with fan-interactive exhibits, from a large Nike play area to a
    Bacardi sand bar to games where fans can smash overhead lobs
    alongside Pete Sampras and other players.  Kashdin:  "Tennis,
    outside the Grand Slams, is not that profitable.  If we have to
    surround tennis with entertainment to validate it, that's how
    we'll validate it" (Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 3/20).
    

    Print | Tags: Miami Heat, Nike
  • MARKETPLACE ROUND-UP

         Madison Sports & Entertainment Group, a diversified sports
    and entertainment conglomerate, completed the acquisition of Ski
    Trails USA.  Ski Trails builds mobile mountains for snowboarding
    (Madison Sports)....Cowboys WR Michael Irvin is entering the
    sportswear business.  Irvin and his partners, former Cowboy
    Alfredo Roberts, Blake Davenport and designer Ricky Talkington,
    are scheduled to introduce a sportswear line, Masterpeace Ragz,
    March 31 at the Int'l Menswear Mart in Dallas (FT. WORTH STAR-
    TELEGRAM, 3/20)....Sport Supply Group Inc. said Friday its chairm
    may consider buying out the company or putting it up for sale if
    its stock price does not "improve dramatically."  Chair Michael
    Blumenfeld set a public market trading price of $26 a share to be
    reached by the end of next year.  On Friday, shares rose $2 to
    $14/share as a result of the announcement (DOW JONES NEWS)....The
    Mighty Ducks announced plans for their 2nd Annual Mighty Ducks
    FanFair charity event to be held at Disneyland for an exclusive
    private party, April 27.  All proceeds for the event will benefit
    Disney GOALS, a public charity established by Walt Disney Co. in
    '94 that seeks to create positive social alternatives for
    disadvantaged kids (Mighty Ducks)....The Buick Southern Open has
    been renamed the Buick Challenge and its purse increased from
    $800,000 to $1M.  The tournament, to be played September 28-
    October 1 at Callaway Gardens, GA, will be televised by ESPN (PGA
    Tour)....Coors announced plans to introduce George Killian's
    Irish Brown Ale on May 1.  The new ale will join Killian's Irish
    Red in establishing an "Irish family of brands" to be marketed by
    UniBev Ltd., Coors' marketing and specialty import division of
    (Coors). ....Frito-Lay is leveraging its "heavy" buy during the
    NCAA Tournament with the introduction of the Doritos/Taco Bell
    Taco Supreme.  The product is the first co-branded offering from
    the intra-PepsiCo product development partnership  (BRANDWEEK,
    3/20 issue)....Sears announced their Women's Final Four Fantasy
    promotion from March 16-26.  In conjunction with the NCAA and the
    Women's Basketball Coaches Association, Sears is hosting
    exclusive coaches appearances in select Sears stores and offering
    prizes including trips to the Women's Final Four in Minneapolis
    (Sears).
    

    Print | Tags: Anaheim Ducks, Anaheim Sports, Dallas Cowboys, ESPN, General Motors, NCAA, PepsiCo, PGA Tour, Sears, Walt Disney
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