SBD/22/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

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  • "ET" EXAMINES SPONSORS' REACTIONS TO REPLACEMENT BALL

         On last night's "Entertainment Tonight," John Tesh reported
    that baseball advertisers "are laying off the sport like an in-
    the-dirt screwball."  David Anaucci, Account Supervisor for the
    Tri-State GMC Dealers, said his company spent more than $1M on
    baseball advertising in the NYC area, but will not spend any
    money this year:  "It becomes a credibility issue."  Tesh said
    Gillette, a national sponsor since '39, is "watching with a wait
    and see attitude."  Michael Nadelberg, VP of Marketing for
    Gillette: "Our goal is to bring the Gillette message to as many
    people as possible.  If that is an empty viewership, it does not
    help us accomplish our goals."  According to Michael Jacobsen,
    Editor of SPORTING GOODS DEALER, baseball apparel sales dropped
    from $3B a year before the strike to $2B this year.  Dodgers
    announcer Vin Scully:  "Even if the attendance is off 80 percent.
    And even if commercials on radio and television is off, the
    industry will make some money, and it will survive"
    ("Entertainment Tonight," 3/21).
    

    Print | Tags: General Motors, Los Angeles Dodgers, News Corp./Fox
  • FANS IN ST. PETE MAY HAVE TO WAIT FOR THEIR DEVIL RAY GEAR

         It may be some time before fans will see a full line of
    Devil Ray products, according to this morning's ST. PETERSBURG
    TIMES.  Although Tampa-St. Pete area stores are reporting strong
    sales of hats and other merchandise, some manufacturers are
    waiting for the team to make a final decision on their name,
    between Devil and Manta Ray, which is expected to take a few more
    weeks.  Also, some are "holding off on production of baseball-
    related products" due to the strike (Lara Wozniak, ST. PETERSBURG
    TIMES, 3/22).
    

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  • LIFETIME ONLY AMERICA3 SPONSOR TO REEVALUATE COMMITMENT

         "The upheaval over adding a male crew member of Mighty
    Mary's formerly all-female America's Cup crew appears to have
    settled into business as usual," according to Barbara Lloyd in
    this morning's N.Y. TIMES.  Stephen McAvoy, a marketing manger
    for Chevrolet, said he was "impressed by the women's resolve to
    win the America's Cup": "They came here with the idea of winning
    the America's Cup, and not to be just an all-women's team, thank
    you very much."  Chuck Townsend, publisher of GLAMOUR, another
    America3 sponsor, said he thought it was smart to add someone as
    experienced as Dave Dellenbaugh, the crew's new tactician.
    Townsend: "If the women win the America's Cup, you'll find very
    few of us sponsors criticizing this thing."  However Lifetime
    Television is re-evaluating its sponsorship.  Lifetime President
    Doug McCormick: "If they win, certainly the story will be one
    that people will pay more attention to.  But I wish, frankly,
    that they could win in the original configuration that we
    discussed. ... I guess you could call it a trimming of our own
    sails as to the actual nuts and bolts of our contract" (N.Y.
    TIMES, 3/22).  Women's Sports Foundation Exec Dir Donna Lopiano:
    "I have nothing but applause for Bill Koch.  What other guy ever
    gave women that chance in the America's Cup" (USA TODAY, 3/22).
    

    Print | Tags: General Motors
  • MARKETPLACE ROUND-UP

         Lexus has announced that they will sponsor a golf tournament
    hosted by Raymond Floyd.  The $1M Lexus Challenge will feature
    golf's greatest players and celebrity stars (Lexus)....Atrigon
    Golf Inc. and Nick Price have announced that they will develop a
    line of advanced-technology golf clubs (Atrigon Golf)....ITT
    Corp. plans to sell as much as 19.9% of ITT Sheraton's franchised
    hotel operations (REUTERS/N.Y. TIMES, 3/22)....Ticket brokers in
    Beverly Hills and New York have filed lawsuits against FedEx as a
    result of Super Bowl tickets being stolen earlier this year
    (MIAMI HERALD, 3/21)....Cub Foods has agreed to become a "major
    sponsor" of the Twin Cities Marathon, offering at least $50,000
    in cash and in-kind services.  Cremette Co. extended its official
    pasta commitment for another five years, and the Northwest health
    clubs and a sports drink named XLR8 also signed on as sponsors.
    Cub Foods joins WCCO-AM and the University of MN Health System as
    "major" sponsors (Curt Brown, Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 3/21).
    

    Print | Tags: FedEx
  • MORE ANALYSIS ON TAKEOVER SPECULATION OF LABATT

         "After what's happened" lately to John Labatt Ltd., "the
    possibility of a takeover has diminished or, at the very least,
    the price tag has come down," writes Peter Hadekel of the
    Montreal GAZETTE.  The company reported this month that it took a
    3rdQ writedown of C$272M on the asset value of its investment in
    a Mexican brewery because of the peso's collapse.  Another C$110M
    could be written off in the current quarter if the peso does not
    recover.  Michael Palmer, an analyst with Equity Research
    Associations: "The takeover rumors are still out there."  But the
    company's main strategy remains a plan to sell off non-core
    holdings, including the Blue Jays, SkyDome and sports cable
    network, TSN.  There has been speculation that Labatt would like
    to sell a stake in TSN to ESPN, which is 80% owned by Cap
    Cities/ABC.  But Levesque Beaubien Geoffrion analyst Jacques
    Kavafian said there is "zero" interest in these properties and
    that TSN has "peaked in terms of its earnings power and growth
    potential."  The Jays' value is uncertain while the sport is on
    strike (Montreal GAZETTE, 3/22).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, ESPN, Labatt Brewing, Toronto Blue Jays, Walt Disney
  • ROLLER HOCKEY INT'L HAS SPONSORSHIP PACKAGES AVAILABLE

         Roller Hockey Int'l (RHI), a 20-team in-line skating hockey
    league, is set to begin its second season.  RHI COO David
    McLande: "The key this year will be our marketing.  We'd like to
    see a lot of sampling of the game because if people see it, they
    like it -- and they come back."  The league has initial
    agreements to sell sponsorship packages, including signs, ads
    during games carried on ESPN and ESPN2, patches on player
    uniforms and tickets.  Cap Cities/ABC, part owner of ESPN, owns
    an undisclosed stake in the league.  The first two of a planned
    four-six sponsorships have been sold at $400,000 each to two
    units of PepsiCo:  Pepsi-Cola and Taco Bell.  Pepsi-Cola's
    VP/Media & Entertainment Marketing Rick Rock said they were
    intrigued by the "kids playing in driveways and parking lots and
    playgrounds": "It's a grass-roots type of opportunity, and we
    like that."  EMCI, a marketing consulting company that
    specializes in entertainment promotions, is working with RHI in
    pairing sponsors with the league (Stuart Elliott, N.Y. TIMES,
    3/22).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, ESPN, PepsiCo, Walt Disney
  • THREE CONSUMER GROUPS LAUNCH CAMPAIGN AGAINST TICKETMASTER

         Three consumer groups yesterday launched a campaign to fight
    what they call "unfair ticketing practices" by ticket agencies.
    The groups seek legislation to cap service fees, force agencies
    to disclose surcharges and make sports, concerts, plays and other
    events more accessible to the public.  Maura Brueger, Exec Dir of
    Consumers Against Unfair Ticketing (CAUT):  "The entertainment-
    ticketing industry is one of the least consumer-friendly
    industries in the country, providing consumers with no choice, no
    information and unreasonable charges."  CAUT held a joint press
    conference yesterday with representatives of the U.S. Public
    Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) and the Consumer Federation
    of America.  CAUT was formed following the '94 dispute between
    Pearl Jam and Ticketmaster.  A U.S. PIRG study of 80 recent
    events nationwide said TicketMaster added an average of 27% in
    fees to ticket prices.  But Judy Black, Senior VP at
    TicketMaster, said the company's per-ticket fee averaged only
    about 12% over the last five years.  But U.S. PIRG's Bill Wood
    said TicketMaster does not include handling charges in their per-
    ticket fee percentage, which brings it to 27% (Jacqueline Gaulin,
    WASHINGTON TIMES, 3/22).
         OTHER TICKETMASTER NEWS:  According to this morning's N.Y.
    TIMES, TicketMaster is considering getting into the airline
    ticketing business.  TicketMaster CEO Fred Rosen is said to be
    considering a possible alliance with American Express for the new
    venture (N.Y. TIMES, 3/22).
    

    Print | Tags: American Express, Ticketmaster
  • WHEATIES MAY BE FEELING THEIR OATS OVER JORDAN

         Look for General Mills to "move quickly" with Michael Jordan
    promotions, writes George Lazarus of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE.
    Wheaties' sales have been "soft" in recent months, and according
    to stock analyst John McMillin, Jordan's return is "just in time"
    for the brand.  For the final quarter of '94, Wheaties retail
    sales were down 5.7% in units and 4.1% in dollar volume.
    Wheaties' market share of the $8B ready-to-eat cereal business is
    a "meager" 1.2% versus 6.5% in the late '60s.  "The brand
    obviously needs help, and perhaps" with Jordan back on the
    package, Wheaties can increase its market share.  Jordan appears
    in a current Wheaties ad "reflecting product reformulation, but
    he doesn't have top billing."  General Mills will not say, but a
    new TV ad "totally focused on Jordan and his basketball wizardry
    would appear to be in the cards."  Jordan's return to the
    Wheaties box  mark the 13th time he has been on the front panel.
    No other athlete has come close to his number of appearances on
    the Wheaties box.  In other Jordan news, Champion Products, a
    division of Sara Lee, says the company has received orders for
    more than 20,000 dozen NBA-approved Bulls No. 45 jerseys.
    Champion is the only firm authorized to produce this jersey by
    the NBA (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/21).
         STOCK WATCH:  ESPN's "NBA Today" reported that in the period
    from March 8-20, McDonald's stock was up 2 1/8, General Mills up
    2, Sara Lee up 1 1/2, Nike up 7/8, and Quaker Oats up 3/4 (ESPN,
    3/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Chicago Bulls, ESPN, McDonalds, NBA, Nike, Sara Lee, Walt Disney, Wheaties
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