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Gillette spokesperson Eric Kraus thinks the "purity of purpose" the previously all-female America3 crew "is now more than slightly contaminated" with the addition of tactician Dave Dellenbaugh. Kraus: "We went with America3 because we felt the team embodied the spirit of the Dry Idea brand. For us, whether the team won or lost wasn't as appealing as an all-woman crew" (L.A. TIMES, 3/24).
Curtis Management Group, which markets and protects over 200 of "America's best-known, best-loved names," including Babe Ruth, will manage the image and likeness of Secretariat (Rubenstein Associates)....Topps has established an office in Canada to handle direct distribution to Canadian retailers and hobby accounts (Topps)....SunTrust Banks Inc. has introduced a MasterCard credit card bearing the brand of the PGA Tour. The Tour Card is available to members of PGA Tour Partners. Depending on use, consumers can use earned points toward golf merchandise (COLUMBUS, GA, LEDGER-ENQUIRER, 3/23)....AD WEEK ranks and grades the top 21 ad agencies, as determined by billings: Bates (C+), BBDO (B+), Chiat/Day (A-), DDB Needham (B- ), Bozell (A-), Campbell Mithun Esty (C+), D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles (C), Foote, Cone & Belding (B), Grey (B-), Ketchum (C), Ogilvy & Mather (B+), Saatchi & Saatchi (B-), Lintas USA (B-), McCann-Erickson (B), J. Walter Thompson (B), Young & Rubicam (B- ), N.W. Ayer & Partners (B-), Leo Burnett (B), Lowe & Partners/ SMS (C+), Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer (B+), Wells Rich Greene/BDDP (C+) (AD WEEK, 3/20 issue).... McDonald's announced that they expect to add 350 stores in Europe in '95 (BLOOMBERG/L.A. TIMES, 3/24).... Coca-Cola Chair Roberto Goizueta told stock analysts that he expects the company to report worldwide case volume growth of 9-10% in the 1stQ -- "a shade higher than what analysts had been expecting" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/24)....Wheaties unveiled a commemorative box featuring Celtics President Red Auerbach with Larry Bird, Bob Cousy, K.C. Jones, John Havlicek and Jo Jo White....The Sports Authority hopes to open its first Boston outlet in the old Sears Building, a block from Fenway Park (BOSTON HERALD, 3/24).
FROM ERNIE SAXTON: Pontiac will become the official car of the Nat'l Hot Rod Association....One of the "hottest" items available to racing fans is the new BNOX, low-priced compact binoculars. The BNOX NASCAR model is available at NASCAR Winston Cup events for less than $20....Coca-Cola USA will be an associate sponsor of the Rickey Hendrick-owned Dupont #24 NASCAR Winston Cup car driven by Jeff Gordon. Coca-Cola will have their logo on the trunk lid and on Gordon's uniform....According to Sears VP/Sales Bill Clarke, Sears Auto Centers, through its DieHard brand, is expanding its motorsports programs in '95. In addition to its current sponsorship of the NASCAR DieHard at Talladega SuperSpeedway and the $50,000 DieHard Race Award, Sears will provide full sponsorship of a Sears DieHard Racing Team's pick-up in the NASCAR Super Truck Series by Craftsman and sponsor the Sears Auto Centers Motorsports weekend in Milwaukee (ERNIE SAXTON'S MOTORSPORTS SPONSORSHIP MARKETING NEWS). OTHER NEWS: Hilton Oil Corp., through its T-PLUS brand, is co-sponsoring the Kranefuss/Haas Racing Team car #37 driven by John Andretti on the NASCAR Winston Cup circuit (Hilton Oil)....NASCAR announced that Champion Spark Plug's Champion Truck Plug will become the Official Spark Plug of the NASCAR SuperTruck Series by Craftsman (NASCAR).
Nike has outfitted Bullets forward Chris Webber with his own model of basketball shoe. Webber joins Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Penny Hardaway and Sheryl Swoopes as basketball players with their own custom Nike models. The Air Max CW was designed with the help of Webber, and will retail for $140. He began wearing the shoe this week, but it will not be available in retail outlets until June 1 (Richard Justice, WASHINGTON POST, 3/24). Webber is also the latest Nike athlete to be featured on a building-sized urban mural. In downtown Detroit, Webber is shown dunking in his Michigan uniform, with the words, "Before Washington. Before Michigan. There was St. Cecilia's." Nike has contracted seven other giant paintings, including: Deion Sanders in Atlanta, Rod Strickland in Portland, Ken Griffey Jr. in Seattle, Scottie Pippen in Chicago and Steve Young and Jerry Rice in San Francisco (WASHINGTON POST, 3/24). HAPPY HOLIDAYS FOR NIKE: Nike has made a line of Michael Jordan apparel "a central component" of its 1995 holiday merchandise (Portland OREGONIAN, 3/24). ABC's "Day One" examined the Jordan phenomenon. Ad exec Jerry Della Femina: "Michael Jordan really is an industry, he's a country, he's a state of mind" (ABC, 3/23)