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GA Attorney General Michael Bowers said the multimillion- dollar sponsorship deal between McDonald's and the Georgia Tech Athletic Association violates the state constitution. Whether the "unique deal" -- including $5.5M from McDonald's to complete financing for the renovation of Alexander Memorial Coliseum -- "can be salvaged remains to be seen." Even though the association is a private entity, Ballard said that because it rents athletic facilities from the state Board of Regents, the state constitution "comes into play." Ballard said he would be willing to work with Tech and McDonald's to see if a new can be worked out. The coliseum will be the site of Olympic boxing in '96, but renovation could be thrown off if a deal is not approved soon (Henry Unger, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/3).
In this month's SPORT magazine, Larry Johnson criticized how Converse handled his injury problems. Johnson said Converse has "kind of [written] me off a little bit": "At first, when [Grandmama] first came out, Converse and I did a whole lot of commercials. But after a year or two because of my back injury, we haven't. I'm gonna take a shot at Converse. ... You print that. I'm taking a shot at them. It's a business. Hey, we're playing a game. I look at it from their point of view. Those guys are trying to sell shoes. ... So if I ain't out there playing, those guys ain't gonna sell their tennis shoes and make no money. It's really no hard feelings. But I do want them to know that I am an elephant. ... I don't forget" (SPORT, 3/95 issue).
Oldsmobile has been named the "Official Car" of the Int'l Motorsports Association for the '95 season. This is Oldsmobile's second year as an IMSA sponsor. Oldsmobile will provide advertising for IMSA's TV package, ARROW Magazine, IMSA Yearbook and souvenir programs as well as promotional support at select IMSA races (IMSA)....In its annual report, released yesterday, Coca-Cola reported that spending on advertising is up 16% over last year, $182M, to more than $1.3B (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/3)....Beginning Sunday, Burger King will air three 15-second teaser ads promoting its new ad campaign comparing Burger King burgers with burgers from other fast-food chains (USA TODAY, 3/3). ....Blue Cross and Blue Shield assigned its national advertising to Foote, Cone & Belding Chicago, which will be working on a $13M account. That could increase next year with BC/BS sponsoring the Olympics (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/3). ..."Today's" Willard Scott promo-ed the Bryant Gumbel/United Negro College Fund charity golf tournament during all of his remote weather segments this morning. During one sement, Scott interviewed Disney Exec VP Al Weiss who also plugged other Disney golf tournaments, one on the PGA Tour sponsored by Oldsmobile and another on the LPGA Tour (NBC, 3/3).
MLB, MLBPA and their six trading card licensees (Fleer, Donruss, Pinnacle, Upper Deck, Topps and Pacific, announced their collaboration to produce a trading card set, National Packtime, featuring 18 of today's "greatest" baseball players. To receive the card set, collectors must mail any combination of 28 wrappers from '95 MLB card products manufactured by one of the six companies (MLB/MLBPA). AND REPLACEMENT CARDS? According to some of the nation's largest manufacturers of baseball cards, there is a possibility that replacement baseball cards could be produced. Fleer Dir of Hobby Relations Ted Taylor: "We're thinking about it right now. We may be the only company with the guts to say that. We don't want to do it. But if Memorial Day rolls around and the replacement players are the big-league players we're seeing, ... we're going to produce something." However, officials at Pinnacle Brands have "rejected the idea outright." Upper Deck spokesperson Rich Bradley said no decision has been made at his company, but noted that someone probably will try and produce replacement cards (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/3).