SBD/6/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

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         BankAmerica Corp. is on the verge of signing Sonic forward
    Shawn Kemp, according to the current issue of BRANDWEEK.
    BankAmerica, whose institutions operate under the Bank of America
    brand in nine western states and as Seafirst in Washington, may
    incorporate Kemp into its marketing by playoff time.  Kemp will
    become a regional centerpiece for ongoing local sponsorship and
    grass roots initiatives by Seafirst (Matthew Grimm, BRANDWEEK,

    Print | Tags: Bank of America

         Beginning today, Anheuser-Busch is test-marketing Crossroads
    beer, what A-B calls a "unique wheat beer ... that promises to
    open up a distinct, new category" in the beer industry.  Just
    last week, Miller Brewing announced plans to acquire an Austin,
    TX, microbrewery whose flagship beer was a wheat brew (see THE
    DAILY, 3/2).  Crossroads is being test marketed in
    Minneapolis/St. Paul, Denver, Raleigh/Durham, Columbus, OH, and
    select FL and TX markets.  Paul Stoddart, Crossroads' senior
    brand manager: "Our goal with Crossroads is to take what has
    traditionally been a specialty-niche product and turn it into a
    more mainstream beer that has wide consumer appeal."  Crossroads
    is brewed at A-B's brewery in NH and will initially be available
    in bottles which feature a colorful compass-type graphic.
    Crossroads is being supported with a broad range of TV, radio and
    outdoor advertising (Anheuser-Busch).

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch

         NFL Properties President Sara Levinson "has called her first
    big play after six months on the job," writes Terry Lefton of
    BRANDWEEK on the hiring of Howard Handler as VP/Marketing for
    NFLP.  Handler, like Levinson, comes from MTV.  Handler's charge
    will be to "better analyze and quantify the league's diverse fan
    base and produce more integrated marketing programs."  Despite
    the fact that her first major hire came from her former employer
    and that Handler will be the youngest VP at NFLP, Levinson
    "continued to reject the notion that she was 'MTV-izing' the
    league."  Levinson:  "It's not about that MTV demographic group.
    It's about identifying an audience and targeting them"
    (BRANDWEEK, 3/6 issue).

    Print | Tags: NFL

         The Grizzlies ad account is in play following the expiration
    of a six-month contract with Vancouver's Vrlak & Company.  The
    Grizzlies' parent company, Northwest Entertainment Group, wants
    two different agencies to handle the NBA team and the Canucks.
    Given the choice, Vrlak picked the Canucks.  Vrlak also remains
    the agency for GM Place (MARKETING MAGAZINE, 2/27 issue)....While
    recent reports have noted the effect animal-rights groups were
    having on sponsorships, Beth Bragg of MCCLATCHY NEWS reports that
    with the help of small local sponsorships, the Iditarod is only
    $165,000 shy of making up for the loss of the big-time sponsors
    like Timberland, Chrysler and ABC (McCLATCHY NEWS,
    3/3)....Atlanta's advertising agencies in '94 topped the $2B mark
    in billings for the first time, making it the U.S.'s No. 9
    advertising center.  The Top 8:  New York, Chicago, L.A.,
    Detroit, San Francisco, Dallas, Minneapolis and Boston.  Several
    big Atlanta companies now use local agencies:  BellSouth, Delta,
    Wachovia, Coca-Cola, Georgia-Pacific, TBS and Holiday Inn

    Print | Tags: ABC, Coca-Cola, NBA, Canucks Sports and Entertainment, Turner Sports, Vancouver Canucks, Walt Disney

         Yesterday, Nike debuted a national TV ad featuring Magic
    guard Anfernee Hardaway.  In October Nike will launch the "Air
    Max Penny" shoe, retail price:  $135.  The company will also roll
    out Hardaway T-shirts and caps bearing a Penny logo approved by
    Hardaway and his agents.  AD AGE's Jeff Jensen on Nike's
    marketing campaign for Hardaway: "This marks a declaration by
    Nike as to who will be their basketball standard bearers for the
    future, and Anfernee Hardaway will be one.  Chris Webber will be
    the other."  Kevin Poston, one of Hardaway's agents points out
    that Nike is looking for a new generation of players and "Penny's
    their man" (Rene Stutzman, ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/4).
         L.A. GEAR:  At least two lawsuits have been filed in DE by
    shareholders seeking to block the planned acquisition of Ryka
    Inc., the MA-based maker of women's athletic shoes, by L.A. Gear.
    According to one lawsuit, the sale of Ryka benefits the company's
    president Sheri Poe at the expense of shareholders.  In return
    for a 5-year compensation package valued at more than $1.3M, Poe
    sold Ryka to L.A. Gear at too low a price, the suit claims.  Poe,
    in a statement: "The company intends to move forward with the
    merger, which the board of directors believes is in the best
    interests of the company and its shareholders.  We believe that
    the suits opposing the merger are without merit and intend to
    vigorously defend these actions."  The second lawsuit claims that
    Poe "made no effort whatsoever to maximize shareholder value"
    (Chris Reidy, BOSTON GLOBE, 3/4).
         REEBOK:  Reebok Int'l breaks a yearlong TV and print
    campaign this week to support its women's sports and fitness
    business, continuing the "There is an athlete in all of us"
    tagline introduced last year.  Created by Leo Burnett USA,
    Chicago, the campaign includes three TV ads.  Nancy Kerrigan is
    not featured, but a Reebok spokesperson said she remains a Reebok
    endorser (ADVERTISING AGE, 3/6 issue).
         OLD IS NEW:  In the "ever-fickle athletic-shoe market, has-
    been sneakers are the trend," writes Geoffrey Smith in the
    current issue of BUSINESS WEEK.  Converse, Adidas and Puma all
    had shoes designed in the '60s and '70s that sold well in '94.
    But footwear marketers say the "retro look, like all fads, is
    destined to fade."  However, sales of traditional sneakers, which
    sagged in '93, rebounded by 4% last year, "bolstered mainly by
    classic, no-frills styles."  While 4% is "hardly a blowout, the
    growth came as a big surprise."  Not surprisingly, "Generation
    Xers are driving the retro trend."  Converse ran all of its ads
    for its throwback looks in magazines like THRASHER, DIRT and
    other trendy youth periodicals (BUSINESS WEEK, 3/13 issue).
         AVIA:  Key new products for Avia in '95 include the Scorpion
    crosstrainer shoe for men and the Step Channel aerobics shoe for
    women.  The company will also expand its apparel line with the
    women's crosstraining line and a fleece and jersey active wear
    line.  The company's print ad campaign will be featured in
    People, SI, Men's Journal, Glamour, Shape, Men's Fitness and
    Runner's World (Avia).

    Print | Tags: Converse, Nike, Orlando Magic, Puma, Reebok, Sports Illustrated, Washington Nationals

         New York-based Hot Wear, makers of Hot Hand -- a basketball
    glove that supposedly helps ball handling -- is trying to push
    the NBA to allow its players to wear the glove.  Hot Wear has
    signed with Puerto Rico's basketball governing body, and the
    company is working on the Pan American Basketball Confederation.
    If teams wear the Hot Hand during the '96 Olympics, Hot Wear
    President Mark Mirken hopes the NBA and NCAA will allow players
    to wear the glove during games which in turn will boost sales.
    Hot Hand has an NBA license and produces gloves with NBA team
    colors and logos, but as BUSINESS WEEK's Carl Desens notes, the
    company could lose its license if sales do not bring the NBA
    enough royalties (BUSINESS WEEK, 3/13 issue).

    Print | Tags: NBA, NCAA
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