SBD/14/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

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         In an effort to "streamline costs," Avia Group Int'l laid
    off about 10% of its 225 employees companywide.  Avia
    spokesperson Carey Burns: "This is part of our long-term strategy
    to remain efficient and focused."  The cutbacks came as no
    surprise to analysts who said Avia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of
    Reebok, is following the philosophy of its parent company.
    Reebok has been "pushing its divisions to trim overhead and
    bolster margins."  Jennifer Black Groves, an analyst at Black &
    Co. in Portland, OR:  "Avia has done a great job at improving
    their sales, but their margins aren't as good as other divisions
    in Reebok."  Avia has undergone a "serious makeover in the past
    two years, restructuring its management team and streamlining its
    product" (Christine Gonzalez, Portland OREGONIAN, 4/13).

    Print | Tags: Reebok

         The Holiday Bowl will begin a three-year association with
    Plymouth, the game's new title sponsor.  The Plymouth Holiday
    Bowl will be played in Jack Murphy Stadium on December 29 and be
    televised by ESPN, as the new deal includes a three-year
    agreement with ESPN.  Dean Bonham, President of The Bonham Group
    of Denver, negotiated the contract with Plymouth.  The alliance
    continues the bowl's relationship with Chrysler Corporation which
    began in 1991 when Thrifty Car Rental became title sponsor.
    Thrifty is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chrysler (Holiday Bowl).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Walt Disney

         The labor problems in sports and its own restructuring "took
    a toll" on Score Board Inc.  The sports memorabilia company
    yesterday "reported a dismal fourth quarter and an equally
    unsatisfying fiscal year."  Score Board CEO Ken Goldin:  "Our
    disappointing fiscal 1995 financial results masked much of the
    internal progress we achieved.  With our overhead structure
    reduced substantially, improved profit margins, reduced inventory
    levels and the resumption of he baseball and hockey seasons, the
    company is now positioned for a return to profitability."
    Another cause for optimism, according to Jane Von Bergen of the
    PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, is that one of Score Board's chief
    competitors, Upper Deck Co., shut down its autographed sports-
    memorabilia business.  Score Board attributed its 4thQ loss to
    its withdrawal from entertainment and minor-league product
    categories and sports labor strife (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 4/14).

    Print | Tags: Upper Deck

         John Raybin, Exec Producer and host of The Sports
    Collectors' Radio Show Network, has established Raybin
    Communications, a new communications consulting agency.  Based in
    New York, the firm specializes in advising the collectibles
    industry in public relations efforts (Raybin).
    ....Ticketmaster and Viacom's MTV Networks Inc. are planning to
    expand a joint marketing venture to sell concert tickets and
    merchandise directly to viewers of both MTV and VH-1.  While
    Ticketmaster may launch its own channel to promote such sales,
    according to President Fredric Rosen, they will continue to host
    as many as four shows on VH-1 to sell concert tickets this year
    (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/14).... Coors is testing a new beer that
    is both low in calories and alcohol content.  The company will
    begin test marketing the product in San Diego, Pittsburgh and
    Baltimore.  The new offering is similar to Anheuser Light, a 75-
    calorie brand that Anheuser-Busch began testing two weeks ago in
    several markets (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/14).

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Ticketmaster, Viacom

         The NHL unveiled the "Mike the Minuteman" logo for the 46th
    NHL All-Star Game in Boston, scheduled for January 20, 1996.  The
    logo is a colonial Minuteman on skates taking a slapshot.  In the
    backdrop is a star, with "Boston 1996" written along the
    encompassing circle.  David Haney, NHL Dir of Creative Services:
    "The 'Mike the Minuteman' logo illustrates both the heritage and
    future of the city of Boston.  It is presented in the
    contemporary style to reflect the new FleetCenter, while blending
    in elements of the Bruins' insignia" (NHL THIS WEEK, 4/16 issue).

    Print | Tags: Boston Bruins, NHL

         The NBA's expansion Raptors unveiled their secondary logo
    yesterday.  The new logo, called "biting Raptors," features a
    baby Raptor wrapped around a basketball.  The Raptor figure is
    depicted in the team's official Raptor Red color with black and
    purple trim.  Official NBA licensees will begin shipping products
    bearing the new mark in early April.  David Strickland, Raptors
    Dir of Consumer Products: "It will be a great compliment to our
    team logo and a more collegiate look compared to the TR secondary
    logo released just two months ago."  This new secondary logo is
    expected to appear on the team warm-up suits that are worn during
    the pre-game shoot-arounds and while on the bench.  The Raptors
    have ranked seventh out of the 29 NBA teams in merchandise sales
    the last two quarters (Raptors).
         MINI-SERIES:  Northern Sky Entertainment, a Toronto-based TV
    sports production company, has been contracted by the team to
    produce two specials about the Raptors.  "Fresh Paint," a 60-
    minute pre-NBA draft special, will be broadcast on Toronto's
    CityTV and CKVR on Monday, June 26, two nights before the NBA
    Draft.  The second special will be a 90-minute feature about what
    it took to get the team on the court.  That special is scheduled
    to air in early November on the night before the Raptors' first
    game (Raptors).

    Print | Tags: Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NBA, Toronto Raptors
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