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  • CURTIS MANAGEMENT'S ROESLER "GUARDIAN OF THE DEAD?"

         Curtis Management CEO Mark Roesler is profiled in the
    "Entrepreneur" section in the current BUSINESS WEEK.  Roesler
    "has emerged as the enfant terrible of a growing global niche
    market -- enforcing exclusive merchandising rights on the use of
    dead legends in ads and promotions."  The sport personalities
    Roesler handles include Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Vince Lombardi and
    Joe Louis.  Before signing with Roesler, Julia Ruth Stevens, the
    77-year old daughter of the Babe, never made any money off her
    father's name.  In '95, the 100th anniversary of Ruth's birth,
    his estate will earn close to $1M, of which Roesler will keep
    40%-50%.  With his business going global, Roesler is in the
    process of changing the company name to CMC Worldwide.  With a
    network of 35,000 contacts, and a "state-of-the-art computer
    system, he's raising an international ruckus, particularly in
    Asia, where intellectual property rights aren't well defended"
    (Douglas Harbrecht, BUSINESS WEEK, 5/8 issue).
    

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  • IN-LINE STOCK A TOUGH PICK FOR INVESTORS

         Although in-line skating "is one of the fastest growing
    sports," it is "not an easy play for investors," according to
    this morning's N.Y. TIMES.  Rollerblade, the industry market
    leader, is a private company, but Minneapolis-based First Team
    Sports "offers nearly a pure play in skate, but raises this
    question:  Is there more room for its stock to appreciate?"
    First Team has about 14% of the market, and analysts who
    recommend the company's stock say it is in a good position to
    "continue to benefit from skating's popularity."  First Team
    shares reached a high of $26 six weeks ago, on sales of more than
    $85.5M.  Mark Leslie, a leisure and entertainment analyst for
    Dain Bosworth, a Minneapolis brokerage firm, believes the company
    will see 30% sales growth to $108M (Andrea Adelson, N.Y. TIMES,
    5/1).
         NIHA SIGNS UP A PAIR: The National In-Line Hockey
    Association (NIHA) announced that Houston-based Oshman's Sports
    Goods and Supersports USA have become members of the NIHA
    Preferred Retailer Program.  NIHA also signed a sponsorship
    agreement with stick manufacturer Power-Flite Corp.  The
    agreement will allow Power-Flite to promote their aluminum sticks
    at the NIHA league level (NIHA).
    

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  • L.A. GEAR OUT OF RYKA DEAL; WHERE DOES IT LEAVE BOTH?

         L.A. Gear "walked away" from a proposed merger with women's
    shoe maker Ryka, "blaming the company's expected losses in the
    first two quarters of this year," according to the BOSTON GLOBE.
    Some analysts saw the move signaling "the beginning of the end of
    Ryka."  Ryka Founder Sheri Poe, while "disappointed the merger
    didn't work," expressed "hope the company could be saved" by
    other parties.  L.A. Gear had offered $16.4M in cash and stocks,
    but many workers at Ryka were "relieved the deal was off" as they
    didn't want to move to CA.  In addition, Ryka "workers have
    become increasingly resentful toward Poe, whom they blame for
    poor management" (Tina Cassidy, BOSTON GLOBE, 4/29).  Poe said
    that without a new investor or "cash infusion" the company can
    only remain in business for about two more months (Pereir & King,
    WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/1).  L.A. Gear's efforts to "rebuild its
    women's business suffered a setback" with the collapse of the
    deal.  Although the company has lost money in each of the last
    four years, L.A. Gear President William Benford "is optimistic"
    that sales of the women's line will improve.  L.A. Gear was "hurt
    by a foray" into men's athletic shoes.  That strategy ended with
    a refocus on women's and children's shoes.  SPORTING GOODS
    INTELLIGENCE Publisher John Horan: "Competing against Nike and
    Reebok is pretty difficult to do.  They see in women's fashion,
    in Valley-girl type shoes, much more opportunity" (Denise
    Gellene, L.A. TIMES, 4/29).
         TEVAS FOR SALE?  The growth of Deckers Outdoor (DECK) has
    been due in large part to their Teva sports sandal, examined in
    this week's BUSINESS WEEK.  Revenues will jump to $105M this
    year, from $85M in '94, and one New York money manager speculates
    if Deckers "sustains its fast growth," either Nike or Reebok "may
    gobble it up as a quick way to step into sandals" (Gene Marcial,
    BUSINESS WEEK, 5/8 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: Nike, Reebok
  • MARKETPLACE ROUND-UP

         The Orioles started the season 0-3, before winning on
    Saturday and Sunday with their new gray caps.  Baltimore's SUN
    Ken Rosenthal:  "The trend starts here.  Gray power" (Baltimore
    SUN, 4/30)....In Denver, local stars Mike Pritchard, Bruce
    Ruffin, Brian Fisher, Mike Croel, Steve Sewell, Mike Horan, Steve
    Kelly, Mark Wiebe and Jay Humpries are investors in Stars Sports
    Garden, a sports bar near Coors Field (Stars Sports
    Garden)....Coors moves into national distribution of its Zima
    Gold, an amber-colored beverage that has been test-marketed in
    Tucson and Omaha (George Lazarus, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/1)....Eagle
    Snacks has targeted their latest promotional campaign toward
    males 18-34, particularly basketball and baseball fans.  The
    baseball focus will be on Eagle Ballpark Style Peanuts, with a
    tie-in to Upper Deck cards (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 5/1).....
    America West, with nine straight profitable quarters after
    emerging from Chapter 11 protection last August, is profiled in
    this morning's USA TODAY.  America West executives say their
    "comeback is real" (USA TODAY, 5/1).
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Dallas Stars, Southwest Sports Group, Upper Deck
  • NFL PROPERTIES AND NBC SPORTS PARTNER IN WATCH AND WIN

         NFL Properties and NBC Sports have kicked off a partnership
    to support the NFL's annual freestanding insert program,
    according to INSIDE MEDIA.  The partnership "will benefit from a
    'Watch and Win' promotional overlay" on NBC's NFL Live pregame
    show.  NBC's tie-in with America's Favorites, a Sunday paper
    insert scheduled to be delivered to 47 million homes on October
    1, will ask viewers to watch "NFL Live" to see if they have the
    winning symbol.  The winner will receive a trip for six to Super
    Bowl XXX.  NBC will begin backing the promotion with on-air
    announcements starting September 17, and NFL Properties will
    "develop a trade marketing campaign, featuring ad and display
    contests, point-of-sale materials, ticket and entertainment
    packages and custom trade brochures" (INSIDE MEDIA, 4/29).
    "Watch and Win" is part of a two-year agreement between the NFL
    and NBC, "which beat out fellow NFL broadcaster TNT in securing
    promotional partnership" (Terry Lefton, BRANDWEEK, 5/1).
    

    Print | Tags: NBC, NFL, TBS/TNT
  • OGDEN'S FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS DECLINE

         Ogden Corp. reported net income for the three months ended
    March 31 of $12.3M, down from $13.8M for the same period in '94.
    Ogden President & CEO Richard Ablon cited the "late start" of the
    baseball and hockey seasons as one reason.  With both sports now
    playing, Ogden said they expect earnings to show "significant
    improvement in the third and fourth quarters of this year"
    (Ogden).
    

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  • RAPTORS/GRIZZLIES LOGOS HOT; T-WOLVES NEXT FOR A NEW LOOK?

         The successful logos of the Grizzlies and Raptors are
    examined this morning by Solange De Santis in the WALL STREET
    JOURNAL.  "History suggests" that once the teams start playing,
    sales will slow, but the two Canadian teams "may be a special
    case" as Canada's popularity as a tourist destination could keep
    sales high.  De Santis notes that other NBA teams wants to cash
    in on the merchandise wave, and the Timberwolves may change their
    logo to increase sales (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/1).
    

    Print | Tags: Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, Toronto Raptors
  • SNICKERS CONTINUES SUPPORT OF SOCCER WITH WORLD CUP '98 DEAL

         Snickers has signed an agreement with FIFA to be the
    "Official Snackfood Sponsor" of the '98 World Cup in France.
    Last year, Snickers was a World Cup USA official sponsor.
    Marlene Machut, a spokesperson for Snickers' parent company,
    M&M/Mars, said that signing up for the next World Cup renews
    their "commitment to soccer."  Snickers' soccer presence includes
    a 20-year commitment to the U.S. Youth Soccer National
    Championships, sponsorship of the Women's World Championships in
    Sweden, the FIFA World Championships in Qatar, the '96 European
    Soccer Championships in England, and the Under-17 World
    Championships in Ecuador (World Cup).
    

    Print | Tags: M&M/Mars
  • THE RUCKUS CAUSING ONE IN ATLANTA WITH ADVERTISING

         The ad campaign of the Atlanta Ruckus, of the new soccer A-
    League, is examined by the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION.  The Ruckus
    began running commercials on Atlanta radio "bashing baseball for
    its crybaby players and prima-donna owners," and their next ad
    will have a "jab" at the Falcons.  The ad campaign was created by
    Joe Babbitt of Atlanta-based agency, 360.  One of the radio spots
    begins with a "kid-of-the-future" asking his dad about a stick he
    found in a garage.  The father explains the stick is a bat, "used
    long ago in a once-popular game called baseball."  The kid:  "If
    baseball was so popular dad, how come I never heard of it?"
    Father:  "That is the crazy part.  The players and owners made
    billions of dollars, but it wasn't enough.  So the players went
    on strike, and the fans went away, and baseball did, too."
    Another ad: "Players and owners, while you were away, fans
    discovered a new pastime.  No crybaby players, no prima-donna
    owners. ... Ruckus soccer, it's the pastime of the future" (Tim
    Tucker, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/27).
    

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Falcons
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