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Hakeem Olajuwon's new deal with Spaulding is analyzed in the current issue of INSIDE SPORTS. Olajuwon could have signed a lucrative deal with high-profile companies Reebok and Nike, but "opted to help design a line" with Spaulding that would cost less than $50/pair. Spaulding is "not a big player in the realm of high priced hi-tops but the dominant maker in the mass market -- outlets such as Kmart and Target -- where America buys 38% of its athletic shoes." The Olajuwon line will be in stores this fall and be priced between $35-$45. But "rival shoe companies no doubt will snicker over" Olajuwon's venture. Nike PR Manager Tom Feuer: "I doubt very much that Olajuwon's shoes have a Nike kind of workmanship." But INSIDE SPORTS' Alex Hecht calls it "a wise business decision" for Olajuwon. He gets a "financially comparable" deal, when "there is no denying that his thick Nigerian accent has hindered his overall commercial viability." And because of the mass marketing, price "will be the driving force" (INSIDE SPORTS, 6/95).
Boston Beer Co., which produces Samuel Adams beer, has chosen Weiden & Kennedy to provide creative work for their ad campaign (Portland OREGONIAN, 5/3)....Chevrolet will build on its America3 sponsorship as title sponsor of the Chevrolet Stadium Sailing National Finals in San Diego on May 13. The event, a miniature version of the America's Cup, has sixteen regional qualifiers competing for the top prize (Chevrolet)....14-year old Joel Lemmon will host Grant Hill during a visit to Finley Junior High School in Hungington, NY. Lemmon was a winner of the "SkyBox Visit My School Sweepstakes," a component of the NBA's Stay in School Program (NBA)....Bruce Herman, who writes the player notes forfor Topps baseball cards, is profiled in this morning's WASHINGTON POST. Herman: "We just would not write anything negative about a player. These cards are not supposed to be Sports Illustrated" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/4)....Miller Brewing has formed an alliance with Costa Rica's Cerveceria Americana SA to further its reach in to Latin America (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/4).
PacifiCorp CEO Frederick Buckman was introduced Tuesday as President of World Masters Games 1998 Inc., a new non-profit company organizing the games, which will be held in Portland, OR. In return for paying $500,000 to Masters Games organizers while Portland was in competition with Durban, South Africa, to host the Games, Nike received the rights to be name sponsor of the '98 Games. Open to competitors 30 years old and up, the Masters Games will enable Nike to reach an important demographic for the company, according to Nike Int'l Marketing Dir Steve Miller. The package also gives Nike the option for name sponsorship of the 2002 Games. Other significant backers for the event include Portland law firm Stoel Rives Boley Jones & Grey and US West. Even though the inaugural '86 World Masters Games in Toronto and the '90 Games in Copenhagen were not financially successful, organizers are optimistic about the '98 games and Nike's involvement. Portland Metropolitan Sports Authority Exec Dir Craig Honeyman: "We put together a very professional bid package. But the bottom line is, without Nike, we couldn't have been competitive with Durban" (Jeff Manning, Portland OREGONIAN, 5/3). KI-JANA'S NIKE KINGDOM? Following his representation deal with Nike Sports Management (see THE DAILY, 5/2), the NFL's No. 1 draft pick, Ki-Jana Carter, has signed a sponsorship deal with Nike. Although a marketing strategy is in the planning stages, Nike spokesperson Tom Feuer said a TV campaign "has a good chance of happening." Feuer: "It's unprecedented that a player just drafted would even be talked about for a TV spot so soon. ... There are just ideas going around, but we'd like to get across that he's a high-quality person" (Geoff Hobson, CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 5/4). SIR CHARLES ON NIKE: In the current issue of SPORT magazine, Charles Barkley speaks on his relationship with Nike. On the "role model" and P.L.A.Y. campaigns: "I wanted to do something about the drive-by shooting, and I wanted to do the role model thing. Nike just had the courage to do them." Asked if he thought Nike would help him if he were to enter politics: "I think they would help me. I'm not a slave to them ... I'd want to be able to go back to them in the future and say, 'Hey, listen, I'm trying to accomplish something here. Help me out" (SPORT, 6/95).
The WTA has hired David Fechtman as the tour's first-ever VP of Marketing and Communications. The hiring comes as part of the Tour's worldwide expansion and will provide the "first opportunity to market women's tennis under the unified banner of the WTA Tour," according to WTA Tour CEO Anne Person-Worcester. Worcester told THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY that Fechtman's responsibilities will include the development of a comprehensive global marketing and communications plan that will include tour licencing, merchandising, endorsements, broadcast, publishing, public relations promotions and advertising. Worcester: "The new position is vitally important to all of our marketing plans." Worcester said the WTA's comprehensive plan will mark "a series of firsts": "In terms of women's tennis, we're launching the first-ever licensing and merchandising program, the first-ever centralized TV package and the first-ever tour-wide endorsement program" (THE DAILY). Fechtman's experience includes positions in marketing, broadcast and operations with World Cup '94, the ITF, ATP, the Grand Slam Cup and Hakuhodo Advertising (WTA TOUR).