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STRONG OPEN HAS TENNIS SPONSORS AND ADVERTISERS BACK
Published August 30, 1995
The strength of the men's and women's field at the U.S. Open -- especially "endorsement darlings" Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, and Monica Seles -- is "helping tennis score on Madison Avenue," according to Melanie Wells of USA TODAY. Both Agassi and Sampras appear in ads for Nike and the USTA while Nike has bought space on 200 subway cars running between Manhattan and Flushing Meadows for posters of the duo. Nike is hoping to premiere their new ad featuring Monica Seles this weekend. In addition, Agassi with be featured in a new TV spot for Canon cameras from Grey Advertising. Seles' comeback this year "helped cable TV's USA Network attract advertisers," according to USA Network spokesperson Dan Martinsen. New advertisers, who are paying an average of $15,000 for a 30-second spot include Xerox, General Motors, Fuji Photo Film, and Tambrands. USA's ratings were up 50% vs. the first night in '94 with Seles back (Melanie Wells, USA TODAY, 8/30). CBS commentator Mary Carillo: "The ratings are totally personality-driven. Tennis is interesting when the top players are interesting" (Michael Hiestand, USA TODAY, 8/30). FROM TENNIS TO FITNESS: Tennis Corp. of America recorded record revenues of nearly $60M last year by acquiring "troubled properties for a fraction of their replacement cost, then recasting them with a tennis-rich formula," according to CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS. Now, Tennis Corp. is changing its name to The Club Authority and "adding exercise equipment, swimming pools, and basketball courts." Founder & Chair Alan Schwartz: "We haven't lost our enthusiasm or confidence in tennis, but we have to keep up with the times." Schwartz, who sees a growing trend of hospitals building health and fitness centers, has now partnered with a hospital in upstate New York to build a 33,000 square-foot health club and physical therapy center (H. Lee Murphy, CRAINS CHICAGO BUSINESS, 8/21 issue).