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The "hoopla" over Cal Ripken breaking Lou Gehrig's streak for consecutive games played is "also renewing interest" in Gehrig, according to Stuart Elliot in today's N.Y. TIMES. Darci Ross, Senior VP/Sports Division for CMG Worldwide, who has Gehrig's licensing rights and works for his estate, calls it a "win-win situation." CMG Worldwide is developing Ripken-Gehrig projects for companies such as Nike, who will hand out trading cards during the record-breaking game September 6. CMG Worldwide is also working with the Tufton Group, which represents Ripken. George Pollack, executor of the Eleanor Gehrig estate, said that annual gross royalties for licensing of Gehrig's likeness, which ranged from $4,000-30,000 before Ripken closed in on the record, now exceed $100,000 (N.Y. TIMES, 9/1). MOO: The Mid-Atlantic Milk Marketing Assoc. will have billboards congratulating their spokesperson, Ripken, as he approaches The Streak. One billboard unveiled today will show a field of cows with the message: "Good luck, Cal, from the guys in the field" (AD WEEK, 8/28 issue). HE'S EVERYWHERE: TriStar Pictures has named Ripken as a technical consultant for their upcoming project called "The Fan." The story is about a sports fanatic who stalks his favorite player when the athlete falls into a career slump. Producer Wendy Finerman: "Cal's incredible career makes him uniquely suited to advise us on the rigors and pressures faced by today's star athletes" (AD AGE ONLINE, 9/1).
NFL Properties President Sara Levinson on the state of the league: "We have labor rest. If I were a sponsor, I'd be reluctant to put all my eggs in any sport where there might not be a season." ... Gallo Wine runs "its first national sports promotion," when it plugs Bartles & Jaymes wine coolers with the NFL (USA TODAY, 9/1)....THE SPORTING NEWS gives "High Fives" to three teams: The Orioles and Phillies for raising money to fight neuromuscular disease's, including Lou Gehrig's disease, and Abe Pollin for planning to change the name of the Bullets (TSN, 9/4 issue).....A set of t-shirts spotted at the Winston Cup race in Bristol, TN: "Keep the Government out of Racing." Driver Rusty Wallace: "One thing they better realize [is] they're messing with some real firecrackers down here. These people are opinionated, and they're tired of people screwing with them" (AP/DETROIT NEWS, 9/1)....USA TODAY's "Ad Track" features Coors Lights Rocky Mountain themed ads. The results show that Coors "is doing a good job reaching its target audience while delivering a likeable, effective campaign." Coors is the No. 3 beer-maker in the U.S. with 10% of the market (USA TODAY, 9/1)....Disney Chair Michael Eisner and Anaheim Mayor Tom Daly will dedicate a new dual ice facility on Wednesday. in an on-ice ceremony with Mighty Ducks players. Disney ICE will be the new training facility for the Ducks (Mighty Ducks)....Florida Citrus Sports has named Frailey and Wilson to handle all advertising and promotion for the '96 Olympic soccer events in Orlando. The account is estimated at $350,000 (AD WEEK, 8/28)....In a recent ad for Playoff Trading Cards, the BRSG agency in Houston "agreed the best way to sell the set was to show what the cards were truly made of." The .30 second ad shown nationally on Prime shows close-ups of parts of a pig's anatomy with the voiceover: 'The training is over. You'll do what was once thought impossible. ... You will go where no pig has gone before.' The spot then has quick shots of a pig running across the football field with the voiceover: "Pigskin Previews. The only football cards made of real leather" (AD WEEK, 8/28). ....Sports Systems Services Inc. announced their TeamFax service will provide pre- game packages written and prepared by the athletic departments of participating schools. Call 1-800-210-TEAM to subscribe (Sports Systems Services).
Coverage of the multi-million Nike deal to outfit the Univ. of Michigan has renewed since the football team debuted the Nike swoosh on their jerseys. Since the deal was announced last October, UM's Athletic Dept said they have received only one complaint. Bruce Madej, spokesperson for UM's Athletic Department: "All I can say is it was a way to get all of our sports under one umbrella." But James Tobin writes that "a grumble or two could be heard" when the team took the field last week against UVA in the Pigskin Classic season opener (DETROIT NEWS, 9/1). ONE ALUM'S OPINION: In Portland, J.E. Vader writes, "Has the University of Michigan sold its very soul to the dark forces of the netherworld? And for too low a price?" With the visible Nike swooshes, the "players seemed like so much branded cattle." Compared to the reported figures for tennis players like Andre Agassi, the Michigan deal "looks like peanuts." The deal "bothers more than a few people," according to Vader, as UM regent Laurence Deitch said the school was "letting a shoe company piggyback on the 170 years of tradition to peddle some shoes." Deitch said he "was appalled" by the deal, calling it "a step too far in commercialism." Vader: "You can't begrudge the people at Nike for being smart and wanting to make money," but adds it hurts those "who cling to the illusion that universities are for education. ... and then there's commercial ads right on their bodies. It's not just desecration. It's just bad taste" (J.E. Vader, Portland OREGONIAN, 8/31). DO IT FOR THE KIDS: The marketing of street hockey by Nike and other companies to urban youth is profiled by Robin Givhan of the WASHINGTON POST. New York marketing expert Marian Salzman says to "make a product hip and desirable to a young market, it helps to have black urban kids on your side," as they help many trends "gain momentum." Givhan writes that "in today's media- saturated politicized climate, marketing a new sport to a minority or financially strapped audience is a tremendous balancing act. Social conscience vs. bottom line" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/1).
Spalding announced they have signed a long-term deal with the Canadian College Athletic Association (CCAA) to become official sponsor of the organization's volleyball and basketball championships. Spalding Canada will be title sponsor of the CCAA's National Volleyball and Basketball Championships -- both men's and women's -- '95-98. Spalding will also provide the official balls (Spalding).