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CBS COMES OUT SMELLING LIKE ROSES IN FIESTA DEAL
Published December 12, 1995
CBS and PepsiCo's Frito Lay are the "two big beneficiaries" of the new bowl alliance, as the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in Tempe on January 2 will decide the national championship, according to Stefan Fatsis of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. "At least for this year," the alliance "worked." Total sponsorship revenue for this year's 19 bowl games is up 20%, according to IEG Sponsorship Report, "compared with an 11% increase for the sports marketing industry as a whole." Lynn Markley, a spokesperson for Frito Lay, said the sponsorship was "a bet," but that the "cards fell our way." CBS has virtually sold out ad time for the game and, even after lowering some ad prices to $400,000 for 30-second spots, the rates are "a huge increase" over the '95 Orange Bowl, which also crowned a national champion. Media buyers believe the high rates are due in part to the championship, but also because the three alliance bowls will be go against other games. Joel Segal, Exec VP/National Broadcasting at McCann-Erickson: "These are high rates [but] we think they are going to get big audiences." CBS has also packaged bowl games for some advertisers and used other sports, including the NCAA Final Four, in package deals. Ford Motor, for example, bought exclusive automobile rights for its Ford division on the Fiesta and Orange pregame. Joseph Abruzzese, CBS President/Network Sales: "We've never had this kind of leverage" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/12).