SBD/13/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

IT'S BEGINNING TO LOOK A LOT LIKE AN INDYCAR PILEUP THIS MAY

     The likely staging of two Indy car races on Memorial Day
weekend may create "a potential collision" for racing advertisers
and sponsors, according to today's DETROIT NEWS.  CART's expected
announcement next Monday in Chicago that CBS will televise a race
from the Michigan Int'l Speedway on the same day as the IRL's
Indy 500 should pose "enormous stakes" for sponsors "seeking to
stand out amid a coming ad blitz" in '96.  Sports ad spending is
expected to reach a record $3.5B next year, and "dividing the
audience for the premier racing event of the year will make it
tougher for advertisers to stretch already strained budgets."
     WILL THERE BE SPONSORS?  The NEWS' Phillips & Raynal note
race fans "are among the most brand loyal spectators in sports,"
and report that Dodge, Budweiser, Chevrolet and Delco Electronics
have purchased major sponsorship packages with the IRL.  But,
Marlboro, Firestone and MI-based KMart "are expected to play
sponsorship roles" in CART's Michigan race.  Chevrolet officials,
longtime sponsors of the Indy 500, "are undeterred" by the
CART/IRL battle, but Chevrolet General Managers Jim Perkins said
the GM division "will take another look" at sponsorships "if the
dispute continues."
     WILL THERE BE DRIVERS?  Among those expected at the Michigan
race include Al Unser Jr. and Emerson Fittipaldi.  Others
mentioned include Michael Andretti and Bobby Rahal.  Eddie
Cheever, Scott Brayton, Roberto Guerrero, Johnny Parsons and Arie
Luyendyk are committed to Indy.  Joyce Julius, a partner in an
Ann Arbor sports marketing firm, says race fans will follow
drivers (DETROIT NEWS, 12/13).
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