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ACOG CEO Billy Payne underwent surgery to replace a herniated disc at the base of his neck with a piece of his pelvic bone. Payne, who apparently ruptured the disc when reaching around quickly to pick something up, will take several days to recuperate from the three and a half-hour surgery (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 5/28)....Nissan will spend upwards of $175M on network spending for the upcoming season, including an estimated $10M Olympic media buy in order to create an image of "a mainstream sedan company matured beyond its once-sporty image" (BRANDWEEK, 5/27).... Bob Garfield of AD AGE writes, "on a scale of 1 to 11," the Olympic-themed ad for IBM featuring the fictional band Spinal Tap, "is pretty bloody disappointing" (AD AGE, 5/28). ....ACOG and Hanes will host a grand opening during June and July at which more than 70,000 Games staff members will pick up their uniforms and accreditation badges during scheduled appointments (ACOG)....Officials of the '98 Nagano Olympic Games expect 1.2 million visitors during the 16-day Winter Games (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 5/28)....Chuck Rohe, of Florida Citrus Sports, says a "two-week blitz" of advertising is planned in June for the nine Olympic soccer games in Orlando (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 5/28).
Reebok's Olympic marketing program will attempt to reach boys via video games and women and teenage girls through the stores where they shop, reports Jeff Jensen of AD AGE. Reebok will join in a cross-promotion with U.S. Gold, which holds licensing rights to all Olympic-related electronic entertainment. For the cross-promotion, Reebok will add $10 rebates to the Olympic Games and Olympic Soccer video games to packages containing new Reebok shoes. Both Reebok and U.S. Gold will support each other with in-store advertising, and Reebok will get logo placement on game packaging and cartridges and an ad inside each game's instruction manual. Reebok will also join in a cross-promotion with Nordstrom's which will include a Reebok- sponsored mall tour of the U.S. women's gymnastics team at 10 store locations next month. Nordstrom's is planning in-store displays, including the Vault shoe worn by U.S. gymnasts during medal ceremonies. Reebok will support with hang-tags and an ad in June's Nickelodeon (AD AGE, 5/28).