SBD/2/Olympics

SPONSORSHIP AND MARKETING ROUND-UP

     INSIDE THE IBM BUNKER:  USA TODAY's Business section Cover
Story was an exclusive look inside the workings of the IBM on-
site technology team, which worked around-the-clock to correct
flaws in the company's computer results system.  The piece notes
that by midweek last week, IBM CEO Louis Gerstner had ordered
market research to see how the glitches were being perceived by
execs around the world.  The result was not enough to panic, but
also not good.  By last weekend, IBM was considering advertising
in direct response to the problems.  But in the wake of the
bombing, they determined that such ads "would sound self-serving
and insensitive."  This week, IBM execs are reporting 90-95%
accuracy on track & field and officials are looking to apply the
lessons to Nagano and Sydney (USA TODAY, 8/2).
     SHADOW COMPANY:  In Atlanta, Chris Roush writes that Coca-
Cola's marketing plan was "unparalleled by any other Olympic
sponsor.  Coca-Cola, in effect, created a separate company just
for the Games" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 8/2).
     CONTRABAND:  Nike employees have been handing out hand-held
signs that read "Just Do It -- USA" outside of various Olympic
venues.  ACOP's Darby Coker said they have "repeatedly asked Nike
not to do this."  Dave Fogelson, spokesperson for official
sponsor Reebok, called it "pretty classless."  But Nike's Keith
Peters responds:  "We're not making people hold up the signs.
We're supporting athletics" (Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY, 8/2).
     NEWS & NOTES:  Despite Visa's "massive marketing campaign,"
the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION reports that most people at the Games
remain unconvinced on the merits of plastic cash cards (ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION, 8/2)....Frito-Lay will debut a new Baked Lays ad
during the Closing Ceremonies, featuring Miss Piggy with
supermodels Vendela and Kathy Ireland (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/2).
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Related Topics:

Coca-Cola, IBM, Nike, Olympics, PepsiCo, Reebok, Visa

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