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THREE STRIPES AND YOU'RE OUT? YANKEES EYE TEAM SPONSORSHIP
Published March 3, 1997
Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner is "working on" a 10- year, $95M sponsorship deal with adidas, according to Terry Lefton of BRANDWEEK. A Yankees source tells Lefton that the deal calls for "signage both on the centerfield backdrop, behind the plate and outside Yankee Stadium." While adidas would not get logos on the Yankees uniforms, "one scenario has them using a raised knit pattern to carry the Adidas trademarks, which would be visible at retail, but not on field or on TV." Russell holds the exclusive rights to supply all MLB uniforms (BRANDWEEK, 3/3 issue). CHANGE THE GAME: Stefan Fatsis writes in the WALL STREET JOURNAL that amid negotiations with adidas for a 10- year, $100M deal, execs familiar with negotiations said "an earlier suitor to outfit and sponsor the club re-emerged Friday: Fila." Fatsis: "Fila's re-entry in the bid to sponsor the Yankees put Adidas on hold, and negotiations continued yesterday at the club's spring-training headquarters in Tampa" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/3). LEAGUE SANCTIONS? In New York, Bill Madden writes that in January '96, all MLB owners signed an "agency agreement" which "stipulates" that MLB and its properties division would be the "exclusive broker for all marketing deals" involving "uniforms, jackets, caps and such merchandise, and that clubs would share equally in the proceeds." One MLB owner: "The whole purpose of our agency agreement was to prevent a Jerry Jones situation from occurring in baseball. If George has done this, he's in violation of our agreement and I would think subject to significant sanctions" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/3). The DAILY NEWS' Ian O'Connor notes fellow owners "are said to be furious" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/3). MLB Enterprises CEO Greg Murphy: "We're not going to comment on rumors at this point" (Joel Sherman, N.Y. POST, 3/1).