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  • SAY GOODBYE TO KENTUCKY IN CONVERSE AS TEAM GOES TO NIKE

              The Men's and Women's NCAA Basketball Tournaments
         concluded over the weekend, with Arizona beating Kentucky
         last night on CBS in overtime action. 
              SWEET LUTE: Joyce Russell, Dir of Sales & Marketing at
         Indy's Westin Hotel, on the weekend: "It will be busier than
         either the Indianapolis 500 or Brickyard 400" (INDIANAPOLIS
         STAR-NEWS, 3/29).  On ESPN's "The Sports Reporters," Bob
         Ryan on the NCAA Tournament: "It's the last great communal
         event in America.  The World Series isn't the same anymore,
         the Miss America Pageant isn't the same anymore and Ed
         Sullivan has been off the air for 26 years" ("The Sports
         Reporters," 3/30).  John Feinstein: "The Final Four has
         reached a level now that it can be mentioned in the same
         sentence with the World Series and the Super Bowl in terms
         of television ratings, media coverage, in terms of being a
         'tough ticket,' and unfortunately, in terms of corporate
         involvement" (Ross Atkin, CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, 3/31). 
              CATS SAY SEE 'YA TO CONVERSE: Kentucky has signed a new
         basketball deal with Nike, "probably the highest in college
         basketball," according to Rudy Martzke of USA TODAY.  A bid
         by adidas for $1.7M a year "was rejected" by the university. 
         Kentucky was with Converse (USA TODAY, 4/1).
              NIKE, NIKE EVERYWHERE: The CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR's
         Matthew Eisley wrote the Final Four is a "publicity bonanza
         for Nike. ... It's clear for The Swoosh, the Final Four is a
         swish -- nothing but net profits" (CHRISTIAN SCIENCE
         MONITOR, 3/31).  In Cincinnati, host of the Women's Final
         Four, Jeff Harrington: "It's not the swish of the basketball
         taking over Cincinnati during the Women's Final Four; it's
         The Swoosh."  Nike sent around 175 employees to Cincy this
         week, "four times more" than the sports company sent to
         Indianapolis.  Reebok was "working out of an 18-foot
         trailer" and the company "urged downtowners to 'test the
         shoe that beat Nike Air Max.'"  Reebok's Dave Fogelson:
         "Even if our presence is a bit more low-key or subtle, we're
         still getting our message out" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 3/29).
              NCAA SPONSORS FEEL WHOOPEE CUSHION?  BRANDWEEK's Terry
         Lefton writes that the GTE logoed NCAA seat-cushions in
         Indianapolis marks the "first times the NCAA has let
         corporate identification of any kind inside the arena where
         the Final Four is held.  And it's the latest evidence that
         the marquee U.S. sports property with the most stringent
         marketing regulations is loosening up, if ever so slightly"
         (BRANDWEEK, 3/31 issue).  
    
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, Colleges, Converse, ESPN, GTE, NCAA, Nike, Reebok, Viacom, Walt Disney, Washington Nationals
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