SBD/1/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

SHAQ OBVIOUSLY NOT THE NCAA'S CHOICE FOR NEXT GENERATION

          PepsiCo was "forced" by the NCAA to pull a new ad
     featuring Shaquille O'Neal from CBS' Final Four coverage,
     according to Steve Zipay in NEWSDAY.  NCAA rules ban pro
     basketball players in uniform from appearing in ads during
     the NCAA tournament.  Pepsi created the 60-second spot, a
     "spoof" on the 70's-movie "Shaft," in which O'Neal wears
     Lakers colors in an arena similar to the Great Western
     Forum, specifically for the Final Four (NEWSDAY, 3/28).
     O'Neal's agent, Leonard Armato: "If the Pope had said the
     commercial might have an impact on young people, I might buy
     it.  But not the NCAA.  It doesn't make a lot of sense.
     What, seeing Shaq in a yellow jersey in a commercial is
     going to influence kids to quit school and go pro?  I don't
     think so." Armato said the yellow jersey that O'Neal wears
     in the ad has No. 34 on it but it is not a Laker jersey. 
     O'Neal could not wear his Lakers jersey because Coca-Cola
     has an exclusive deal with the NBA (L.A. TIMES, 3/31). 
          WORD FROM SHAQ: O'Neal: "I do not care about the NCAA,
     they jerked me around when I was in college, so forget them
     anyway."  NCAA statement: "We felt like this ad promoted
     Shaq more than it promoted Pepsi."  Pepsi spokesperson Brad
     Shaw: "This is about some guys at the NCAA kind of cramping
     Shaq's style a little bit.  ... In the end ... the spot's
     going to be famous" ("Access Hollywood," 3/28).

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