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DREAM OF A SPALDING AD PUSH? DID NBA REJECT REEBOK REQUEST?
Published April 29, 1997
Spalding Sports Worldwide is "boosting its TV ad spending as part of a brand-building campaign under new owner Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.," according to Jeff Jensen of AD AGE. TV spots from MA-based Winstanley Associates star Hakeem Olajuwon with the tag, "Spalding: Official ball of the NBA: What are you playing?" The "boost in TV spending is part of a renewed sponsorship pact" with the NBA that runs through 2001. Spalding is also a charter sponsor of the WNBA. The company plans to spend "more than" $1M in the next month on TV ads during the NBA playoffs on NBC and Turner, and sports programming on CNN, ESPN and RSNs. Print ads are also planned. Spalding also plans to create TV ads to run during the WNBA's inaugural season on NBC, ESPN and Lifetime telecasts. Joe Baltronis, Dir of Marketing for Spalding's sporting goods group: "KKR is very much into brand building. ... We felt we needed to move into TV advertising as we begin to emphasize and build the Spalding brand in basketball" (AD AGE, 4/28). NBA BLOCKS REEBOK? Reebok wanted to include NBA game footage in its new ads featuring Shaquille O'Neal riding in an SUV with MTV's Bill Bellamy. But AD AGE's Bradley Johnson notes the NBA "didn't like the ads and refused to lend footage." Reebok had to use imitation jerseys and films actors for the spot. Neither the NBA nor Reebok had any comment for the report (AD AGE, 4/28). DIALING FOR A DEFENSE: Bill Parcells will be a spokesperson for Sprint's personal communication services. This "deal plays into the broad promo deal that Sprint has as the NFL's biggest sponsor" (AD AGE, 4/28).