SBD/16/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

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              Nike "will once again call upon spokespuppet Li'l Penny
         to talk up its basketball products this fall and winter,"
         according to Jeff Jensen of AD AGE. In addition to Nike's TV
         ad campaign from OR-based Wieden & Kennedy, Crown Publishers
         has a Li'l Penny book and Playmates Toys has two Li'l Penny
         dolls hitting the market. In one TV spot to debut in
         November, L'il Penny is reading his book, "Knee High &
         Livin' Large," which will be released that month.  Around
         the "same time," Playmates will issue two dolls, one with a
         "voice supplied by Chris Rock."  Crown and Playmates "will
         support" with their "own publicity, and local retailer and
         radio promotions" (ADVERTISING AGE, 9/15).
              THE MARKET: The "basketball segment has sagged lately,"
         and "industry experts" report that '97 back-to-school sales
         of basketball shoes were down 10%, "with consumers scoffing
         at prices that last year were tolerated."  As for other
         brands, Reebok's top endorser, Allen Iverson, was recently
         arrested and "his marketability is being questioned;"  No. 3
         adidas America has a "hot brand," but "an unproven
         spokesperson" in Laker Kobe Bryant; No. 4 Fila USA has Grant
         Hill, "an icon" who can "move shoes," but Jensen adds that
         Fila "must improve on last year's line" (AD AGE, 9/15).
              STAR FLIGHT: Kate Starbird of the ABL Reign said she
         has signed a shoe deal with Nike in a deal "just finalized
         about a month ago" (ESPN SportsZone, 9/15)....Raptor rookie
         Tracy McGrady, and his deal with adidas, is profiled by
         Craig Daniels of the TORONTO SUN.  Robert Erb, adidas
         marketing exec: "We're not as big (as Nike).  We don't have
         as much money to throw around.  If we're to catch Nike, how
         do we do that?  With intelligent risk" (TORONTO SUN, 9/16).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Nike, Reebok, Walt Disney, Washington Nationals, Wieden Kennedy

              The next "big contract" on Tiger Woods' horizon "could
         be with an electronic game company," according to the
         "Bunker to Bunker" column in GOLFWORLD.  Software industry
         sources tell GOLFWORLD "bidding" for Woods' endorsement "has
         escalated to record proportions for the industry."  reported that Microsoft, Sony and Sega say that
         they are "no longer in the running" for Woods, and CA-based
         EA Sports "seems to be leading."  A GOLFWORLD industry
         source values the deal at $15M (GOLFWORLD, 9/12).
              ENDORSEMENT SKINNY: GOLFWEEK's "Forecaddie" reports on
         the PGA's endorsement picture, noting that Phil Mickelson's
         "service isn't as hot as advertised," as he doesn't wear a
         hat or visor, "which limits any club company's TV time. ... 
         [don't] be surprised if he re-signs with Yonex."  In other
         news, Callaway "is said to be wooing" Fred Couples, "whom
         insiders say isn't happy about the way things are going at
         Lynx."  "Forecaddie" concludes with talk that the "next to
         join Team Nike" might be Arnold Palmer (GOLFWEEK, 9/13).

    Print | Tags: Microsoft, Minnesota Lynx, Nike, PGA Tour

              Big League Bottling is selling $50 bottles of carbernet
         sauvignon with MLB logos on the bottle (U.S. NEWS & WORLD
         REPORT, 9/22 issue)....The Brett Hull "Hat Trick" candy bar
         was unveiled at the Kiel Club in St. Louis on August 28. 
         The bar comes in a wrapper with the Blues' colors (THE
         HOCKEY NEWS, 9/19 issue)....ESPN -- The Store opens today at
         the CA-based Glendale Galleria.  The prototype store is a
         collaboration of ESPN and The Disney Store (ESPN).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, MLB, St. Louis Blues, Walt Disney

              Michael Moore's latest documentary, "The Big One,"
         which examines the corporate policies of Nike and features
         CEO Phil Knight, will be distributed by Miramax Films early
         next year, according to William Holstein of U.S. NEWS &
         WORLD REPORT.  Holstein writes that a "starring role in a
         movie by one of the nation's leading corporate critics is
         the last thing that Knight needs right now" and "the anti-
         Nike movement appears to be broadening."  Holstein: "There's
         no hard proof that any of the controversies has actually
         hurt Nike sales.  But all is not well in the marketplace.
         ... Nike headquarters has turned more than a little
         embattled."  A new Penny Hardaway shoe "has provoked
         complaints that Nike is exploiting inner-city youths," and a
         "Give Back Your Sneakers" protest is scheduled for September
         27 at NikeTown in New York.  In addition, Nike sales were
         "flat" this summer, and the company "is not performing as
         well as it was last year" (U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT, 9/22). 
         Glass examined the report by GoodWorks' Andrew Young in a
         review of the company's international code of conduct. 
         Glass wrote that Nike was GoodWorks's "first big client, its
         first chance to send corporate America evidence" that it did
         "good work," but "if the Nike report was 'classic Andy
         Young,' it was also a classic sham, marred not just by
         shoddy methodology but by frequent misrepresentations." 
         Glass added the report "lists consultants who were never
         consulted and includes photos of" union reps who "were not
         union officials."  Young "deliberately avoided the most
         obvious and controversial question -- whether Nike paid its
         employees fair wages -- and, when gathering testimony"
         relied exclusively on Nike translators.  Regarding
         contentions that GoodWorks listed consultants who were never
         spoken to, GoodWorks spokesperson Logan Ide "insists" the
         group was not trying to create a false impression.  Ide: "It
         surprises me that people will say that.  The heading only
         says we spoke with them.  Sometimes it just may have been
         very, very briefly" (NEW REPUBLIC, 9/8).
              PHIL CHIMES IN: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick noted Nike's PR
         challenges and the launch of the new Jordan subsidiary line:
         "Human-rights activists, here and abroad, have long implored
         Nike and [Michael] Jordan to show even a modicum of social
         responsibility.  But Jordan just shrugs" (N.Y. POST, 9/14).

    Print | Tags: Nike
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