SBD/27/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

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              CBS' "60 Minutes" profiled Nike and adidas' involvement
         with high school basketball players in "There's No Business
         Like Shoe Business."  CBS' Lesley Stahl: "Nobody, not the
         Bulls, the Lakers or the Knicks, is more interested in
         finding the next Michael Jordan than Nike.  ... So Nike, and
         its competitors like adidas, are searching the country. 
         Searching for the hot NBA rookies, putting their shoes on
         the best college seniors.  But what amazed us, is that
         they're also going after basketball babies."  adidas' Sonny
         Vaccaro said that shoe companies start recruiting players
         when they're "eight, nine, ten, eleven-year-olds."  Vaccaro,
         on what adidas gets out of finding a promising ten-year-old
         basketball player: "What you do, is you bring this person
         along, and hopefully he stays in the family."  Stahl: "And
         then all the kids in the country will wear adidas?" 
         Vaccaro: "That would be very nice."  Stahl: "Nike and adidas
         have turned the summertime into a huge basketball bazaar,
         spending millions of dollars to corral every kid with a
         decent jump shot, betting that one or two of them will
         develop into superstars -- and human billboards."  High
         school basketball talent scout Bob Gibbons, on the shoe wars
         over high school students and the high school summer camps:
         "It's way out of control, and I don't know how you get it
         back in control" ("60 Minutes," CBS, 10/26).      
              NIKE'S TAKE: Stahl asked Nike Dir of Global Basketball 
         Ralph Greene on its mission in supporting youngsters: "It's
         important for us to provide wonderful opportunities for kids
         who play great basketball. ... It's a very simple formula
         for us.  And it really does start with performing, and being
         passionate about the game first, and the athletes first." 
         Stahl, in response to Reed: "Selling shoes first."  Reed:
         "No, no, no, no, no.  It's the game first, then the passion
         for the game and understanding what athletes want." 
         Gibbons, asked about Reed's "passionate about the game"
         statement: "I don't see them giving their product away to
         schools that do not have good players ... they love the
         schools that have the top players the best" (CBS, 10/26). 

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, CBS, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, New York Knicks, Nike, Viacom, Washington Nationals

              In FL, entrepreneur Dennis Valdez launched his Blue
         Marlin Beer six weeks ago and "immediately" sold out 1,500
         cases, and now "can't keep Blue Marlin Beer in stock."  Levy
         Restaurants and Pro Player Stadium began offering Blue
         Marlin Beer during the playoffs and served it at the club
         level during the World Series (SUN-SENTINEL, 10/25).
         ...Dennis Rodman, who wears Converse, said that he "doubts"
         he will wear his new Nike shooting shirt (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES,
         10/25)....About 300 women are expected at a soldout
         "Football 101 for Ladies" class at Foxboro Stadium on
         Wednesday (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/26). "Extra" profiled the NFL's
         "Football 101 for Ladies" on Friday ("Extra," 10/24).  

    Print | Tags: Converse, NFL, Nike

              A coalition of women's groups, which includes NOW and
         the Ms. Foundation for Women, "has attacked Nike as
         hypocritical" for running new TV commercials that feature
         female athletes, while alleging the company pays "its
         largely female overseas work force poorly," according to
         Steven Greenhouse of the N.Y. TIMES.  In a letter to Nike
         CEO Phil Knight, the coalition wrote, "While the women who
         wear Nike shoes in the United States are encouraged to
         perform their best, the Indonesian, Vietnamese and Chinese
         women making the shoes often suffer from inadequate wages,
         corporal punishment, forced overtime and/or sexual
         harassment."  Nike Labor Issues spokesperson Vada Manager
         said the women's groups "misunderstood Nike's role."  In
         Asia, its factories "pay considerably more than do most
         factories in those countries."  The commercials "show women
         saying they will be stronger, healthier and more independent
         if they are allowed to play sports" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/26). 
         USA TODAY's Dottie Enrico reports that the 15 women's
         organizations will hold a press conference Tuesday "urging"
         Knight to "increase wages and hire an independent local
         investigator" at Nike overseas factories (USA TODAY, 10/27).

    Print | Tags: Nike

              The NBA is "now negotiating new four-year TV contracts"
         which could net the league "up to" 50% more than its current
         rights deals with NBC and Turner Sports, according to Jeff
         Jensen of AD AGE.  NBA Exec VP/CMO Rick Welts: "The outcome
         of our television negotiations will determine how we will
         market ourselves over the next four years."  Jensen adds
         that "many" of the league's current sponsorship deals,
         including McDonald's, Quaker Oats and Gatorade, "expire at
         the end of this season."  But for NBA sponsors, a 50%
         increase in TV rights fees "will affect the cost of doing
         business with the NBA."  Gatorade VP/Worldwide Sports
         Marketing Bill Schmidt: "We're always concerned about
         increases in sports TV rights fees because we all know who
         will pay for that."  While NBC charged "an estimated"
         $80,000 for 30-second spots last season, up about 15% from
         '95, Turner will charge $19,000-20,000 per 30-second spot
         this season.  But Jensen adds that "marketers will still buy
         the NBA because it delivers the demographics they need:
         teen-age and young adult males."  Gatorade's Schmidt: "The
         NBA remains very hot with our consumers."  The NBA's Welts
         added that the NBA will again "bundle" promo rights with TV
         time, but he added that the TV networks are "taking
         advertiser concerns into consideration," and that "it's
         possible that there will be fewer units available in the new
         packages, as they may include fewer games" (AD AGE, 10/27).

    Print | Tags: McDonalds, NBA, NBC
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