SBD/31/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

ARNELL GROUP LOOKS TO DRESS UP FILA'S GRANT HILL CAMPAIGN

          An "extensive" campaign by Arnell Group, NY, for Fila's
     newest basketball shoe, the Grant Hill IV, "seeks to
     concentrate more on the performance aspects of the product
     than its fashionability," according to Stuart Elliott of the
     N.Y. TIMES.  The goal "is to counter perceptions that Fila
     shoes are more likely to be glimpsed in GQ than Sports
     Illustrated."  The new TV campaign, which begins tonight,
     portrays Hill "either playing basketball or thinking about
     playing basketball so single-mindedly that at one point he
     even challenges his reflection in a mirror in an effort to
     demonstrate" that, as the campaign asserts, "the only
     competition is yourself."  The decision by Fila "to overhaul
     how Hill is hawked" is central to a strategy to improve sales
     in its footwear category.  Fila Senior VP/Advertising Howe
     Burch: "Frankly, this has been a difficult year.  The company
     is really trying in many respects to re-engineer itself by
     enhancing our performance capabilities, and we see Grant as
     the cornerstone."  The campaign is the first from the Arnell
     Group for Fila's Hill line and Fila's total annual ad budget
     is $20-25M (Stuart Elliot, N.Y. TIMES, 10/31).

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