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ALBERT BELLE FEATURED WITH SHAQ IN WARNER BROS. SPORT LAUNCH
Published October 7, 1997
Warner Bros. Consumer Products "is rolling out a marketing push this month" for the first products under its WB Sport brand, according to Jeff Jensen of AD AGE. Outdoor ads began in 10 markets last week and TV spots, featuring WB athletes Shaquille O'Neal and Albert Belle, will be airing later this month under the tagline "True athletic gear." Despite the ads tagline and "performance imagery," Warner Bros. execs say WB Sport "is more of a lifestyle brand than a sports brand." Warner Bros. VP/Property Dev. Michael Peikoff: "We're a lifestyle brand, but one whose foundation is in sports and legitimized by these athletes." Warner Bros. Dir of Sales & Sports Marketing Jeffrey Orridge: "We see our brand co-existing with the Nikes and the Reeboks. ... We see kids playing in their Nikes, but going out with friends or hanging out in WB Sport." Since Reebok "is licensing" O'Neal to WB Sport, it can only use his name and image for direct mail, POPs and trade print. But WB Sport is compiling a database of kids and "plans to send them a holiday card" from O'Neal (AD AGE, 10/6 issue).