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  • GORDON FLASHES VICTORY; NAPA NABS FIVE MORE YEARS AT AMS

              Jeff Gordon won his second NASCAR Winston Cup
         championship Sunday, finishing 17th at Sunday's season-
         ending NAPA 500 at the Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS).  With
         the $1.5M championship bonus from series sponsor R.J.
         Reynolds, Gordon became the first race-car driver to win $5M
         in a season (USA TODAY, 11/17).  In K.C., Shannon Rose
         profiled Gordon, and wrote that "whether fans like it or
         not, Gordon has another talent besides driving.  He can
         convert the average person into a race fan."  Rose: "Like it
         or not, Gordon is the future of NASCAR.  And both are only
         going to get bigger and bigger" (K.C. STAR, 11/16). 
              GET OUT ON THE HIGHWAY: In Atlanta, Al Levine wrote
         that "about" 160,000 were expected this past weekend at the
         newly renovated AMS.  The complex accommodated "about"
         20,000 corporate sponsor guests, including title sponsor
         NAPA who built a 60,000-square foot village for its 3,500
         guests (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/15).  Also in Atlanta,
         Steve Hummer wrote on NASCAR's fan following: "Pick an
         adjective.  Best.  Most blindly loyal.  Most put out.  Just
         flat craziest.  The NASCAR Winston Cup fan can answer to
         them all."  More Hummer: "As the sport continues to gain
         altitude, it is only going to become more difficult to serve
         in racing's ranks.  It's choking on its own popularity,
         leaving the corporate interests and the grassroots fans to
         battle for its soul" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/16).
              NAPA'S AUTO RACE: NAPA has signed on to sponsor the
         November Winston Cup race at AMS for five more years (Ben
         Blake, INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS, 11/16).
              BRING ALONG DUPER? Dan Marino has signed an agreement
         with NASCAR's Bill Elliott to jointly own the second car on
         the Elliott team for the '98 NASCAR Winston Cup season.  The
         Elliott-Marino Motorsports entry will make its debut at the
         Daytona Int'l Speedway on February 15.  Jerry Nadeau will be
         the driver, while TX-based FirstPlus Financial, Inc., a
         consumer finance company, will be the primary sponsor of the
         #13 Ford Taurus (FirstPlus Financial).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Int'l Speedway Corp., NASCAR, R J Reynolds, Speedway Motorsports Inc.
  • KICKIN' UP THEIR HEELS: NIKE TO SEND UNC STUDENTS TO ASIA

              One day after Nike execs visited UNC-Chapel Hill (UNC)
         to "counter accusations of sweatshoplike working conditions
         in Southeast Asia, the company agreed Friday to send UNC
         students to the factories to see for themselves," according
         to Jane Stancil of the Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER.  In a
         meeting Thursday, UNC Chancellor Michael Hooker "suggested"
         that Nike pay the expenses of a four-member contingent: the
         Chair of the faculty council and three students, including a
         member of the campus paper.  Nike Dir of College Sports
         Marketing Kit Morris: "Conceptually, Nike has agreed to the
         idea.  We welcome the opportunity to educate our university
         partners on this issue" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 11/16).
              THE WHITE STUFF: Nike-endorser Reggie White has "joined
         the ranks" of Nike critics, "blasting the company's labor
         practices," according to Friday's Portland OREGONIAN. 
         White: "The reason they have these sweatshops is for cheap
         labor.  They'd rather hire the cheap labor than hire the kid
         in the neighborhood who is buying their shoes.  There are
         people who need jobs here."  Nike spokesperson Antonio
         Tijerino said that White should "know that we employ 500,000
         people around the world.  There are poor people everywhere." 
         White has a deal with Nike "estimated" at $200,000-$250,000
         a year and said he has no plans to end his relationship with
         the company.  White: "Nike has treated me well.  But I'm not
         going to lie to you.  I've been disappointed with them"
         (Portland OREGONIAN/AP, 11/15). 
              MORE NICKS AT NIKE: In S.F., Tim Keown wrote that
         Nike's "hypocrisy knows no bounds."  Keown: "It aligns
         itself with just causes -- the courage of Jackie Robinson,
         racism in country clubs, the plight of inner-city kids --
         then indignantly wonders why anybody gives a damn about the
         respiratory problems of a few thousand young women in
         Vietnam" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 11/14).  In an op-ed in today's
         PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, Fredrick McKissack writes under the
         headline, "Nike Workers Get No Assist From Jordan." 
         McKissack notes Jordan's recent statements on Nike during an
         interview on ABC's "PrimeTime Live."  McKissack: "Once
         again, Michael Jordan had a chance to speak out about
         working conditions in Nike plants in Southeast Asia.  Once
         again, he failed to do that" (PHILA. DAILY NEWS, 11/17). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, Nike, Walt Disney
  • MARKETPLACE ROUND-UP

              MAIL ORDERS: In the CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, Jeffrey
         Shaffer noted the prevalence of NFL mail-order catalogs such
         as The Ultimate Football Shop and From the Sidelines: "These
         up-and-coming mail-order companies want to knock the front-
         line veterans flat on the turf.  They offer a simple
         solution to may wardrobe needs: Surrender to the glamour and
         expertise of the [NFL]. ... Their strategy is to combine
         style with team spirit" (CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, 11/14).
              NOTES: A TV spot for Nike's new Penny Hardaway shoe,
         the Air Penny ($150), is scheduled to debut Thanksgiving Day
         (USA TODAY, 11/17)....In Sunday's N.Y. TIMES, Alex Kuczynski
         examined brand marketing in the 90's, which included Michael
         Jordan's Cologne and Nike brand.  Starbucks Senior VP Scott
         Bedbury: "The most powerful brands have human qualities. 
         And this is why there is a buzz these days about people
         being seen as brands" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/16).
              DEALS: Volvo Trucks North America did "extensive
         research" before deciding to run a 30-second spot during the
         upcoming Super Bowl at a cost of $1.2M.  Volvo Trucks NA
         President Marc Gustafson: "The research we've done shows
         that drivers love football, and this [is] the event they
         appreciate the most" (Greensboro NEWS & RECORD, 11/16)....
         The Blackhawks' Chris Chelios, Tony Amonte and Gary Suter
         filmed a TV spot for Wendy's in N.Y. on Friday that will tie
         in with the Winter Olympics (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/15).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Chicago Blackhawks, NFL, Nike, Wendys
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