SBD/5/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing


          Robert Erb, adidas' Dir of Sports Marketing, is named
     one of BRANDWEEK's "'98 Hot Marketers" and profiled by Terry
     Lefton.  In charge of landing sports sponsorships, signing
     endorsers and running promos that leverage its properties,
     Erb "has a lot to do with maintaining a genuine sports
     heritage positioning" at adidas.  Lefton adds that as it
     "makes its way back into America's brand consciousness,"
     adidas is "unquestionably the brand Nike worries about
     most."  Erb: "If Nike is 'sports as entertainment,' and
     Reebok seems to be reinventing itself constantly, we're back
     with sports for its own sake."  Lefton adds that Erb has
     secured sponsor deals with "top" NCAA schools, NBA/WNBA
     league deals, and is close to a deal with the NFL "that
     should get" adidas shoes on NFL fields "now restricted to
     Nike and Reebok," but Erb's "biggest coup" was adidas'
     comprehensive "renegade" deal with the Yankees.  Erb also
     heads the company's "athlete endorsers, dominated by
     teenagers."  Erb: "We look for youth and potential.  Kobe
     [Bryant] is not [Michael] Jordan, but if there is another
     Jordan, he might be it" (BRANDWEEK, 11/3 issue).

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