SBD/18/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

ARMATO GETS A LAUGH FROM RUMORS OF REEBOK DROPPING SHAQ

          Management Plus' Leonard Armato, agent for Shaquille
     O'Neal, described a published report that Reebok might be
     dropping O'Neal as, "funny, considering he's one of the most
     well-known icons in the world," according to Greg Johnson of
     the L.A. TIMES.  Reebok Dir of PR Dave Fogelson "maintained
     that O'Neal is a 'very important' element" in Reebok's
     future advertising and marketing."  CA-based Taco Bell
     "stopped using" O'Neal in its spots earlier this year, and
     he "won't appear" in Reebok TV ads slated to run early in
     '98.  Johnson: "O'Neal's temporary absence from the two
     high-profile TV campaigns underscores how companies ... that
     foot the bill for lucrative endorsement contracts are trying
     to make more effective -- and, they hope, cost-effective --
     use of highly paid pitchmen and women."  Reebok's Fogelson
     "tied O'Neal's on-air absence for the first half of 1998 to
     the fact that Reebok products will be pitched on TV by other
     basketball stars, including Allen Iverson and Shawn Kemp --
     along with WNBA and ABL stars," but Fogelson said that
     O'Neal will appear in print ads (L.A. TIMES, 12/18).

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Related Topics:

Reebok, WNBA

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