SBD/2/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

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  • ARE MOUNTAIN BIKE RETAILERS GEARED FOR ANOTHER SALES BOOM?

              "These have not been easy times for the once-robust
         bicycle business," according to James Sterngold of the N.Y.
         TIMES, who wrote that while sales "have declined and a
         shakeout may loom," many experts predict the bike market "is
         on the cusp of a potentially wrenching consolidation." 
         Hambrecht & Quist analyst Sean Milne: "It has gotten a
         little ugly for some of these companies because conditions
         have gotten so tough and volatile. ... I don't think we will
         ever see the mountain bike sector grow the way it had." 
         Sterngold added that Cannondale is "taking particular aim at
         overseas markets," and that foreign sales of its American-
         made bicycles have risen from 44% of revenues through June
         '95 to 49% through June '96 (N.Y. TIMES, 11/30).
    
    

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  • FTC RULING ON "MADE-IN-USA" SEEN AS SETBACK FOR NEW BALANCE

              In an "about-face," the FTC won't "relax the half-
         century standard for making 'Made in the USA' claims on
         consumer-product labels," according to Bruce Ingersoll of
         the WALL STREET JOURNAL.  The proposal to overturn the
         decision "stemmed largely" from a '94 enforcement action
         that the FTC brought against MA-based New Balance, charging
         it with "deceptive advertising and labeling" because New
         Balance had imported outer soles from China for some
         footwear it claimed were U.S.-made.  New Balance had then
         asked Congress for a more flexible U.S. origins standard. 
         Today, the FTC will publish an enforcement-policy statement
         clarifying that any product bearing an unqualified "Made-in-
         USA" claim "should contain only a de minimis, or negligible,
         amount of foreign content" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/2).
              NEW BALANCE: In Boston, Chris Reidy reports that "in a
         world where most athletic shoes are made in Asian factories,
         New Balance maintains, it should be allowed to alert
         consumers that it remains committed to US workers."  New
         Balance said it would not comment on "the possibility it may
         now have to relabel its shoes" until the FTC's decision has
         been reviewed by its lawyers (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/2).
    
    

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  • MARKETPLACE ROUND-UP

              Actor Joe Pesci is backing a new line of golf clothing
         called "Piagga," which means "I like" in Italian.  The line
         will be designed by a "head designer" from Guess and be
         targeted for department stores.  Piagga will be introduced
         at the PGA Merchandise Show in January (GOLF WEEK, 11/29).
         ...CA-based Sports Placement Services signed 4-time World
         Kickboxing Champion Lucia Rijker to a worldwide marketing
         deal (SPI)....France's competition board fined adidas $2.7M
         for entering into a soccer club sponsorship accord that
         breached competition rules (REUTERS, 11/28)....Squash
         prodigy Gilly Lane, who began competing at age 10, is
         sponsored by Prince, which provides him with rackets and
         strings (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 11/29).
    
    

    Print | Tags: PGA Tour, Washington Nationals
  • MLB DEBATES WHETHER TO ENLARGE OR REMOVE UNIFORM LOGOS

              MLBP President Bob Gamgort, putting together an apparel
         program that he hopes will generate as much as $20M-a-year,
         "has conceived one scenario in which all non-MLB logos would
         be eliminated from uniforms, in the hope that sneaker
         marketers would pay more for ad rights and have no
         reservations about using MLB players in creative, since they
         would not be wearing the logo of a competitor," according to
         Terry Lefton of BRANDWEEK.  Another possible scenario would
         see even larger logos on uniforms.  Lefton adds that MLB
         "needs to line up a new uniform deal by early next year to
         meet manufacturing lead times" for the '99 season.  In
         related news, Gamgort said he has received funding to hire
         senior execs to run MLB's licensing program and bring
         corporate sponsorship sales in-house, leaving himself "free
         to focus solely on marketing" (BRANDWEEK, 12/1 issue).
              NIKE PLAYS HARDBALL: AD AGE's Bradley Johnson reports
         that Nike "won't use" MLB endorsers in their uniforms in '98
         ads because it "doesn't want to indirectly promote exclusive
         MLB uniform licensee Russell Athletic, especially after MLB
         owners last year shot down a proposed marketing alliance
         with Nike" (Bradley Johnson, AD AGE, 12/1 issue).
    
    

    Print | Tags: MLB, Nike
  • NIKE DEBUTS NEW AD CAMPAIGN AROUND WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

              Nike today debuts, "A Champion Season," a new ad
         campaign created by Goodby, Silverstein, & Partners.  The
         ten ad series, which runs through the end of March '98,
         follows the fictional Charlestown Cougars women's high
         school basketball team through an entire season.  The TV ads
         will be supported by a print campaign in Seventeen and YM
         magazines (Nike).  AD AGE's Jeff Jensen reports that Nike
         hopes the new series will be its "most conspicuous campaign
         yet in support of its women's basketball business."  A Nike
         spokesperson said that the campaign "will be on par" with
         Nike's biggest ad efforts for its women's business.  The
         campaign will also mark the first time players from the ABL
         and WNBA will share Nike ad time together, as one ad will
         show the ABL's Kate Starbird and the WNBA's Jamila Wideman
         playing together during college (AD AGE, 12/1 issue).
              NIKE NOTES: Nike named Wieden & Kennedy to handle its
         advertising in Britain, according to Stuart Elliott of the
         N.Y. TIMES.  Billings were estimated at $15M.  Nike Dir of
         Global Advertising Geoffrey Frost: "This should be a great
         opportunity for the industry to draw its own conclusions on
         how strong our relationship is with Wieden & Kennedy."  W&K
         will open an office in London on April 1 that will initially
         have a staff of 10 (N.Y. TIMES, 11/28)....Japan's Fair Trade
         Commission raided Nike's Japan office last week, reportedly
         to "investigate claims that the company was pressuring
         retailers to inflate prices."  A Nike spokesperson said the
         company was "stunned" by the allegations and "will
         cooperate" with investigators (Mult., 11/28).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Nike, Wieden Kennedy, WNBA
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