ABC's "NBA Saturday Primetime" Returns Twins Nix Midwest Music Showcase Cowboys Consider Buying E-Sports Team NASCAR HOF To Induct Three Team Owners Bellator Signs Jenn Brown To TV Contract G Fuel Energy Drink To Sponsor ELeague SB Advertisers Could Take More Measured Approach Raiders File Paperwork To Move To Vegas Kraft Profile Examines Goodell Relationship Trump Began With Sports Long Before Politics
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Carquest Auto Parts signed a three-year deal to become the title sponsor of the NASCAR Busch Grand Nat'l at the Gateway International Raceway in IL, according to Ken Roberts of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. The Carquest Auto Parts 250 will be televised nationally by CBS on October 17. Gateway Int'l Raceway President/GM Rod Wolter announced that 5,000 seats will be added to the backstretch of the 1.25- mile oval, increasing attendance from last year's sellout crowd of 52,000 (Ken Roberts, POST-DISPATCH, 1/10).
PLAYERS INK: Despite the loss yesterday, Steelers QB Kordell Stewart "is the NFL's hottest property," as Stewart's jerseys are "the top-selling piece of player merchandise" in the NFL this season. NFL Manager of Corporate Communications Brian McCarthy: "Kordell is number one nationally" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 1/9)....Brett Favre has designed a range of neckwear for Stonehenge Ltd. to benefit the cancer-fighting V Foundation, named for the late Jimmy Valvano. Favre joins Jerry Rice, Troy Aikman and Joe Theismann in the fund-raising effort (N.Y. POST, 1/11). NOTES: Coca-Cola "has quietly" asked Wieden & Kennedy to create advertising for Diet Coke. W&K is creating Olympic-themed spots for Coke (USA TODAY, 1/12)....FleetBank Dir of Corporate Communications Jim Mahoney, asked if Mo Vaughn's DUI charges on Friday morning "could negatively affect Vaughn's role" as a company spokesperson: "I think I'd just as soon as pass on that one" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/10).
The PGA Tour unveiled its new advertising and brand awareness campaign at its Mercedes Championships season opener. The Tour worked with TX-based agency GSD&M to design the campaign called, "These Guys Are Good," which will include TV and print ads, plus materials for use by tournament directors. PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem: "We want to capitalize on the growing enthusiasm for golf by exposing significant numbers of current and new fans to the tremendous competitive drama of our sport." The campaign will promote the PGA Tour, Senior PGA Tour and Nike Tour in a series of 30-second spots. One spot for the Senior Tour, called "Football," stars Dan Marino; "Silent Fans," promoting the PGA Tour, features Justin Leonard; a Nike Tour spot, "Graduation," spotlights former Nike Tour players David Duval, Tom Lehman and Stewart Cink. Two other spots, "Monday" and "Money List," aim to build awareness of the Tour's charity support (PGA Tour). "Silent Fans" ran during ABC's Sunday telecast of the Mercedes Championships. In it, Leonard strikes a putt, with a full gallery watching. Background sound includes a heartbeat, with text that reads, "The only thing more intense than 40,000 screaming fans is 40,000 silent ones." After the putt drops, the crowd cheers, and the spots fades to the PGA Tour logo with the "These Guys Are Good" slogan. The spot also ran during the AFC Championship Game post-game show on NBC (THE DAILY). BANK SHOT: The PGA Tour also officially announced that Bank of America will become the Presenting Sponsor of the PGA Tour's eight-event "West Coast Swing" and be the official bank of the PGA and Senior PGA Tour through 2002. Finchem said the addition of a presenting sponsor for the '98 West Coast events was a "top priority." As part of the deal, Bank of America will supplement the purse of each West Coast event by a total of $300,000. The leading money- winner in the eight West Coast events will be named "King of the Swing" and earn an additional $100,000 bonus. Bank of America will also provide $100,000 annually for the development of youth-oriented golf facilities and programs and will be featured in the PGA Tour's network and cable telecasts (PGA). In Dallas, Brad Townsend reported that the Tour "hopes the extra money will be an enticement to many Tour pros who, historically, play light schedules early in the year" and skip the events (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/10).
CO-based Sport-Haley signed golfer Fuzzy Zoeller to a one-year contract to endorse its clothes, according to the DETROIT NEWS. It marks Zoeller's first sponsorship "since he was dropped" by Kmart last year after remarks he made about Tiger Woods at The Masters. Analysts say the deal "is a positive step" for Sport-Haley. John G. Kinnard & Co. analyst Tom Emmel, who has a "strong buy" on Sport-Haley: "He's a well-recognized name, and that's all that matters." Sport-Haley CEO Robert Tomlinson said Zoeller "will be the centerpiece" of the company's advertising: "We definitely think he's on the rebound." Zoeller joins golfer Neil Lancaster and the LPGA's Terry-Jo Myers and Donna Andrews as Sports-Haley endorsers (DETROIT NEWS, 1/10).