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IN A FLASH, GORDON RUNNING LAPS AROUND MADISON AVENUE
Published January 29, 1998
The marketing of Jeff Gordon is examined by USA TODAY's Liz Clarke. Bob Brannan, JG Motorsports VP and Gordon's personal business manager: "Our goal is to hook Jeff up with the right companies to help him transcend our sport. And in doing so, bring the sport to a new audience that might not currently follow our sport." New ventures for Gordon include a shoe deal -- Brannan says Nike "is among the suitors" -- and an appearance on the CBS sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond." Gordon is also seeking deals in the apparel and telecom category, as well as a financial provider. Clarke reports that signing Gordon as a spokesperson is a seven-figure proposition, or more, "depending what rights go with the deal." Action Performance CEO Fred Wagenhals said "women are probably buying 50% of" Gordon's product. Gordon is also the first NASCAR driver to be represented by the William Morris agency. William Morris' Raul Mateo: "Every day the worlds of sport and entertainment are becoming closer. They're becoming one" (USA TODAY, 1/29). FIRST CALL: TX-based Firstplus Financial has signed a pact with ESPN for '98 Winston Cup Racing which includes a multi-million dollar ad buy for 17 Winston Cup events. Firstplus will sponsor in-car camera positions on ESPN's Winston coverage and its ads will also be seen on ESPN/ESPN2 coverage of other sporting events (Firstplus Financial).