NFL Flex Schedule Changes Phelps Edelman's Mark Hass Leaving In July Orioles Launch License Plate Auction WME Signs LeBron For Entertainment Work Fox Introduces Buck, Norman As Golf Announcers Castrol Renews NFL Sponsorship Boston Marathon Participation Most Since '96 Wrigley Field Celebrates 100 Years
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FIFA and Coca-Cola announced an eight-year partnership deal through 2006, which includes sponsorship of the 2002 and 2006 World Cups and other FIFA events and programs. The deal, which also consists of the FIFA Women's World Cup and FIFA Confederations Cup, marks the first time a sponsor has extended its FIFA partnership for more than a four-year term. The package includes traditional sponsor rights, including advertising, promos and trademark presence, and it also enables Coca-Cola to conduct programs around the soccer events (Coca-Cola). The WALL STREET JOURNAL puts the deal at $80M over eight years (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/30).
Warner Bros. Sports Licensing has signed John LeClair to an endorsement deal. LeClair is the first NHL player to join WB's athlete endorsement roster, which includes NBA, NFL and MLB players. LeClair's licensing program includes footwear, apparel and headwear; socks and sleepwear; inflatables, watches, sports bags; ties and boxers; sunglasses, toys and games. LeClair is represented by Lewis Gross of Sports Professional Management (Warner Bros.)
Dennis Crawford from Cleveland, TN, will compete in Hershey's Million Dollar Kick at Sunday's Pro Bowl. Crawford, 32, can win $1M if he connects on a 35-yard field goal (Hershey's)....In L.A., Denise Gellene reported that the Marlboro billboard in 3Com Park "picked up more than 30 seconds of free air time" during the NFC Championship Game. The exposure gave Marlboro free commercial time worth more than $600,000. Gellene added that the Marlboro signs were recently moved to less visible areas at 3Com after the May '95 agreement between the U.S. government and the tobacco industry (L.A. TIMES, 1/29)....The PBA will kick off the first ad campaign in its 40-year history this weekend with a 30-second spot, created by Partners & Shevack, N.Y., to be seen Sunday on ESPN (PBA)....Zucker Sports Management negotiated an AT&T endorsement deal for U.S. women's hockey goalie Sarah Tueting (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/30)....Merrill Lynch downgraded Callaway Golf after the company reported lower 4Q earnings of $.34/share versus $.36/share last year. shares of Callaway stock fell 3 3/16 yesterday to close at 27 1/8 on the NYSE, a 10.5% decline ("NBR," 1/29).
Down to single-digit growth in '97, the NFL Pro Line will incorporate more "technical and transitional" pieces for '98, and will also "leverage the NFL shield to strike a chord with consumers," according to Andy Bernstein of SPORTING GOODS BUSINESS. With public recognition of the Pro Line brand "virtually non-existent, the league will try to use the NFL shield to indicate authentic, on-field product. A new hang-tag program will launch with the statement 'If it doesn't have the shield, it doesn't get on the field.'" Bernstein adds that licensees are trying to respond to declines in outerwear "by creating more technical pieces ideal for layering -- which seems to be how more people are dressing." Bernstein adds that more "fashionable coaches' apparel, including rugby shirts from Starter, are also part of the 1998 Pro Line mix, a move which has drawn praise from retailers" (SPORTING GOODS BUSINESS, 1/23 issue). MLB: SGB's Bernstein also reports that MLBP President Bob Gamgort said that 14 companies were asked to present ideas for a new licensing program, with various thoughts under consideration. Bernstein: "How the league will draw the line between sponsors and licensees is a primary issue the league must grapple with. If the megabucks offered by footwear brands push traditional licensed companies off the field, will it be to MLB's benefit?" While a Nike spokesperson said the company "does not anticipate" striking an MLB deal "any time soon," a "likely bet is that Adidas will be named" an MLB licensee (SGB, 1/23 issue).
Over 1,300 exhibitors will be in Orlando this weekend for the 45th PGA of America Merchandise Show, to be held at the Orange County Convention Center today through Monday. The show will utilize 1.1 million square feet, and is expected to draw over 50,000 (PGA). With the industry consolidating, the big golf companies "are getting bigger," and they, along with "a couple of outsiders," are "staking claim" to the growing women's and youth markets at this year's show, according to Ron Sirak of the AP. Last year, the show resulted in "more than" $1.3B in golf industry sales (AP/DETROIT NEWS, 1/28). iGOLF's Bill Binenstock writes that although youth and women will be the show's "buzzwords," the introduction of new drivers and irons "will take front and center ... as always" (iGOLF, 1/29). Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Hugo Boss will exhibit apparel for the first time at this year's show, which will include the first PGA Fashion Shows (AD AGE, 1/26 issue). Titleist/Foot Joy will have the show's largest exhibition booth at 12,800 sq. ft., followed by Spalding and Nike (BRANDWEEK, 1/26 issue). In Orlando, Jeff Babineau writes that one debut "expected to garner considerable attention" is that of CA-based Liquidmetal Golf, which touts "a new alloy ... that could be the industry's hottest material since titanium" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 1/30). THE DAILY will preview new products and apparel from the show next week. ADAMS FAMILY VALUES: Adams Golf is profiled by Chuck Stogel of BRANDWEEK. CEO Barney Adams founded the company in '88, and by '96, with the introduction of the Tight Lies fairway woods, revenues had "skyrocketed" to $5M. For '98, Adams is "projecting" sales of $60M. The company's success with Tight Lies has been helped by a "solid trade push via telemarketing - not sales reps" and last year's infomercial, which "mined the medium for all it was worth." Adams plans to continue its sales formula, as a new infomercial is "in the works" while the '98 ad budget "should surpass" $10M (BRANDWEEK, 1/2). Adams bought a quarter-page ad in the WALL STREET JOURNAL's op-ed page for Tight Lies. LOOKING AHEAD: BRANDWEEK's Stogel also listed ad spending for the top golf brands over the past two years. NOTE: '97 figures are through October (BRANDWEEK, 1/26).
TITLEIST/FJ/COBRA$677M$40.8M$34.8M CALLAWAY$466M$14.5M$15.2M SPALDING/ETONIC$361M$19.9M$22.1M TAYLOR MADE$251M$13.3M$17.2M WILSON$140M$10.3M$7.4M MAXFLI/DUNLOP$121M$ 5.0M$3.8M PING$115M$ 8.7M$8.1M ARMOUR/ODYSSEY$ 85M$12.2M$11.4M