SBD/6/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

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              The ABL "has established a much-needed New York
         presence" by hiring Marty Rolnick as a new VP/Sponsorship, 
         and "enlisting" CT-based Clarion/Performance Properties to
         help it sell corporate sponsorship packages, according to
         Terry Lefton of BRANDWEEK.  Rolnick, who has sold ad time
         for ABC and Rainbow Sports, will aim "to sign additional
         sponsors" by the league's All-Star contest on January 17. 
         The ABL "has not sold a new sponsorship package since
         landing Nike" just prior to this season.  Clarion will help
         the ABL "refine its marketing strategy and is putting
         together a new video pitch for the league" (BRANDWEEK, 1/5).
              QB LOCKED: Lefton adds that Foot Locker has added title
         sponsorship of the annual NFL Quarterback Challenge skills
         competition to its recent sponsorship deals at Disney's Wide
         World of Sports complex.  Rival sneaker retailer FootAction
         "walked away" from sponsoring the Challenge after five
         years, "citing disappointing TV ratings" (BRANDWEEK, 1/5).
              ADD 1 NEW SHOE: PA-based AND 1 breaks a $1M, two-week
         TV campaign next week backing the latest version of its
         Stephon Marbury shoe, which hits retail January 16.  AND 1
         CEO Seth Berger: "This year should be telling as to whether
         we will be a niche player or a real force in athletic
         footwear."  The ad was produced by PA-based Brownstein Group
         and was underwritten by FootAction, which also gets plugged
         in the ad for the $85 shoes.  Media buys are "primarily" on
         ESPN and MTV, while print buys include NBA Inside Stuff, The
         Source and Slam (BRANDWEEK, 1/5 issue).

    Print | Tags: ABC, And 1, ESPN, NBA, NFL, Nike, Walt Disney

              Nike's entry into the sports-equipment business is
         profiled in a front-page story by Bill Richards of the WALL
         STREET JOURNAL.  Nike has been "pondering the physics of
         equipment such as baseball gloves and bats, hockey sticks,
         footballs, golf balls and snow boards," with its "mission
         ... to design something new and then throw Nike's awesome
         marketing muscle into convincing the world of its technical
         superiority."  Nike equipment division head Andrew Mooney
         said the unit "will be Nike's fastest-growing division," and
         other Nike execs say equipment sales "will become its 'third
         engine,' powering the flagging sneaker and apparel sales." 
         But Richards adds that Nike "is playing catch-up" against
         its rivals in the $40B-a-year equipment market as
         development of its lines has "been relatively modest so far
         compared with the big bucks being shelled out by
         competitors."  For example, Nike will spend less than
         $500,000 to design a baseball glove (WSJ, 1/6).
              HOCKEY HANG UPS? Nike's "assault on the equipment
         business" began with hockey in '96, when the company
         designed a lightweight skate and a stick.  But Richards
         reports that hockey "hasn't turned out to be the easy slap
         shot Nike expected.  Retailers ... say customers have been
         returning Nike's new hockey sticks, complaining the blades
         split because of poor glue."  Richards adds that "several
         high-profile [NHL] players have complained" that Nike's
         skates "are poorly designed," including Jeremy Roenick who
         "passed up a six-figure endorsement deal with Nike after he
         tried on six pairs of its skates and none fit right."  But
         Nike's Mooney "brushes off the early flops" in the equipment
         business as "growing pains."  Mooney: "Wait till you see our
         equipment in five years" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/6). 

    Print | Tags: NHL, Nike, UPS

              Local authorities "confiscated thousands of dollars of
         suspected illegal Packers and NFL merchandise over the
         weekend from a popular tavern" near Lambeau Field, according
         to Meg Jones of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL.  An NFL
         official called the bust "one of the largest of its kind." 
         Jones reports that while some items "looked like the real
         thing," there were some items "that were a sure tip-off. 
         Like a T-shirt featuring a caricature of ... Brett Favre
         urinating on a Chicago Bears helmet."  The street value of
         the merchandise was "estimated" at $10,000 to $15,000
         (JOURNAL SENTINEL, 1/6).  In a "similar action" Saturday in
         Pittsburgh, $30,000 "worth of unlicensed merchandise (about
         1,000 items) was seized" (USA TODAY, 1/6).

    Print | Tags: Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, NFL

              NOTES: The Devil Rays are teaming with the J.C. Newman
         Cigar Co. to open a cigar bar at Tropicana Field.  The
         Cuesta-Rey Cigar Bar will open in March, and will coincide
         with the introduction of a new cigar, the Cuesta-Rey Devil
         Ray cigar, that will be sold only at the stadium (MIAMI
         HERALD, 1/6)....Bob Kutz, co-Owner of CA-based Telegraph
         Avenue memorabilia shop, is giving away Latrell Sprewell
         trading cards.  Kutz: "We're getting great response.  People
         have torn them up right in front of us" (MERCURY NEWS, 1/3).
              DEALS: Campbell's Soup, a sponsor of the U.S. Figure
         Skating team, will feature Tara Lipinski, Michelle Kwan and
         Nicole Bobek on 140 million Campbell's Soup can labels in
         stores this month (USA TODAY, 1/6)....NY-based ANC Sports
         Enterprises signed a multi-year deal to serve as the
         exclusive supplier of rotating signage for Baltimore's new
         football stadium.  ANC will install more than 800-feet of
         its wall-mounted, backlit rotating signage throughout the
         stadium.  The deal is ANC's first with an NFL facility (ANC
         Sports)....The NPSL and KS-based Stromgren Supports reached 
         a two-year deal for Stromgren to become the exclusive
         supplier of sliding pants to NPSL teams.  Stromgren Supports
         will also serve as an official licensee (NPSL).

    Print | Tags: NFL, PepsiCo, Tampa Bay Rays

              MasterCard will issue one million "special" Pele
         affinity cards "as part of its marketing blitz" for the '98
         World Cup, according to Patrick Harverson of the FINANCIAL
         TIMES.  MasterCard "declines to say how much it pays Pele,
         but his fee for this World Cup is estimated to be in excess
         of" $1.5M.  The company claims Pele's appearances worldwide
         for MasterCard between '91-'94 generated four billion "media
         impressions" -- the total circulation and viewership of
         print articles and TV appearances (FINANCIAL TIMES, 12/22).

    Print | Tags: MasterCard

              With the Super Bowl 19 days away, and NBC's ad-time
         sold out, the advertising landscape is beginning to receive
         as much attention as which two teams will represent their
         respective conferences.  Donald Bruzzone of CA-based
         Bruzzone Research has studied every Super Bowl commercial
         since '92 and answered 11 questions on "Super Bowl ad myths"
         posed by USA TODAY's Bruce Horovitz.  Bruzzone said that
         "about" 61% of all Super Bowl ads "were somewhat or very
         ineffective," and that "while viewers liked most of the ads,
         they couldn't remember who they were for" (USA TODAY, 1/5).
              THE PLAYERS: H.J. Heinz plans two Super Bowl ketchup
         spots as part of its $20M advertising and marketing campaign
         for '98.  Heinz's spots show tomatoes "bouncing, shimmying
         and squeezing themselves into a ketchup bottle," before
         showing a child pouring ketchup onto a hamburger.  The ad
         ends with the tagline "Mine's Gotta Have Heinz" (WALL STREET
         JOURNAL, 1/5).....USA TODAY's Bruce Horovitz examined Pizza
         Hut's Super Bowl advertising.  Muhammad Ali "was lined up to
         star" in Pizza Hut's game spots, but the company is "putting
         Ali's ad on hold" in favor a campaign for its Edge pizza. 
         But some international franchises "want Ali now" as a
         spokesperson for the whole Pizza Hut brand; therefore,
         outside the U.S. -- in the U.K., Australia and Mexico -- the
         Ali ad will air later this month (USA TODAY, 1/5).

    Print | Tags: NBC
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