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ABL HIRES NEW SPONSOR VP AND RECRUITS CLARION FOR SUPPORT
Published January 6, 1998
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).