SBD/8/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing


          USA TODAY's Money section cover story features,
     "Protecting the Investment," where Melanie Wells examines
     the relationship between sports endorsers and the corporate
     managers that companies provide.  Reebok's Henry "Que"
     Gaskins is "one in a small group of corporate managers who
     play an unusual but increasingly important role in
     professional sports and product endorsement.  Gaskins is a
     marketing MBA assigned to play full-time mentor, brand
     manager, companion and off-court coach to the young,
     trouble-prone" 76ers G Allen Iverson.  Being "both buddy and
     adviser is tricky, but it's a role that's evolving in
     companies as highly paid professional athletes get younger
     and marketers compete more fiercely for their services." 
     Nike's Dir of Athlete Relations Howard White, appointed by
     Nike to advise Michael Jordan in '84, on the athlete-manager
     relationship: "Just as if you drive a Ferrari, you need a
     good mechanic and a good garage to keep it in."  Wells adds
     that advisers such as Gaskins and White "are the glue that
     keeps the most sought after endorsers affiliated with a
     particular company.  Jordan admits White is one of the main
     reasons he stuck with Nike over the years" (USA TODAY, 1/8).
          STAR POWER: In N.Y., Paul Tharp examines how agents
     "are scrambling under new pressures to sell their stars in
     ways they never have before," and notes David Falk's brand
     extensions with Michael Jordan.  Beanstalk Group co-Chair
     Seth Siegel: "Every celebrity is potentially a brand that
     will sell broadly.  The trend is to extend them, wisely,
     into as many areas as possible" (N.Y. POST, 1/8).

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