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THE EARLY SKINNY ON WHO'S STAR COULD SHINE FOR SUPER BOWL
Published January 9, 1998
In a year when sports fans will have World Cup soccer and the Winter Olympics to "sate their appetites," the Super Bowl "remains the $uper Bowl," according to Greg Johnson of the L.A. TIMES. All the advertisers are "anxiously waiting" to see if the AFC "can keep viewers in the game beyond halftime," while sports marketing "gurus" are handicapping which players and coaches are most likely to turn "gridiron glory into potentially lucrative marketing contracts." Packers QB Brett Favre is the player "with the most to gain" from a repeat Super Bowl win, but Johnson calls the Broncos' John Elway a "potential dark horse." As for coaches, the Packers' Mike Holmgren and the Steelers' Bill Cowher "might be able to cash in if their teams win." FCB's Bob Dorfman said if Holmgren wins "again, sponsors are going to start loving him." Dorfman added that Cowher has a "working-class appeal," with a "distinctive look" (L.A. TIMES, 1/8). PLAYERS VS. ABSTAINERS: CNBC's Mike Hegedus said that "in the last seven years, nearly 250 new ads have premiered on Super Bowl Sunday." Jeff Mordos, Managing Dir of BBDO/NY, whose firm handles the Pepsi account along with five other companies who will run Super Bowl ads: "You can't win if you don't play and that's the biggest game to play in" ("The Edge," CNBC, 1/7). Super Bowl '97 advertisers who decided not to run ads in this year's game include three carmakers -- Nissan, Porsche and Honda -- as well as Fila, Johnson & Johnson, MCI, Breathe Right and Janus Funds, according to USA TODAY's Melanie Wells. John Elder, Porsche Account Dir at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners: "We just couldn't justify the cost" (USA TODAY, 1/9). The Super Bowl has been able to "lure back" Coca-Cola, which hasn't run an ad during the game since '91. It will go up against "archrival Pepsi" with a pair of spots (L.A. TIMES, 1/8).