Sunoco Debuts "Essence Of Racing" Campaign Executive Transactions Isiah Thomas Expected Backlash Over Hiring FanDuel Brings On Most Of Zynga Sports Team Georgia Approves Increased Athletic Budget Kentucky Adding Ribbon Boards At Rupp IndyCar Ponders How To Attract Fans Long Term Jeff Gordon Hired As Full-Time Analyst For Fox Danica's Sponsorship Status To Be Telling For NASCAR Classified Advertisements
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Greg Norman officially launched his own line of pasta sauces last week, according to GOLFWEEK'S "The Forecaddie." The "culinary expert" behind the two new varieties, garlic and basil, is Norman's wife, Laura, who developed the sauce in consultation with the manufacturers. Greg Norman: "I don't cook, I barbecue" (GOLFWEEK, 2/14). Norman also writes a column for SI's "Golf Plus" criticizing the media for alleging that President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky may had been together during Clinton's visit with Norman last year: "I say it has gone too far. The media have crossed the line between bona fide news and pure gossip. ... Those stories hurt people, real people" (SI, 2/23 issue). WHILE TALKING ABOUT CLINTON...: Vernon Jordan's membership on nine corporate boards, including Callaway Golf, was examined by CNN's Terry Keenan on "Moneyline." Keenan: "Jordan will collect more than $200,000 in annual director's fees from Callaway." Ely Callaway, on why a company benefits by having Jordan on its board: "Because of the kind of person he is, and his experience not only with the law, but with other corporations. Serving on many of the top boards gives him a background and a savvy, and an experience that's really very unique" (CNN, 2/18). TECHNO TIGER: CA-based Electronic Arts has signed Tiger Woods to lend his name to its latest PGA Tour game being released this summer. In San Francisco, Jamie Beckett reports that Woods could receive "as much as" $2M up front, and a percentage of royalties (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/19). ON THE LINKS: In Chicago, Ed Sherman profiled Rudy Slucker, who recently purchased Tommy Armour Golf and Ram Golf. While Armour and Ram combined for losses of $40M last year, Slucker "sees only black," and says his irons "will eventually be No. 1 in the marketplace, overtaking Callaway." Sherman: "Slucker is making only noise, not money. Like Callaway in the early 1990's, he is being scoffed at by the golf industry. Among the scoffers is Callaway himself" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/17)....A recent survey showed that women account for only 32% of new golfers, down from 37% five years ago (BUSINESS WEEK, 2/23 issue).
Sears, Roebuck & Co. renewed its NCAA agreement with Host Communications, as the official retailer of the NCAA. Sears will have exclusive promotional and marketing rights in the retail category (Host)....100% Columbian Coffee will be the presenting sponsor of the USTA Walt Disney World U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships in Orlando through 2002 (Disney)....ISL Worldwide appointed R.O.I. Marketing as the exclusive licensing rep for the '99 FIFA Women's World Cup (ISL)....P.S./StarGames will handle marketing and contract negotiations for the AVP's Eric Fonoimoana. Fonoimoana is currently a spokesperson for Wilson volleyballs, Speedo clothing and Oakley sunglasses (P.S./StarGames).
If it were up to the Verve, Nike "never would have received permission" to use their song "Bitter Sweet Symphony" as the "cornerstone" of the company's new "I Can" campaign, according to Eric Boelhert of ROLLING STONE. However, due to a "tangled web of music-publishing rights," the decision "wasn't really [the Verve's] to make." Since "Bitter Sweet Symphony" includes a sample of the Rolling Stones song "The Last Time," ABKCO, which owns the copyrights to many early Stones songs, "took control of" rights to the song last year. Rather than allowing ABKCO to sell a "sound-alike" version to advertisers, the Verve "decided to license their actual recording" to one major advertiser, hoping to "deter others from wanting to buy the publishing rights." Nike, which paid $700,000 for the rights, beat out Budweiser, Coca-Cola, GM and others. ABKCO received $350,000 in the deal, while the Verve took home $175,000. Two weeks after the Nike ads debuted during the NFL playoffs, the Verve's album "Urban Hyms" rose 34 spots on the Billboard charts to No. 36, its "highest point since its release." The group's manager, Jazz Summers, "concedes that the ad may help generate the Verve's U.S. breakthrough." Nike's Business Affairs Manager Mark Thomashow, who handled the deal, said that the band will also "be heading to Paris this summer" after requesting tickets to the World Cup (ROLLING STONE, 3/5 issue).