U.S. Fans Abound For WWC Final LeBron Praised For Role In Apatow's "Trainwreck" MLS Eyeing St. Paul For Expansion Club Angels Bad PR Continues With Dipoto Exit NBA Free Agency Begins With Money Flying Expectations High For NASCAR On NBC NBC Lands New Advertisers For Race Coverage Going Off The Grid Steelers Exploring '23 Super Bowl Bid GT To Benefit Financially From Ireland Game
CBS is "breaking ground" with its Olympic coverage "by implementing a region-by-region marketing plan based on its study of 12,000 viewers who watched" the '92 and '94 Winter Games, according to USA TODAY's Dottie Enrico. CBS and its affils will air Olympic promos, but local stations "also will promote sporting events of particular interest to their region." Enrico: "For example, New Yorkers tend to like hockey. Folks in Phoenix like bobsledding. Viewers in Charlotte, N.C., want to see skiing" (USA TODAY, 2/6). 19.6 PROJECTED RATING: In N.Y., Stephen Battaglio reports that CBS research has projected a 19.6 prime-time rating, with "advertisers being guaranteed an audience slightly below that number." BBDO's Steve Grubbs: "I think they've got a good chance to reach their projections. Some of it is dictated by the success of the American team" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 2/6). In DC, John Carmody reports the guarantee to advertisers is a prime-time rating between a 19.2 and 19.6, and a 30 share (WASHINGTON POST, 2/6). CBS "has sold" 99% of its ad time and is expected to make about $100M in profit on ad sales of more than $600M (Rachel Blount, Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 2/6). CLIP AND SAVE: CBS has said that letting viewers know when events are live or taped "is a top priority," according to Michael Starr of the N.Y. POST. The 14-hour time difference will "force" CBS to show "many events on a tape- delayed basis." Rick Gentile, Exec Producer of CBS' Olympic coverage: "It will be clear that we are on tape. We are going to clearly designate a live event" (N.Y. POST, 2/6). In L.A., Stewart & Penner wrote that West Coast viewers will be unable to see any event live and CBS "has no plans to add a graphic disclaimer for audiences in the Mountain and West Coast time zones" (L.A. TIMES, 2/5).
Japan, "in its worst economic straits since World War II, has spent a record $13 billion to stage an Olympics" which open today, according to Sullivan & Shipley on the front page of the WASHINGTON POST. Sullivan & Shipley: "Now, against a backdrop of the country's high-tech magic, effusive hospitality and cultural treasures, approximately 2,500 athletes are poised to provide inspirational, made- for-TV drama" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/6). This morning in Nagano, IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch said, "I would like to say 'so far, so good'" (KYODO NEWS, 2/6). EVERYBODY'S HAPPY: In L.A., Mike Penner wrote Nagano "is already outpacing Atlanta in almost every category on the organizational scorecard." USOC Dir of PR Mike Moran: "They have been immediately responsive to problems" (L.A. TIMES, 2/6). In DC, Michael Wilbon writes, "Welcome to the We-Are-Not-Atlanta Games ... where everything works, where you don't see giant Nike swooshes on every building." Wilbon adds, "You'd have to work to be cynical here" as many "can't find anything significant to complain about" (WASH. POST, 2/6). In N.Y., Jere Longman writes the Games open "with a welcome that has become both extravagantly international and stirringly local" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/6). But in Chicago, Bernie Lincicome calls Nagano a "shabby choice" and a "junky little city." Lincicome: "I hope things turn out better than they are starting" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/6). In N.Y., Joel Sherman writes traffic is a potential problem and is "expected to worsen" (N.Y. POST, 2/6). BOON OR BUST? USA TODAY's cover-story profiles Japan's hosting of the Games under the header, "Japan Hopes Games Will Lift Spirits" (USA TODAY, 2/6). In Minneapolis, Weiner & Blount examine whether the Games are "a boon or a boondoggle" to Nagano (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 2/6). In S.F., C.W. Nevius writes that Nagano is "still deeply conflicted about these Games" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/6). OPENING NIGHT: NAOC Exec Producer Keita Asari said that he has "gone out of his way" to keep Hollywood "glitz" out of tonight's Opening Ceremonies. The event will "focus on Japanese culture and global peace instead of commercial entertainment" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 2/6).
In L.A., Greg Johnson wrote the "stars are aligned for the ice-skating industry to score a perfect 10 in the sports marketing game" (L.A. TIMES, 2/5)....Snowboarding continues to generate a buzz: In Philadelphia, Diane Pucin writes it is "going to be big" in Nagano (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 2/6). USA TODAY's sports cover story profiles Burton Snowboards Founder Jake Burton under the header, "Snowboard King Is Gliding Right" (USA TODAY, 2/6)....In Baltimore, Christian Ewell reviews Web sites for the Games, calling the official site of nagano. olympic.org the "wild card. ... If it's working, the IBM site is the Joe Montana of Web sites." Ewell calls CBS SportsLine "probably the best of the ones that are guaranteed to work" (Baltimore SUN, 2/6)....VANITY FAIR's March issue, on newsstands now, features NHL players representing their countries in Nagano (THE DAILY). ...Speedskater Eric Flaim, in his fourth Winter Games, will carry the U.S. flag in the Opening Ceremonies (Mult., 2/6).
Around 50 advertisers have paid up to $500,000 per 30- second prime-time spot during CBS' coverage of the Olympics, according to Denise Gellene of the L.A. TIMES. Ogilvy & Mather released a survey that showed 78% of adults "intend to watch at least some Olympic events. Many of those people plan to watch Olympics coverage at least four days out of each week the Games air." But "some advertisers balked" at the "high cost" of ads and that is "one reason it took CBS until last week to sell out the telecast." McDonald's, a TOP Olympic sponsor, opted out of advertising on CBS, which allowed Wendy's to buy time. Gellene adds, "Some Olympic sponsors are concerned that the telecast will heighten confusion on the part of consumers. That is because CBS is allowing some sponsors of the telecast to use the network's Olympic logo in print advertising." CBS' logo consists of the CBS eye and the five Olympic rings. TOP sponsor John Hancock's competitor, Northwestern Mutual Life, is using the CBS logo. Hancock President David D'Alessandro "complained" to CBS about the tactic, "to no avail" (L.A. TIMES, 2/6). OTHER PLANS: In Atlanta, Mickey Gramig reports that Chrysler and Ford paid $50M each for commercial time. IBM and AT&T paid $30M. TOP Olympic sponsor Coca-Cola will air 137 30-second spots and will spend an "estimated" $100M to $125M on global marketing linked to the Games. TOP sponsor Home Depot has created two new spots to been seen in the U.S. and Canada "just about every night" (ATL. CONSTITUTION, 2/6)....USA TODAY's Kevin Maney reports how IBM will use the Nagano Games to "get it right" after its Atlanta experience. While the "likelihood of another embarrassment is slim ... there's plenty to be worried about. The technological demands of these games are more intense than in Atlanta: The Web site alone expects 100 million hits a day" (USA TODAY, 2/6)....In N.Y., Stuart Elliot previews Olympic ads and writes that Nike "will concentrate on women." Among new spots: A-B is rolling out an ad which "promotes moderation," Visa debuts a spot on arts sponsorships and new work by BellSouth, Toyota and Xerox (N.Y. TIMES, 2/6). GAMES MARKETING: USA TODAY's Melanie Wells: "Marketing excesses won't be a problem here. Nagano's remote location and its unenviable sandwiching between two hot-spot summer sites ... have given these Olympics a stepchild status." Many U.S. marketers are instead "eyeing" the 2002 Salt Lake Games (USA TODAY, 2/6). In N.Y., Roger Thurow writes on corporate hospitality. Despite "wrestling with the harsh economic realities of the times," the Olympics "are no place to get cheap" for the "key" sponsors of the Games. While having to lay off "thousands of workers," Kodak's Olympic Manager Michael Tette said, "The hospitality won't change at all. ... It's not something we cut back on." Nike turned a "defunct auto dealership" into a "kind of Nike Nightclub" while adidas "has taken over a noodle shop" and "converted it into a schmoozing parlor" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/6).