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SOME OLYMPIC ADVERTISERS NOT THRILLED WITH CBS POLICY
Published February 6, 1998
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).