SBD/2/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

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              Visa Int'l has become the official payment card, and
         one of six global sponsors, of next year's Rugby World Cup
         in a deal "thought to be worth" $16.7M, according to Patrick
         Harverson of the FINANCIAL TIMES.  The event, played in the
         UK, Ireland and France, is expected to attract a TV audience
         of three billion (FINANCIAL TIMES, 3/2).
              COCA-COLA'S FIFA DEAL: BRANDWEEK's Terry Lefton writes
         that Coca-Cola's eight-year sponsorship deal with FIFA,
         which includes the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, shows the
         company "is employing a different investment strategy
         overseas from its current domestic associative marketing
         shifts.  In the U.S., company execs have questioned buying
         rights to big-ticket sports and entertainment events, such
         as the Super Bowl, whose tickets aren't affordable for key
         demos like kids.  In soccer, tickets are still relatively
         cheap and accessible and the benefit of international
         exposure remains [an] attractive lure even for as big a
         brand as Coke" (BRANDWEEK, 3/2 issue).
              FEEL THE FORCE, LUC: Bulls C Luc Longley is "an
         endorsement king" in his native Australia, according to
         Chris Tomasson of the AKRON BEACON JOURNAL.  Longley appears
         in commercials for Qantas Airways and Sprite, and his face
         is on a McDonald's cup (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 3/1).

    Print | Tags: Chicago Bulls, Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Visa

              NBC "is close to inking" a multiyear advertising deal
         with Honda Motor Co., one of the first deals under its new,
         four-year NBA contract, according to Wayne Friedman of the
         HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.  The deal will likely increase Honda's
         total ad costs by 30% to 35% compared with terms of its
         current NBA on NBC package.  NBC's current NBA advertiser
         deals expire at the end of the this season.  NBC currently
         receives "nearly" $100,000 per 30-second spot for a regular
         season game, and anywhere from $110,000-$500,000 a spot
         during the playoffs and championship.  NBC is reportedly
         seeking nearly $90M for a four-year NBA automotive sponsor,
         compared with $55-$60M the net commanded from each of its
         current auto sponsors.  Friedman added that although Honda's
         total costs will be higher, its CPM's, or cost per thousand
         homes, should only rise by about 10% because NBC will air
         more games in the next contract (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 2/2).

    Print | Tags: NBA, NBC

              Michelle Kwan has signed a deal to promote Unilever's
         Fresh Deodorant Caress soap, according to USA TODAY's Bruce
         Horovitz.  Sports marketing analysts estimate the deal is
         for under $100,000.  Kwan's agent, Shep Goldberg, said that
         a second "major" endorsement contract for Kwan "will be
         announced within 30 days."  In a sidebar, Horovitz writes
         that although Kwan won a silver medal at the Nagano Games,
         she proved that "there's something that may be just as
         relevant to consumers as winning gold: swell sportsmanship. 
         By finishing a gracious second, Kwan could emerge the
         surprise winner of the Olympic endorsement derby."  Harvard
         Marketing Professor Stephen Greyser: "Leaving the Olympics
         with her reputation intact was, perhaps, more important that
         winning first place" (Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY, 3/2).


              Buoyed by their new logo and uniforms, the Buccaneers
         went from 28th to 16th place in sales of NFL licensed
         merchandise in '97 (USA TODAY, 3/2)....CA-based No Fear,
         "famous for outfitting skaters and surfers," has re-designed
         the logo of the AFL Orlando Predators.  The new logo is No
         Fear's first pro sports design (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/1)....In
         N.Y., Kimberly Stevens wrote that Gatorade's newest flavor,
         Midnight Thunder, "is the shade of black leather jackets,
         black jeans and black hair dye.  The company hopes the shock
         value will appeal to customers, particularly young ones." 
         Gatorade Dir of Marketing Communications P.J. Sinopoli, on
         the new blackberry flavor: "This product has an in-your-face
         attitude that teens seems to love.  It's important to stay
         hip with youth" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/1)....In Denver, Penny Parker
         examined CO-based Bolle, which signed Picabo Street shortly
         before the Olympics.  Gart Sports VP/Marketing Fran Victor:
         "If they get Picabo out making personal appearances wearing
         Bolle sunglasses and endorsing them, it will amplify (the
         brand)."  Other athletes who endorse Bolle products include
         Martina Hingis and Jacques Villeneuve (DENVER POST, 3/1).

    Print | Tags: Nashville Predators, NFL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

              Casey Martin has signed endorsement deals to play Top-
         Flite balls and Ping clubs and to display The Hartford
         Insurance logo on his bag, according to Ron Sirak of the AP. 
         Martin has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday when he
         returns to the Nike Tour to play at the Greater Austin
         Classic in TX.  Sirak reported that "three industry sources"
         confirmed the deals to the AP.  Spalding Sports,
         manufactures of Top-Flite and Karsten Manufacturing,
         manufacturers of Ping, refused to confirm or deny the deals.
         Officials with The Hartford Insurance offices could not be
         reached for comment (AP, 2/28).  Martin was interviewed this
         morning on NBC's "Today."  Asked about lucrative endorsement
         deals, Martin said he wasn't "going to comment on it too
         much."  Martin: "I'm generally not getting paid what Tiger's
         getting paid, but there've been some opportunities and ... I
         never expected it, but I'm not going to turn it down."  On
         returning to the Nike Tour: "I do want to play well.  I've
         never dealt with this kind of exposure and media attention
         and I don't really want to go make a clown of myself.  But
         I'll just accept whatever happens as for the best and I'll
         do my best.  I can't promise anything.  I'm just grateful I
         have a chance now" ("Today," NBC, 3/2).
              MORE MARTIN: Martin is profiled by NEWSWEEK's John
         Leland who writes that his case vs. the PGA Tour was "a
         victory of David over Goliath, or a judicial intrusion into
         the integrity of professional sport.  It pits a stock hero 
         -- brusquely handsome, devoutly Christian, a young man
         battling constant pain -- against an association with a
         history of exclusion" (NEWSWEEK, 3/9 issue).  

    Print | Tags: NBC, Nike, PGA Tour, Russell Athletic
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