SBD/31/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

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              Beginning with last night's NCAA men's champion KY,
         Miami-based American Scoop ice cream will "take the logos of
         top college and professional teams and emblazon them" on
         their ice cream pints, according to Jeffery Zbar of the Ft.
         Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL.  American Scoop CEO Ed Squire said
         that KY will be honored on three different containers, each
         with the school's logo, and "each with a different fact box
         about the team."  Squire will intro the first batch of the
         ice cream to retailers in KY on Thursday.  FL-based Sports &
         Sponsorships will handle the account with NY-based Alan
         Taylor Communications overseeing the PR effort.  Squire
         worked with Sports & Sponsorships President Scott Becher to
         forge deals with the NCAA and the Collegiate Licensing
         Company which give American Scoop rights to 79 championship
         events and 200 schools.  Squire has also retained rights to
         be the "official ice cream licensee" of the NHL, and is
         "working to sign" other pro leagues.  The next market
         targeted by American Scoop is Michigan, with links to the
         Univ. of MI and the Red Wings.  American Scoop's premium ice
         cream will retail from $2.39-$2.75 (SUN-SENTINEL, 3/30).
              CHOICE SEATS: All fans who attended Saturday's men's
         semifinal games in San Antonio received specially-designed
         seat cushions containing pre-paid GTE calling cards.  As
         part of its promotion, GTE made a $10,000 donation to the
         Kids Sports Network, which provided more than 300 volunteers
         to place the 40,000 seat cushions in the Alamodome (GTE).

    Print | Tags: Detroit Red Wings, NCAA, NHL

              IMG's Jeff Schwartz, who represents Pete Sampras, "has
         stuck with" the new No. 1 men's tennis player in the world,
         Marcelo Rios, "despite the fact that the player is far from
         a marketing dream," according to Linda Robertson of the
         MIAMI HERALD.  Rios, who does have endorsement deals with
         Nike and Coca-Cola in Chile, was labeled "the most hated man
         in tennis" in an SI article two weeks ago.  Schwartz: "They
         didn't get below the surface in that article.  It takes time
         to warm up with Marcelo.  I've been telling him to give
         people a chance" (MIAMI HERALD, 3/30).  Following Rios' win
         at the Lipton, Chilean TV had a two-hour special on him and
         another half-hour piece in prime time.  Schwartz, on Rios'
         popularity: "He's Michael Jordan in Chile.  That's the best
         way to say it" (Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 3/30). 
         Monday's edition of "La Epoca," Chile's national newspaper,
         featured ten articles about Rios.  Rios is the first men's
         tennis player from South America to be ranked No. 1 in the
         world.  Guillermo Vilas reached No. 2 in '78 (THE DAILY).  

    Print | Tags: Coca-Cola, IMG, Nike, Sports Illustrated

              BETTER MAKE IT A BUD LIGHT: A-B's Bud Light brand has
         signed on as the official beer of the '99 Women's World Cup. 
         Under the deal, A-B will commit $1M of Cup-themed ads and
         receives board signage, media, tickets and hospitality
         (BRANDWEEK, 3/30)....Starter has re-signed Steelers RB
         Jerome Bettis for another three years in an endorsement deal
         for both its branded and licensed apparel (BRANDWEEK, 3/30).
         Johnson writes that "one place taking a hit" during Nike's
         recent staff cutbacks is Nike Sports & Entertainment.  Its
         staff has "shrunk" from 34 employees to 20.  The company
         will now focus on Nike oriented events as it "abandons
         ambitions to compete with the likes of" IMG in staging
         events for other marketers (AD AGE, 3/30 issue).
              A BIG ATTRACTION: At the Mall of America, NASCAR
         Silicon Motor Speedway is the highest grossing entertainment
         tenant to date, according to the Mall's owner, Simon
         DeBartolo Group.  Weekends and selected weekdays see a
         three- to six-hour wait at the interactive center (NASCAR).

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, IMG, NASCAR, Nike, Pittsburgh Steelers

              As MLB opens its season today, its sponsorship and
         licensing revenues are "up double digits, while starting
         from an admittedly small base," according to Terry Lefton of
         BRANDWEEK.  But the "primary sticking point" for MLB's
         "stalled on-field apparel program" is Yankees Owner George
         Steinbrenner.  MLBP President Bob Gamgort: "The biggest
         thing standing between us and a new program is settling the
         Adidas lawsuit and I think we are closer than we have been." 
         Lefton's sources said that a settlement was discussed during
         the recent MLB owners meetings, "with a major impediment"
         being Steinbrenner's desire to be reinstated to MLB's Exec
         Council.  He was removed from the committee last year after
         his adidas deal.  Lefton adds that new on-field brands "are
         expected to include" Pro Player and adidas.  New Era, MLB's
         exclusive cap provider, is "close" to a five-year extension
         which a source "pegged at more than" $60M (BRANDWEEK, 3/30).
              LOCAL STRATEGY: MLB's "new ad strategy" in '99 will see
         national spots "complemented in local markets by ads
         featuring a similar concept specific to each team,"
         according to Jeff Jensen of AD AGE.  The "goal" is to create
         "one voice with which the league and its 30 teams can
         promote the game to fans."  A "test" involving one team is
         planned for this year.  The campaign will continue with the
         "What A Game" tag created by Lowe & Partners/SMS, N.Y. 
         Plans for '99 would have "news bulletin" spots customized
         for every team which would follow the team's progress
         throughout the season (Jeff Jensen, AD AGE, 3/30 issue).
              MLB NOTES: Starter took out a full-page ad in USA TODAY
         promoting their satin MLB dugout jackets.  From the ad:
         "Opening Day Dress Code: Jackets Required" (USA TODAY,
         3/31)....MLB's Public Service Campaign for '98 will promote
         the partnership between the league and its official charity,
         the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA).  Two 30-second TV
         spots feature MLBers who are alumni or active supporters of
         the BGCA.  Players involved include Alex Rodriguez, Ken
         Griffey Jr., John Olerud, John Smoltz and Frank Thomas.  The
         first spot will run today on ESPN's Opening Day coverage,
         and both spots will run throughout the season during MLB
         coverage on Fox, FSN, FX, ESPN and NBC (MLB)....BRANDWEEK
         reports that Blimpie Subs & Salads is linking with Morgan
         Creek Productions for a promo around the April 17 release of
         "Major League III: Back to the Minors" (BRANDWEEK, 3/30). 

    Print | Tags: ESPN, MLB, NBC, New York Yankees, Walt Disney, Washington Nationals

              The MLBPA "threw a high, hard one" at MLB, as it
         granted Pacific Trading Cards an MLBPA license, putting MLB
         in "an awkward position" which "could escalate tensions
         between the licensing sides" of the league and the MLBPA,
         according to Terry Lefton of BRANDWEEK.  The deal comes "at
         a time when they have at least paid lip service toward
         working together for more synergistic marketing deals."  MLB
         now "must either capitulate to the [MLBPA], granting a
         license ... or refuse and risk a resumption of hostilities." 
         One senior card industry exec said, "They were going to work
         together and now the [MLBPA] is jamming this down their
         throats."  Pinnacle Brands Chair Jerry Meyer, noting the
         number of card licensees: "I'm at a loss as to why anyone
         would allow another company in considering the health of the
         category."  Lefton reports that industry estimates put the
         deal at "close to" $4M, and "[m]any in the industry
         interpreted the [MLBPA]'s move as a sign that it is strapped
         for cash," a notion "rejected" by MLBPA Dir of Marketing
         Judy Heeter.  Lefton writes of "two larger issues" in this
         case: the risk of "oversaturating an already oversaturated
         category, perhaps killing it and driving one or more of the
         licensees ... out of business," and "whether the two sides
         will ever be able to work together" (BRANDWEEK, 3/30 issue).

    Print | Tags: Acushnet, MLB
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