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CORPORATE SPONSORS BEGIN TO ROLL OUT FINAL FOUR PROMOS
Published March 4, 1998
Corporate sponsors' promotion of the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments is examined by Terry Lefton of BRANDWEEK, who highlights promos by Hershey, Sears and Ocean Spray. Hershey is sponsoring a Final Four tickets sweeps that will be delivered via POP and a national FSI drop. In its "Soar to the Final Four" sweeps, Sears is offering 10 winners a trip to the women's NCAA semis and championship game in K.C. on March 27 and 29 and then on to the men's final in San Antonio on March 30. The sweeps will be supported by print and radio. Ocean Spray "is confining most of its Final Four activity" to the San Antonio and K.C. markets. With its NCAA sponsorship up for renewal, Ocean Spray Manager/Sports & Event Marketing Tom Manchester said the company will renew: "It's a no-brainer." AmEx, PepsiCo and Thomson (RCA) are also up for renewal. Host Communications Senior VP T.J. Nelligan, which handles the NCAA's corporate partnerships, said, "We're cautiously optimistic that we'll sign all four" (BRANDWEEK, 3/2 issue). INSIDE STUFF: In the NCAA NEWS, David Pickle examines the NCAA's corporate-partner program. The NCAA caps its corporate partners at 20, and currently, there are five vacancies, including in "key" areas such as the computer software, airlines and car rental categories. Host Communications has developed an "asset inventory," including a 78-point list, detailing how partners can link with all areas of the NCAA. Host's Nelligan says that companies can appeal to three market segments by becoming an NCAA sponsor: students and student-athletes, college and universities and their administration, faculty and staff, and fans and alumni. Nelligan adds not only are college sports fans "appealing demographically," there are "more of them" than there are pro sports fans (NCAA NEWS, 2/23 issue).