SBD/2/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

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              Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and PepsiCo announced
         an agreement that names Pepsi as the Official Soft Drink of
         IMS and the IRL.  The deal gives Pepsi exclusive pouring
         rights for all IMS events, including the Indy 500 and
         Brickyard 400, entitlement to Indy FanFest, now renamed
         "Pepsi Indy FanFest," and an interactive entertainment
         complex operated during May at IMS.  Also, the IMS Hall of
         Fame Museum food and beverage services will be renamed the
         "Pepsi Pit Stop."  In addition to its IRL support, Pepsi
         currently has pouring rights at 14 of 20 NASCAR Winston Cup
         race tracks (IMS).  BLOOMBERG reports that although Coca-
         Cola is a NASCAR partner, Pepsi "has been spending freely"
         to align with race tracks (BLOOMBERG NEWS/L.A. TIMES, 4/2).
              OTHER PEPSI STUFF: "Access Hollywood" featured Pepsi's
         new ad starring Shaquille O'Neal, which has yet to air.  The
         spot is for Pepsi's new 24-oz. bottle, and features O'Neal
         with a group of children.  The voiceover: "Introducing the
         24-ounce bottle from Pepsi.  It's perfect for a lot of
         little thirsts, or one great big thirst" ("AH," 4/1).

    Print | Tags: Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar, NASCAR, PepsiCo

              Hamilton, Ontario-based Jackson Management Group (JMG)
         will handle all promotional opportunities for Mike Harris,
         who won a silver medal in curling at the Nagano Games (JMG)
         ....Woolworth, parent company to Foot Locker, Lady Foot
         Locker, Champs Sports and other athletic outlets, will
         unveil its new corporate name today -- Venator Group.  The
         name will officially take effect on June 12 (WALL STREET
         JOURNAL, 4/2)....Taylor Made Marketing Manager Mike Kelly,
         on getting into the youth golf market: "Our research showed
         that about 66 percent of those people who buy Taylor Made
         products have children in the 5-13 age group our kids line
         is made for. ... [I]t will be a huge advantage for us down
         the road.  It's all about developing brand loyalty"
         (AP/DETROIT NEWS, 4/2)....Budget Rent a Car has aligned with
         Callaway Golf for a rewards program that initially includes
         a Callaway putter for customers spending $300 in revenue in
         five rentals (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/31)....MLS Legal Counsel
         Dave Weinberg, after officials seized 389 items of non-
         licensed merchandise: "It's a problem that is somewhat
         encouraging, because it does show that there is interest [in
         league merchandise] out there" (S.D. UNION-TRIBUNE, 4/1).

    Print | Tags: Callaway Golf, MLS, Washington Nationals

              Genesis Direct "has become the leading direct
         merchandiser of sporting goods in less than 18 months," and
         its sports division "could total" $300M annually "by the
         time Genesis is finished cornering the market," according to
         Andy Bernstein of SPORTING GOODS BUSINESS.  The direct
         marketing company, which is "set to go public on the NASDAQ
         in May," has 29 catalogs in its "ever-expanding arsenal." 
         Bernstein writes that although the company "piled-up a
         deficit of $73.1 million as of the end of 1997 ... company
         officials say things are right on track with projections,
         and Genesis should be profitable by 2000."  The IPO has
         attracted a "who's who of underwriters," including Bear,
         Stearns & Co., Goldman Sachs and Salomon Smith Barney.  The
         offering is expected to generate "up to" $180M, and the
         company will "likely be valued" $500M (SGB, 3/25 issue).
              HATS OFF: SGB's Chris McEvoy reports that Sports
         Specialties "is bullish" on prospects for its new Heritage
         cap, made of 100% cotton ribbed dobby fabric.  It "felt so
         strongly" about the look and textured feel of the fabric,
         that it negotiated an exclusive deal for the material,
         through June '99. The caps ship July 1 (SGB, 3/25). 
              HOOP DREAMS: Converse Chair & CEO Glenn Rupp is 
         featured in the SGB interview.  Rupp, when asked why the
         basketball shoe industry is "suffering": "Kids are a little
         turned off by the old formula starring the hero, the
         Hollywood hype -- the brash basketball approach to the
         business.  That's why we've adopted the tag line, 'Stay
         True.'  This means keep it real, don't forget where you came
         from."  Rupp, on NBA endorsers: "There are very few who
         actually sold product.  There is Michael Jordan, and then
         there is maybe a handful of others.  Even the second tier
         hasn't been cutting the mustard" (SGB, 3/25 issue).

    Print | Tags: Converse, NBA
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