SBD/23/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

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  • BIRD WATCHING: LARRY LEGEND'S ENDORSEMENTS EXAMINED IN INDY

              In the NBA's "age of the celebrity coach," there is "no
         scarcity" of Larry Bird sightings, but the Pacers' coach
         "would be even more pervasive" if he signed with every
         company seeking his endorsement, according to Sean Horgan of
         the INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS.  Jill Leone, Owner of FL-based
         Leone Star Services, which has handled Bird's endorsements
         since '79: "We are probably only able to do about 15 or 20
         percent of what we're offered.  Larry is very selective." 
         Bird has long-standing national deals with McDonald's,
         Converse, Viking Computer Co., Viewsonics computer company
         and Miller Brewing.  In IN, he has local deals with Marsh
         Supermarkets, for which he stars in a TV spot, as well as
         print or billboard ad deals with Thomson Consumer
         Electronics, Nordstrom and The Finish Line.  Horgan writes
         that Bird's endorsement portfolio "is shrinking. By choice." 
         Bird: "They're down to where I don't hardly do any anymore. 
         With this job, it takes too much time" (STAR-NEWS, 4/23)  
              LARRY'S LEGEND: While Leone wouldn't give specifics,
         sports marketers say that Bird "commands about" $45,000 for
         a personal appearance and anywhere from $300,000 to $750,000
         for a one-commercial national deal.  Bird: "I'm getting to
         the age now where I really don't care, unless it's a
         corporation that comes to me and really shows a lot of
         interest, and I have the time in the summer."  Horgan writes
         that Bird "has loyalty that shows up in his relationships
         with sponsors, which he chooses with care and stays with
         over the long haul."  Bird: "I never dealt with companies
         that I didn't have a lot of faith in.  I try to pick
         companies that are going to be around for a long time and
         have a good rapport with customers" (STAR-NEWS, 4/23).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Converse, Indiana Pacers, McDonalds, NBA
  • MARKETPLACE ROUND-UP

              Following last week's endorsement deal with Links
         Direct, SI's "Golf Plus" notes that Fuzzy Zoeller "completed
         the six-step program of image rehab: gaffe, denial, loss of
         endorsements, apology, reacceptance, endorsements regained"
         (SI, 4/27 issue)....Pacific Trading Cards signed Padres OF
         Tony Gwynn as its spokesperson.  Gwynn will appear in all
         print and TV ads, as well as on display boxes, wrappers and
         other promo materials during the '98 season (O.C. REGISTER,
         4/22)....Jaguars QB Mark Brunell was named spokesperson for
         Players Inc, the marketing arm of the NFLPA (Players Inc).  
              NOTES: TX-based Duckster, a maker of golf rain gear,
         shirts and hats, has purchased Pro-Line Cap, which makes
         headwear for sports teams, corporations, colleges and
         related entities.  Bill McCoy, a member of Duckster's board
         of directors, has been named President of Pro-Line (FT.
         WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 4/23)....ESPN's Pro Beach Hockey will
         feature the first-ever continuous rotational signage for
         hockey supplied by ANC Sports.  ANC will supply 100 feet of
         its Space and Time signage (PBH)....Gatorade will sponsor
         "Breaking Barriers: It's a Complete Game," a new, multi-
         curricular classroom educational program that uses the story
         of Jackie Robinson to teach kids about American history,
         life skills and ideals (MLB)....In Italy, "some lawmakers
         want to sever that country's soccer ties with Nike over
         allegations of labor abuse in Nike's Asian factories.  A
         leftist political party is behind the effort which gained
         steam recently when the Italian team unveiled their World
         Cup uniforms that features a Nike swoosh on the chest" (Bob
         Ley, "SportsCenter," ESPN, 4/22).
    
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Jacksonville Jaguars, MLB, Nike, San Diego Padres, Sports Illustrated, Walt Disney
  • UNIV. OF MEMPHIS GAMBLES ON SPONSORSHIP, TAKES ANOTHER LOOK

              The Univ. of Memphis, "reacting to criticism from some
         boosters, is reviewing the sponsorship" by a MS casino of a
         Tiger Clubs golf tournament, according to David Williams of
         the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL.  UM AD R.C. Johnson: "I don't
         know that our position has changed any, but I certainly
         think it merits taking a look at it. ... [W]e have two
         choices.  We go as we are, or else I send them the money
         back."  The Horseshoe Casino is paying UM $10,000 for the
         Tiger Clubs/Horseshoe Casino Spring Golf Fling, scheduled
         for May 11.  The Tiger Clubs are the fund-raising program
         for the UM athletic department, and Johnson said that he
         thought a Tiger Club outing, "something away from the
         campus, not involving student-athletes," was an event for
         which he could utilize the casino's sponsorship (COMMERCIAL
         APPEAL, 4/22). In Memphis, Geoff Calkins: "We have gone so
         far with this endorsement stuff, we take so much of it for
         granted, that sometimes it's important to step back and
         remember that universities aren't supposed to exist for the
         sole purpose of making money" (COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 4/22).
    
    

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