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  • BARBIE A MULTI-SPORT ATHLETE: MATTEL ALIGNS WITH FIFA WOMEN

              Mattel has signed a deal with the '99 FIFA Women's
         World Cup Organizing Committee to become a major licensee of
         the Women's World Cup in '99.  In conjunction with the deal,
         Mattel will release a Women's World Cup Barbie doll later
         this year.  U.S. team star Mia Hamm will be a spokesperson
         for the Women's World Cup soccer Barbie doll.  Hamm will
         appear on the packaging for the doll and in advertising for
         Mattel.  Other sports-themed Barbies include the WNBA Barbie
         and Olympic Skater Barbie (Mattel).  According to a WALL
         STREET JOURNAL staff report, sources say Mattel has agreed
         to spend "more than" $1M to advertise the doll and to become
         a licensee of the event, which will be held in seven U.S.
         cities in June of '99 (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/28). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: WNBA
  • BRANDWEEK NEWS & NOTES: IS AN ID NEEDED TO ENTER QBC?

              Hoping to "revitalize" the NFL's Quarterback Club (QBC)
         "with a youth injection," Chargers QB Ryan Leaf will be the
         first rookie admitted to the club pending QBC membership
         ratification, according to Terry Lefton of BRANDWEEK. 
         Lefton writes that the decision "probably has more than a
         little bit to do with the fact" that Leaf is repped by NJ-
         based ISI, an agency headed by former NFL exec Frank Vuono,
         who created the QBC and formerly held an interest in the
         organization.  Lefton adds that Colts QB Peyton Manning is
         also "expected to be a member shortly," and that Raiders CB
         Charles Woodson could become the second defensive player to
         join QBC, following Junior Seau (BRANDWEEK, 4/27 issue).
              NOTES: Lefton also reports that official MLB on-field
         cap provider New Era has taken a license from the MLBPA and
         will try to extend the "shelf life and stardraw of its All-
         Star game lids."  The deal allows New Era to create special
         "5150" hats bearing the signature and uniform numbers of
         each All-Star player, along with MLB's All-Star Game logo. 
         The caps will sell for $25-30, up from the $20-25 cost of an
         official New Era cap, and be shipped to retail following
         All-Star selections....True Value Hardware and Bubble Yum
         have signed on as sponsors of MLB's new Yard Ball, four-on-
         four plastic ball event (BRANDWEEK, 4/27 issue).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Indianapolis Colts, MLB, NFL, Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers
  • EYEING A NEW CHUCK TAILOR? NBA PLAYERS CALL FASHION POLICE

              Considering that the "average man still considers
         himself to be a fashion illiterate, professional basketball
         is fashion central," according to Robin Givhan of the
         WASHINGTON POST, who examined the menswear industry's impact
         on today's NBA under the header, "Fashion At The Highest
         Level."  Givhan writes that the men's clothing industry "is
         an untapped gold mine," adding that from a marketing
         standpoint, basketball players and coaches "are valuable
         personalities," and that the NBA is "a natural selling
         stage" for the industry.  Donna Karan Menswear President
         Linda Beauchamp: "Sports people today are what Hollywood was
         in the '20's and '30s. ... Men hold sports in the highest
         esteem."  Givhan adds that NBA coaches are also part of the
         "fashion club," as the industry "has recognized coaches as
         the perfect pitchmen to reach a virtually untapped segment"
         of the men's clothing market (WASHINGTON POST, 4/28).
    
    

    Print | Tags: NBA
  • IS MIKE PIAZZA PLAYING HARDBALL OVER SPIKE SELECTION?

              After months of trying to re-sign Mike Piazza to a shoe
         contract, Nike "is worried that it might lose him,"
         according to an AP report in the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE. 
         Piazza has spent his entire career with Nike, but since his
         two-year shoe contract expired last season, he has not
         signed a new deal with the company, "nor does he display the
         swoosh on the Nikes he wears on the field."  Nike
         spokesperson Robin Carr-Locke said of Piazza, "We're trying
         to work with him again."  But the AP reports that Nike,
         which considers Piazza "the most marketable baseball star
         next to" Ken Griffey Jr., is not the only shoe company "in
         the running."  Piazza is also considering deals with Mizuno
         and Asics.  Piazza made at least $3M endorsing Japanese
         products last year, while grossing about the same in the
         U.S., "the bulk coming from Nike and Pert Plus shampoo." 
         One source said Piazza's asking price for a one year deal is
         about $250,000 (AP/Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/28).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Nike
  • MARKETPLACE ROUND-UP

              Tricon Global Restaurants consolidated its $300M
         national TV buying duties at NY-based Young & Rubicam's
         Media Edge, giving the shop responsibility for KFC, Pizza
         Hut and Taco Bell.  AD AGE's Kramer & Ross report that while
         McDonald's is currently negotiating with NBC for commercial
         time for the next five Olympic Games, it is devoting "nearly
         half its media budget to local advertising."  That has left
         industry watchers to "wonder if the marketer will pony up
         for category exclusivity.  If it doesn't, it could open an
         [Olympic] window for Tricon" (AD AGE, 4/27 issue).
              OTHER NOTES: SRi Research has been appointed the
         Official Market Research Agency for the ICC Cricket World
         Cup '99.  Two key research elements will include a review of
         worldwide TV coverage and audience levels of the event,
         together with a two-phase consumer survey across the UK
         (SRi)....Dexter Shoes reached a deal with Strike Ten
         Entertainment to serve as a sponsor of the WIBC Queens and
         the Brunswick Intercollegiate Bowling Championships, May 10-
         16, in Davenport, IA.  The sponsorship includes broadcast
         media, event signage and display at tournament venues
         (Strike Ten)....GOLFWEEK's "Forecaddie" reports that talks
         between Nick Faldo and Mizuno USA ended April 20 "with no
         deal to extend his contract" (GOLFWEEK, 4/25 issue). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: McDonalds, NBC
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