SBD/8/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

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  • CONVERSE FIRST QUARTER SALES DOWN 30%; EARNINGS DROP 75%

              Converse announced that its net sales were down 30% in
         its first quarter ended April 4, 1998.  Sales were $95.2M,
         compared to $136M for the same period in '97, a drop of 30%. 
         Earnings were $3.1M compared to $12.3M over the same period
         last year, down 75%.  The company reported a net loss of
         $1.2M or $0.07 per share compared to net earnings of $12.7M
         or $0.71 per share in 1Q '97.  The sales drop was attributed
         to decreases of 50.3%, 51.5% and 34.3% for basketball,
         children's and cross training categories, respectively.  U.S.
         sales decreased 40% while international sales dropped 10%. 
         Converse Chair & CEO Glenn Rupp: "We have seen a significant
         slowdown in the athletic footwear market.  We anticipate that
         the industry will continue to be sluggish throughout 1998.
         ... We characterize 1998 as a year to 'batten down the
         hatches,' continue to improve the product offerings and be in
         a position to respond aggressively when the industry
         rebounds" (Converse).
    
    

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  • FILA ON THE NORTHWEST TRAIL TO SHED "FASHION BRAND" IMAGE

              Fila Holdings SpA "is consolidating much of its U.S.
         operation in Portland to cut costs and gain efficiency,"
         according to Jeff Manning of the Portland OREGONIAN.  Most of
         the company's footwear and apparel development will move to
         Fila's Portland, OR, office, which is expected to "swell"
         from 52 to more than 100 employees.  Manning added that the
         "chief mission of Fila's Portland office is to change the
         brand's image and shed the fashion brand stigma," a
         reputation Fila has "never been able to shake."  Fila CEO
         Enrico Frachey said that the company's office in Boulder, CO
         would be closed and that staffing in its MA and NY offices
         "would be significantly reduced."  Some displaced workers
         will be offered jobs in OR.  Manning added that Fila's $8.7M
         loss in 1Q '98 "surprised Wall Street," after "the consensus
         of analysts was that Fila would break even for the quarter." 
         Nobel Fulati of ABN AMRO in NY: "We were extremely
         disappointed.  We really don't see much hope for positive
         developments in the next two quarters" (OREGONIAN, 5/7).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Fila USA
  • MARKETPLACE ROUND-UP

              The USOC's OPUS division was profiled in the DESERET
         NEWS.  USOC Dep. Secretary General John Krimsky said that
         nearly 70% of the $806M anticipated from corporate sponsors
         for the 2002 Winter Games has been raised.  Krimsky:
         "Everybody at OPUS is a salesman.  We've got a lot of money
         to raise" (DESERET NEWS, 5/7)....Wilson Sporting Goods has
         retained NJ-based The Sherry Group for PR services.  The
         agreement will cover each of Wilson's three business groups,
         including golf, racquet sports and team sports (TSG).
         ...Footstar Inc., which operates 553 FootAction stores and
         2,507 Meldisco leased footwear departments, said April sales
         rose 17% to $144.1M, from $123.3M a year earlier (WALL STREET
         JOURNAL, 5/8)....CA-based Goodby, Silverstein & Partners won
         10 awards last night, including work for Nike, at the 22nd
         annual One Show, for creative excellence in advertising (N.Y.
         TIMES, 5/8)....CA-based The North Face will design and
         manufacture a line of outdoor performance footwear, scheduled
         to launch in Spring '99 (North Face). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Nike, OPUS, USOC, Wilson Sporting Goods
  • MAXXED OUT: BOSTON RENEGADES GET NEW LOOK

              MA-based T.J. Maxx has signed a sponsorship agreement
         with the Boston Renegades, the women's soccer team which
         competes in the W League, the "highest" level of women's
         soccer, associated with the USISL, according to Gregg Krupa
         of the BOSTON GLOBE.  Sources put the deal in the "mid-five
         figures."  T.J. Maxx will be the exclusive uniform provider
         of the Renegades and will also receive in-stadium signage and
         ad placement in the team's programs.  PepsiCo is also a
         Renegade team sponsor.  The Renegades have sold 5,000 tickets
         for its home opener next Friday (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/8).
    
    

    Print | Tags: PepsiCo
  • USTA SERVES UP TENNIS MONTH AS PART OF GRASSROOTS EFFORT

              Pete Sampras will join officials from the USTA, the TIA
         and the USPTA at the White House today to commemorate USA
         Tennis Month.  Sampras and USTA board member Pam Shriver will
         help promote the beginning of the USA Tennis Free For All
         events which will be staged in more than 165 markets and
         4,000 sites across the country beginning Saturday, the first
         National Tennis Day.  USA Tennis Month is the centerpiece of
         the USA Tennis "Plan for Growth," a five-year, $50M
         initiative to increase tennis participation in the U.S.  The
         plan's goal is to attract 800,000 new players to the sport
         and to increase the number of frequent players by one million
         by the end of the year 2002 (USTA).    
              PROUD TO BE YOUR BUD: In Boston, Bud Collins noted the
         events, and wrote that the USTA seems to be more aware of the
         youth market than in the past.  Collins: "[I]t's the physical
         and psychic welfare of kids that the USTA seems to be taking
         seriously after a long period of indifference.  Too many USTA
         presidents have been too concerned about name Americans at
         the upper reaches of the game instead of pushing the
         healthful, obviously beneficial, fun aspects to Everykid,
         Everyparent, Everyhacker" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/7).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, USTA
  • WILL TEAMS BEGIN TO DIRECT PLAYER ENDORSEMENT OPPORTUNITIES?

              The Orioles have contested a PepsiCo campaign featuring
         players Rafael Palmeiro, Brady Anderson and Jeffrey Hammonds
         citing a section of all players' contracts which gives teams
         the right to approve endorsements made during the season,
         according to Jerry Crasnick of BLOOMBERG BUSINESS NEWS. 
         While Pepsi spent $50M to become MLB's official soft drink
         from '97-2001, the Orioles have a partnership with Coca-Cola
         that could be worth as much as $2M a year.  The O's have
         cited Paragraph 3C of the players' contracts which states
         that teams' consent in marketing matters "shall not be
         withheld except in the reasonable interests of the club or
         professional baseball."  MLBPA officials said the clause has
         "never been used to prevent a player from doing an
         endorsement."  PepsiCo spokesperson Jon Harris said that the
         enforcement of Paragraph 3C doesn't hurt "either of the cola
         companies, but the players and the sport."  Coca-Cola
         spokesperson Scott Jacobson said that in filing their
         grievance, the Orioles are protecting a relationship with a
         corporate partner: "It's difficult to be a sponsor like Coke
         and invest in a property, then have players go off and do
         what they want."  Crasnick adds that some agents believe the
         Baltimore dispute "could eventually lead to more verbiage in
         player contracts."  Walt Disney, owners of the Angels, has
         already inserted specific language in contracts that forbid
         players from endorsing a product in an Angels uniform without
         the club's consent (BLOOMBERG/STAR-TELEGRAM, 5/7).
              COLA WARS: PepsciCo filed an antitrust complaint against
         Coca-Cola yesterday, charging it with using "illegal strong-
         arm tactics to keep restaurants and other retail customers
         from pouring Pepsi" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 5/8).
    
    

    Print | Tags: LA Angels, Anaheim Sports, Baltimore Orioles, Coca-Cola, MLB, PepsiCo, Walt Disney
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