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CAN TIME WARNER MAKE PUBLIC CARE ABOUT THE GOODWILL GAMES?
Published June 1, 1998
The Goodwill Games, taking place from July 19 to August 2 in Manhattan and Nassau County, NY, are "about" marketing, media, prizes, show business and "promoting Time Warner," according to Harry Berkowitz of NEWSDAY. With Time Warner operating its first Goodwill Games, it "has a lot to prove," including that "there is still justification" for the event and that it can draw interest. It must also "show sponsors paying a total" of $50-60M "that they can benefit and not get embarrassed by the lack of interest among sports fans or overshadowed by the focus on Time Warner units." The company "must" also prove that it can "put on a spectacle pulling together an array of corporate resources, talents, and hoopla the way Walt Disney Co. does." In presenting the Games, Time Warner said that it is in "full control," which is "a key to avoiding past financial and logistical problems." They own the Games and official sponsors can be assured that they won't be ambushed by "advertisers who are unofficial add-ons or who just pay to run TV spots." TBS will have 45 hours of Games coverage, with HBO handling boxing. Time Warner also bought 10 hours of weekend time on CBS and will produce that coverage and sell the ads. Goodwill Games President Mike Plant said the operating budget is $100M "hard cash" with $100M in in-kind and promotional support. Sponsors include Canon, Chrysler, Citgo, Discover Card, Energizer, Master Lock, Swatch, Sony, A-B, Gillette and Johnson & Johnson (NEWSDAY, 6/1). GOODWILL HUNTING: NEWSDAY's John Jeansonne reported that Warner Syndication is selling the int'l TV broadcast rights and Warner's music division is producing the opening and closing ceremonies. Turner networks are providing $17M in "free on-air promos," and Time Inc. publications will contribute 46 pages of free ads. The Games will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of America and UNICEF (NEWSDAY, 5/31). ...Nassau County may sell naming rights to the recently opened Aquatic Center that will host the swimming events. Speedo is reportedly interested (NEWSDAY, 5/31).