SBD/2/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

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              Coca-Cola will sponsor this year's NASCAR exhibition
         race in Japan, the '98 NASCAR Thunder Special Motegi --
         Coca-Cola 500 on November 22.  The event will be televised
         by TBS (NASCAR WINSTON CUP SCENE, 5/28).  AUTOWEEK reports
         that Coca-Cola's "increasing involvement in NASCAR has some
         insiders predicting that the soft-drink company will replace
         Winston as the series sponsor" (AUTOWEEK, 6/1 issue).

    Print | Tags: Coca-Cola, NASCAR, Turner Sports

              WOODSON WITH NIKE: BRANDWEEK's Terry Lefton reports
         that Charles Woodson has signed a three-year apparel and
         footwear deal with Nike.  Woodson "will not" get a signature
         shoe, but "is likely to get some TV ad exposure"....Lefton
         also reports that Starter will handle the "majority" of the
         U.S. Open licensed apparel to be sold at this year's event,
         and may take the line to "off-site retail."  Starter
         VP/Marketing Steve Raab anticipates sales of $1M in T-
         shirts, caps, jackets and polos (BRANDWEEK, 6/1 issue). 
              OTHER DEALS: NY-based computer equipment and networking
         company Manchester Equipment Co. has signed Mets manager
         Bobby Valentine as its first official pitchman.  Valentine's
         endorsement fee was not disclosed (CRAIN'S N.Y. BUSINESS,
         6/1)....ATP Tour player Jan-Michael Gambil has signed with
         TMG's ProServ.  Gambil will be handled by ProServ Managing
         Dir Ivan Blumberg (ProServ).  The 20-year-old Gambil is
         currently ranked No. 66 in the ATP singles rankings (THE
         DAILY)....Univ. of KY C Nazr Mohammed has retained FAME's
         Michael Higgins as his agent (USA TODAY, 6/2).
              NOTES: In N.Y., Sally Beatty writes that Nike has a
         bigger ad budget than most, but that a "whole segment of the
         population (read: women) never see" some of Nike's spots.
         Beatty: "That's because Nike increasingly is focusing its
         spending on niche programming, such as sports and cable
         shows watched mostly by men."  Nike Dir Global Advertising
         Geoffrey Frost agreed that the company does "a lot of
         targeted communications, often on cable, and not a whole lot
         of network communications these days" (WALL STREET JOURNAL,
         6/2)....In Detroit, Eastside Team Sports Manager Rob Groat
         said that sales of Red Wings merchandise "are almost as
         good" as they were during last year's Stanley Cup finals. 
         This year's "hottest" items include shirts with the Taco
         Bell chihuahua cheering on the team, "Quiero Another Cup,"
         which means, "I Want Another Cup" (DETROIT NEWS, 6/2).
              GOLF TECH BATTLE: USGA President F. Morgan "Buzz"
         Taylor, on whether USGA will ban titanium clubs: "If the
         performance enhancement of a club was beyond where we felt
         it should be, we have to deal with it" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE,
         6/2).  Ping placed a full-page ad in USA TODAY in response
         to the possible ban, consisting of a letter from Karsten
         Manufacturing President John Solheim, who wrote, "Interest
         in the game is at a high point.  Why stymie this excitement
         by putting a choke-hold on technology?" (THE DAILY).

    Print | Tags: ATP, Detroit Red Wings, New York Mets, Nike, USGA

              N.Y.-based The Marquee Group (TMG) has entered into a
         joint venture with Roberto Clemente Jr. to form "El
         Marquee," a new division of the company that will be devoted
         to marketing Hispanic athletes and entertainers.  TMG CEO
         Bob Gutkowski: "Working with Roberto, El Marquee will
         provide management and marketing opportunities to young
         athletes in the all sports."  Clemente Jr. currently
         broadcasts Spanish-language radio coverage of the Yankees
         for MSG Network and WADO Radio (TMG).

    Print | Tags: Madison Square Garden, New York Yankees

              Property rights holders and buyers are trying to
         discern whether Coca-Cola's four-year, $20M NFL deal "is a
         harbinger of all future deals or simply an extraordinary
         event," according to Terry Lefton of BRANDWEEK.  Lefton
         writes that over the years, NFLP has proved itself to be "an
         absolute master at milking maximum dollars out of the most
         contentious categories," but that this time, "Coke was it." 
         NFLP VP/Corporate Sponsorships Jim Schwebel: "It's easy to
         say this is a bellwether for all of our deals, but really
         this was a unique situation. ... [T]his is a national, non-
         exclusive, no (restaurant) pass-through rights deal.  On
         that basis, it was a good deal."  Lefton adds that the deal
         "has created a perception problem" throughout sports, as one
         senior marketer at another league said, "That deal is
         already killing me" (BRANDWEEK, 6/1).  The SPORTSBUSINESS
         JOURNAL's Andy Bernstein reports that while several NFL team
         execs said that they expect to see "an increasing number of
         sponsorships split up between local and national rights,"
         the league is "not about to abandon the national marketing
         model any time soon" and will assess each category
         individually.  Team marketers say local soft-drink deals
         could range from low six-figures to more than $1M per team,
         averaging about $250,000 (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/1).
              THE NEXT STEP: BRANDWEEK's Lefton reports that with
         other "high-ticket NFL categories" up next year, such as
         telecom, isotonic drinks, beer and candy, those deals "will
         prove whether or not the league's only growth business is
         broadcast/Internet rights."  More immediately, a national
         quick service restaurant (QSR) deal is still being sought,
         with clubs seeking local deals in that category (BRANDWEEK,
         6/1).  SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL's Bernstein adds that teams
         "relished calling on not only hamburger chains but pizza
         restaurants," as well, saying that pizza and hamburger
         chains do not compete directly and should be treated as
         separate categories (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/1 issue).

    Print | Tags: Coca-Cola, NFL

              Yahoo has hired CA-based sports marketing firm MGO
         Marketing "to improve its chances of landing sponsorship
         deals with professional sports leagues," according to
         Bernhard Warner of MEDIAWEEK.  Yahoo execs are "particularly
         interested in the possibility of striking deals" with MLS
         and the NHL.  Yahoo VP/Brand Management Karen Edwards:
         "These deals provide legitimacy.  It could put us in a place
         people normally don't see tech companies."  Warner reports
         that Yahoo competitor Lycos recently signed a full-year
         sponsorship deal with NASCAR to sponsor a car driven by Matt
         Kennseth.  In regards to other Internet companies, AltaVista
         and AOL "have opted to work with individual sports
         franchises," but Warner adds that "most" of these alliances
         have been "principally to conduct on-premise promotions over
         the past year" (Bernhard Warner, MEDIAWEEK, 6/1 issue).

    Print | Tags: MLS, NASCAR, NHL, Yahoo
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