SBD/2/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing


          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).
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Coca-Cola, NFL

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