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The Canadian government introduced amendments that will allow tobacco companies to continue sponsoring sports and cultural events through 2000, according to McIlroy & McCarthy of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL. But after 2000, tighter restrictions will be established and all sponsorship would be banned by 2003. The previous law would have placed prohibitions on tobacco sponsorship as early as this October. McIlroy & McCarthy report that the government's decision to give cultural and sporting events more time to wean themselves from tobacco-sponsorship money is being criticized by opponents "as a sellout to the industry," but Health Minister Allan Rock "defended" the amendments, saying they make the Tobacco Act more "severe" and "restrictive." Rock: "What we are doing is ensuring that, after the transition period, sponsorship by tobacco companies simply will not be allowed" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 6/4). WHAT IT MEANS: The tobacco industry "welcomed the reprieve," but said that they would probably sponsor events for "only the next two years because after that the restrictions would make it not worth their while." Tobacco companies spend about C$60M a year to fund more than 370 arts, sports, fashion and entertainment events in Canada, including the Grand Prix in Montreal and Trois Rivers, Molson Indy in Vancouver and Toronto and the Du Maurier- supported tennis events (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 6/4). DETAILS: Government restrictions, set to start after 2000, or after the proposed amendment is approved, include: direct mailing of sponsorship materials must be sent to an identified adult; print ads allowed only in publications with primarily adult readership; signs promoting events will be restricted to bars and taverns; and promotional material mentioning tobacco will be restricted to the bottom 10% of the surface area. Molson Indy Toronto GM Bob Singleton, on the reforms: "We're very happy. This allows us time to seek replacement sponsors" (Grange & Blair, GLOBE & MAIL, 6/4).
WILL MICHAEL DO IT? In Philadelphia, the INQUIRER's Deputy Editorial Page Editor Chris Satullo writes an open letter to Michael Jordan and suggests that upon his retirement, Jordan should make sure Nike "stops exploiting the half-million workers" who make its products. Satullo writes to Jordan: "To Nike, you aren't just some hired shrill. You are The Franchise. ... If you really wanted Nike to do more for workers, you could break down Phil Knight like he was some rookie from Sacramento. ... You can do it quietly" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 6/4). NOTES: Agents Scott Montross, father of Pistons C Eric Montross, and Arn Tellem will jointly represent former UNC player Antawn Jamison (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/4)....IRL driver Davey Hamilton signed a sponsorship agreement with Reebok for the remainder of the '98 Pep Boys IRL season (TMS)....Under the header, "Evolving Economy Makes Star Athletes Big In Marketplace," USA TODAY's Karen Allen examines the "booming" commercial opportunities for China's sports stars. Gymnast Li Ning, China's "Michael Jordan," has become a multi-millionaire, multi-sport entrepreneur. After winning five medals at the '84 Summer Games, Li lent his name to a sports drink and ventured into the athletic apparel business, opening a factory in southern China (USA TODAY, 6/4)....Swimmer Jenny Thompson signed with IL-based Hammer Strength to endorse its line of training equipment. Thompson is repped by Sue Rodin of NY-based Stars & Strategies (THE DAILY)....TX-based Streetball Partners Int'l (SPI) has been retained by the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic to provide sponsorship sales and event management staff and operational support to the '99 PGA Tour event (SPI).
The following lists Nielsen Sports Marketing Service's spotlight series on sports sponsorships. The first chart indicates the Top 10 estimated expenditures by sport category ($000) during first quarter '98 (January-March), followed by the estimated expenditures by the Top 20 leading sports advertisers ($000) for the same period (THE DAILY):
RANKSPORT TOTAL NETWORK SYND. CABLE1) Olympics469,357.37469,098.00259.372) College Basketball319,661.77267,629.8452,031.933) NFL210,589.76209.364.501,225.264) Sports Commentary159,288.3591,340.80379.3567,568.205) NBA102,011.2386,277.7515,733.486) Motor Sports96,583.8618,407.5078,176.367) College Football83,152.5682,261.39891.178) Pro Golf76,747.8668,854.757,893.119) Pro Football49,038.7646,580.002,458.7610) NHL38,243.9923,290.0014,953.99
TOP 20 LEADING SPORTS ADVERTISERS ($000)
Anheuser-Busch75,260.5711) Procter & Gamble27,865.652) Nike49,410.6512) Lincoln-Mercury25,962.283) Ford Motor Co.47,410.6713) American Express25,569.754) Chevrolet46,977.7414) Coca-Cola23,113.895) IBM42,613.0615) McDonald's21,486.226) Visa Int'l39,703.5516) PepsiCo20,781.687) AT&T39,022.1217) Frito-Lay19,811.458) Dodge Car/Truck37,150.4218) McNeil Consumer19,673.459) Chrysler/Plymouth30,125.9919) Nissan Motor Corp.19,672.3310) Miller Brewing28,407.0320) M&M/Mars19,230.40
TN-based AutoZone, a "prominent and longtime corporate partner" of the Univ. of Memphis (UM) athletic department, "has raised concerns" with UM AD R.C. Johnson over Advance Auto Parts' use of UM men's basketball coach Tic Price in its advertising, according to Zack McMillin of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL. A "main competitor" to AutoZone, VA- based Advance Auto Parts is using Price's likeness on billboards and in a new TV spot. AutoZone spokesperson Eric Epperson said the company reminded Johnson of its "strong" support of the UM basketball program and "left it at that." AutoZone also sponsored Price's TV coaches show this past season. Johnson said that he has spoken to Price about the conflict, adding that there is an NCAA policy requiring coaches to clear endorsements with their AD: "All coaches must get prior approval. It's a relatively new (NCAA) policy. Tic was not aware of it." Price said that he "wouldn't have done" the Advance ads if he had been aware of the new NCAA policy (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 6/3).
NJ-based Princeton Video Image (PVI) has signed with the Phillies to provide the team with its L-VIS electronic imaging system for all home games broadcast on WPHL-TV and Comcast SportsNet during the '98 season. PVI will receive a portion of all gross revenues obtained by the team in using the technology. The Phillies become the third MLB team to use PVI's system, joining the Padres and Giants (PVI). ANC INKS TENNIS EVENT: ANC Sports signed a multi-year deal to provide its rotational signage system for the RCA Men's Tennis Championships, August 15-23 in IN (ANC).