SBD/17/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

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  • COWBOYS SUE CONVERSE IN PREEMPTIVE MOVE TO LAUNCH NEW LINE

              The Cowboys filed a lawsuit yesterday against MA-based
         Converse Inc., to "prevent the athletic shoe maker from
         interfering with upcoming sales of officially licensed
         casual shoes, winter boots and shower slippers" bearing the
         team's name and logo, according to Richard Alm of the DALLAS
         MORNING NEWS.  Five-pointed stars "are prominent" in the
         logos of both the Cowboys and Converse, and Alm reports that
         the team's suit, which does not contain a request for
         financial damages, claims that the "two stars can coexist --
         as they have for years -- without confusion in the
         marketplace."  NFLP joined the team in the suit, which
         Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones declined to comment on, saying
         only that the team was "standing side by side with the
         league on this matter."  The new Cowboys-themed footwear
         will be manufactured by FL-based Foot-Tec Industries Inc.,
         and is slated to begin shipping "[i]n the next few weeks."
         The team and league "struck first" in litigation because
         they "believed that Converse intended to file suit to stop
         distribution of the new shoes."  Converse execs could not be
         reached for comment (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 7/7).  BLOOMBERG's
         Loren Steffy reports the Cowboys' action is the "latest
         twist in a four-year battle" between the team and Converse
         over the use of the star logo.  The Cowboys' suit claims
         that in '94, the shoe company filed an objection with the
         U.S. Patent Office over the team's plans to place its star
         logo on shoes and clothing, saying the logo "would cause
         confusion" with its own logo (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 7/17).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Converse, Dallas Cowboys
  • GOING POSTAL: USPS IS PLEASED WITH ITS U.S. CYCLING DEAL

              The U.S. Postal Service (USPS), one of the "most
         recognizable national symbols" in the world, believes that
         its sponsorship deal with the U.S. Cycling team competing in
         the Tour de France "makes a lot of sense," according to
         Laurence Zuckerman of the N.Y. TIMES.  However, Zuckerman
         writes that "[u]nfortunately for" the USPS, pro cycling is
         "just not that widely followed in the [U.S.], where most of
         its customers happen to be."  Interest in cycling "is
         growing in this country," but it is "still far from the
         national passion it is in Europe."  Zuckerman calls the
         USPS's $1M sponsorship deal "cheap even if relatively small
         numbers of Americans will notice."  This year, the USPS
         assigned a special team to use its cycling sponsorship to
         "drum up business," and companies that have signed new deals
         with USPS as a result include NationsBank and Nashbar.  The
         USPS "decided not to buy time" on ABC and ESPN's Tour de
         France telecasts and instead plans to spend the money to
         sponsor U.S. pro races.  But, Zuckerman notes that ESPN has
         still focused "a lot of its coverage on" the U.S. Postal
         team, as team member George Hincapie's "early success has
         helped" lift the event's ratings by one-tenth of a point, to
         around 400,000 homes (Laurence Zuckerman, N.Y. TIMES, 7/17).
    
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, Bank of America, ESPN, Walt Disney
  • MARKETING ROUND-UP

              In Atlanta, Furman Bisher reports that there is a "pile
         of endorsements out there" for U.S. Amateur Champion Matt
         Kuchar should he decide to turn pro.  IMG's Bev Norwood, on 
         Kuchar: "Very marketable.  Highly marketable.  On
         marketability he's ready.  As for his game, I'm not so sure"
         (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 7/17)....Packers TE Mark Chmura has
         signed a deal with Mug Root Beer and will appear in radio/
         print ads for the drink, and on POP displays. Chmura also
         signed to appear in TV spots for Milwaukee-based Opensided
         MRI, which will begin running in August.  Chmura's marketing
         is handled by WI-based Ad Cetera (Ad Cetera). ...English
         soccer player Stan Collymore, who "has received negative
         publicity since hitting his girlfriend ... in a Paris bar on
         the eve of the opening game of the World Cup," has lost his
         $4M deal with Diadora sportswear.  Diadora UK announced that
         they were severing ties with Collymore because he "had not
         complied with contractual obligations" (Mult., 7/17).
         ...Marquette Univ. men's basketball coach Mike Deane and
         Notre Dame men's basketball coach John MacLeod signed with
         WI-based Sports Marketing and Management Group for exclusive
         representation in contract and marketing deals (SM2G). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Green Bay Packers, IMG
  • NSGA SHOW OPENS IN CHICAGO; CBS NEWS EXAMINES SOFT MARKET

              The NSGA's annual World Expo, which runs today through
         Sunday in Chicago, comes just as the "industry's roster of
         players is shrinking," according to Mary Ellen Podmolik of
         the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.  In past years, combined industry
         sales of sporting equipment, apparel and footwear increased
         6-7% annually, however, this year a 3% growth "is
         projected."   Podmolik writes that "[o]ne bright spot" for
         the industry may be women, who account for the "majority of
         participants in five of six" major fitness activities. 
         Podmolik: "The challenge is to refine merchandise and the
         marketing message for women without being patronizing" (Mary
         Ellen Podmolik, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 7/17).
              THE MASE ON DECLINING SALES? On "CBS Evening News,"
         anchor Dan Rather said, "There is a revolution afoot in the
         multibillion dollar shoe industry.  Athletic shoes are on
         the run, and with them those lucrative superstar endorsement
         deals."  In his report on the shifting trends of the
         athletic shoe industry, CBS's Anthony Mason said, "Looking
         for that hot new shoe, suddenly basketball is out and brown
         is in. ... Even the mighty Nike ... has itself become a
         fashion victim."  Reebok severed ties with Shaquille O'Neal
         and only Michael Jordan "really sells shoes."  Endorsement
         Insider newsletter Editor Jim Andrews: "Nowadays, the cash
         is gone and [now] all those players are getting is some free
         shoes."  Mason: "So new colors, new styles are flooding the
         market -- anything to light a spark" (CBS, 7/16).
         
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, Nike, Reebok, Viacom
  • THE LEGEND GROWS: BIRD ON SECOND REGIONAL WHEATIES BOXES

              Pacers VP Larry Bird will appear on the cover of
         Wheaties for the second time, with two different regional
         layouts planned, according to Peter May of the BOSTON GLOBE. 
         On boxes sold in Indianapolis, Bird will be pictured as the
         coach of the Pacers, while in Boston, he will be shown from
         his playing days with the Celtics.  General Mills said that
         100,000 boxes will be available in IN, but did not specify
         how many will be available in Boston.  Bird appeared on
         Boston-area Wheaties boxes in '95 (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/17).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Celtics, Indiana Pacers, Wheaties
  • WTA TOUR SUMMER STOPS SEE 35% INCREASE IN SPONSOR BACKING

              Two WTA Tour North American event title sponsors,
         Advanta Corp. and IGA Supermarkets, have signed multi-year
         extensions to their title sponsorship packages in
         Philadelphia and Oklahoma City, respectively.  Additionally,
         the WTA's North American summer stops have seen an increase
         of more than 35% in new sponsor commitments over last year.
         In Montreal, the duMaurier Open has added nine new sponsors
         and has increased revenue by more than 50%.  In New Haven,
         CT, the Pilot Pen Int'l has added more than 24 new event
         sponsors, including Citizen Watches and the Phoenix Home
         Life Mutual Insurance Company, since its move from Atlanta. 
         Tennis Canada has renewed long-term deals with Cafe de
         Columbia, Rado and Evian, and added new sponsors Grand
         Marnier and Yoplait.  In San Diego, the Toshiba Tennis
         Classic has inked United Airlines and Clairol.  In L.A., the
         Acura Classic has added Bulova Corp. as its host sponsor for
         the next three years, as well as new sponsors Pfizer and
         Minolta.  Also, the Boston Cup has signed General Mills,
         Quaker Oats, Volvo, Pepsi and Echo Star (WTA Tour).
              FROM THE MEN'S SIDE: The men's duMaurier Open in
         Toronto has signed PageNet as a corporate partner for the
         '98 tournament.  PageNet has agreed to host the PageNet
         Super Service Contest (Canadian Tennis Association).
    
    

    Print | Tags: PepsiCo, Wheaties
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