SBD/8/Collegiate Sports


          NCAA sponsors "are gearing up for March Madness," but
     an "incalculable number of marketers" are running promos
     around the upcoming tournament "without paying rights fees,"
     according to Terry Lefton of BRANDWEEK, who calls the NCAA
     tournament "the most-assaulted big sports event."  He notes
     that campaigns by Nike, E-Trade, General Mills,
     and Samuel Adams are all examples of companies running March
     Madness promos without being sanctioned by the NCAA. 
     Nelligan Sports Marketing's T.J. Nelligan, a former sales
     exec at NCAA sponsorship agency Host Communications: "More
     brands are attaching themselves to [the tournament] every
     year, because there is nothing like the Final Four as far as
     affinity across a wide demographic."  Among official NCAA
     sponsors running March Madness promos are second-year
     sponsor Nabisco, with its special edition "Munch Madness"
     cookie, and Sears, which will distribute 22,000 seat
     cushions at the NCAA Women's Final Four in Philadelphia. 
     But telecom sponsor GTE, "in the throes of a name change
     after merging with Bell Atlantic, has bowed out of its seat
     cushion promo at the men's Final Four" (BRANDWEEK, 3/6).
          NCAA MARKET NOTES: Lefton also reports that the SEC has
     signed Cadbury Schweppes' Dr Pepper brand to a $500,000
     presenting sponsorship for the SEC's eleven-game basketball
     tournament this week in Atlanta.  The deal includes three
     spots per game, soft-drink exclusivity, bumpers and
     scoreboard IDs.  In addition, Compaq "is expected to end its
     NCAA sponsorship sometime after the Final Four."  Compaq has
     been an NCAA partner since '97 (BRANDWEEK, 3/6 issue).  The
     SEC and marketing partner Host Communications also signed
     Atlanta-based WORLDSPAN to its SEC Corporate Partner
     Program, making the computer reservation company for the
     travel industry the SEC's exclusive electronic travel
     distributor.  The deal gives WORLDSPAN presence at all 20
     conference championship events (SEC)....IA-based telecom
     company McLeod USA has signed a one-year deal to become an
     Official Corporate Partner of the Mountain West Conference
     (MWC).  McLeod receives title sponsorship of the women's
     basketball tournament and  sponsorship of the conference's
     Web site and all MWC sports (MWC). 
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