SBD/Issue 82/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Kelly Tires Ends Corporate Sponsorship Of Blue-Gray Classic

Kelly Tires is ending its corporate sponsorship of the annual Blue-Gray All-Star Football Classic after 14 years of being held on Christmas Day, according to Tim Gayle of the Montgomery (AL) ADVERTISER, who wrote the company "has pulled the plug on its financial commitment" to the game after being liquidated by its parent company, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. Blue-Gray Exec Dir Charles Jones, who declined to comment on the amount of the sponsorship, said of Kelly Tires, "They pay us a sponsor fee and they have to buy so many (advertising) spots with ABC [which carries the game]. After that, their money was spent on favors for the players and coaches — hats, jackets, crystal for the coaches' wives. And they underwrote our Hall of Fame. Those things weren't contractual." Jones added that "there was no timetable on finding" a new major sponsor, but noted the game would "need to have somebody in place" by April 1 "if they were going to sponsor this year's game." Jones will meet with ABC to discuss the game's TV contract, which ends in '02 but has options through '05 (ADVERTISER, 1/17).

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