SBJ/June 19 - 25, 2000/Marketingsponsorship

US West looking for a kick from promotion featuring sprinter Greene

US West has signed sprinter Maurice Greene to a three-year endorsement contract, kicking off this week with a promotion titled "Out of the Blocks" in support of the company's MegaBit high-speed data transmission service.

A sweepstakes, backed by a print advertising campaign, will direct consumers to the US West Web site, where they can enter for a chance to win prizes based on Greene's performances. One prize will award $100,000 to a random contestant if Greene breaks his own world record this year at a USA Track & Field-sanctioned event. Another prize will send a winner and guest to the Olympics in Sydney, with $1 million on the line if Greene breaks the world record there.

US West is a sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Salt Lake City Olympic Games. Although the company will take the Qwest name when it merges with Qwest Communications International this summer, its Olympic sponsorship contract does not allow for a name change. US West and the Olympic Properties of the U.S. are in discussions regarding the matter, said US West's Olympic marketing chief, Greg Pollack, and an agreement could be worked out in a matter of weeks.

AT&T Corp., a Qwest competitor in long-distance telephone and other services, is also a Salt Lake City Olympic Games sponsor, which could complicate matters.

STEINER SELLING U.S. OPEN ITEMS: Steiner Sports Marketing, a leading distributor of sports memorabilia, has picked up a license from the U.S. Tennis Association to sell virtually anything from the U.S. Open that isn't tied down and a few things that are. The company cut up match-used nets and will sell them with photos of players, and will sell game-used balls encased in glass or dipped in gold. These items will be sold at U.S. Open concession stands and via dealers and catalogs. Steiner is pursuing the photo rights of individual players.

McDONALD'S MOVES MORITA: McDonald's Corp. has moved company veteran David Morita into the spot held by longtime director of worldwide sports alliances Jackie Woodward, who left the company last winter to join UltimateBid.com. Morita will oversee both Olympic and Disney-related marketing activity. Jeff Gregor, who briefly joined the McDonald's sports group after a long stint with the Coca-Cola Co., elected not to stay with McDonald's after just a few days on the job in Oak Brook, Ill. Instead, he returned to Atlanta to work for his former boss, Steve Koonin, at Turner's TNT network.

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