SBJ/July 30 - August 5, 2001/Marketingsponsorship

Renewal makes 7Up first sponsor for Pac-10 tourney

Fox Sports Enterprises, which handles sales for Pac-10 Properties, is shopping sponsorship packages that include rights to the first-ever Pac-10 men's basketball tournament, signing 7Up as the tournament's first sponsor and offering a title rights package for about $1.2 million.

The tournament will be played at the Staples Center in Los Angeles March 7-9, 2002, with the first two games to air on Fox Sports Net nationwide and the finals to air on CBS.

The title sponsorship will include media inventory on CBS, along with other inventory likely including rights to the Pac-10 women's basketball tournament, to be played in Eugene, Ore., the week before the men's tourney.

The Pac-10 and Fox have created several other assets geared toward sponsors, rights to which have been included in the title package. Those assets include a 3-on-3 basketball competition that will visit each Pac-10 campus, with winners from each school facing each other at a showdown outside of the Staples Center during the tournament. The Pac-10 also will create a "Hall of Honors" to recognize the top basketball players and coaches to play in the conference. The Hall of Honors will kick off with an official induction ceremony and then potentially take on other forms, including a special or vignettes on Fox Sports Net and a traveling exhibit. The other sponsorable elements created by the Pac-10 are a series of season-ending awards and a sports and entertainment career conference that will go on during the men's tournament.

Advertising inventory on Fox Sports Net telecasts, including the first two days of the tournament or the 14 Pac-10 basketball games of the week aired during the regular season, could potentially be included in any sponsorship or title sponsorship deal.

The agreement with 7Up, an expansion of a previous Pac-10 sponsorship deal that expired after last season, does not include substantial media elements but will enable 7Up to activate the sponsorship through retail promotions and point-of-sale materials. The brand also will sponsor the 3-on-3 tournament.

Pac-10 Properties and Fox also are talking to the rest of the Pac-10 sponsors, Arco, AM/PM, Verizon, Cooper Tires and Hertz, about either renewing their deals or amending them to include rights to the tournament.

Fox guaranteed the Pac-10 a $4 million annual payment for marketing and television rights to the tournament. They'll split additional profits down the middle.

 GM PROMOTES NEW HYBRID: General Motors' Chevrolet division is running a promotion with four Midwest NFL teams — Green Bay, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Cincinnati — to support its hybrid pickup/SUV Avalanche model. Dealers in those markets will display materials for an "Ultimate Gameday Experience" sweepstakes. Winners and three guests are selected for every home game and picked up in an Avalanche, brought to a tailgate party before the game, showered with souvenirs and then given tickets to the game. Chevrolet also will stage a halftime football skills contest in each market. New York-based Tuchman Sports Enterprises handles on-site execution and prize fulfillment.

  GETTING HOT AT THE TRACK: Candymaker Just Born will support its Hot Tamales brand by bringing a large interactive tour to NASCAR races for two months. It kicked off Saturday at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo. NASCAR fans will be invited to test their skills through a Pit Crew Challenge and a "Tally the Tamales" contest. The tour runs until the Sept. 8 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 400 at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Va.

Hot Tamales sponsors NASCAR at the promotional partner tier.

Contact Andy Bernstein at abernstein@amcity.com.

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