SBJ/March 25 - 31, 2002/Marketingsponsorship

Peppers signs Reebok deal, but he's no lucky Duck

Reebok has signed University of North Carolina defensive end Julius Peppers, a lock to be one of the top picks if not the first player selected in the April 20 NFL draft, to a three-year endorsement contract. Sources pegged the deal at between $75,000 and $100,000 overall. Reebok's ad agency, The Arnell Group, has already shot an ad with Peppers, Jevon Kearse and other Reebok endorsers that will air next month.

Another possible first overall pick, quarterback Joey Harrington of the University of Oregon, has already signed with Nike in a deal sources said was five times more than Peppers'. Think that had anything to do with the fact that Nike founder and chairman Phil Knight is a University of Oregon alum?

Scott Verplank will sport sporting goods retailer Galyan's name.

 GALYAN'S OF GOLF: In a rare tie between a sporting goods retailer and athlete, sports specialty chain Galyan's has signed PGAer Scott Verplank to a three-year endorsement deal. Verplank, the 10th-leading money winner on the PGA Tour last year, will wear a Galyan's logo on the left side of his golf shirt during PGA Tour events. Galyan's also gets the rights to use Verplank's likeness in ads. A charitable link to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund is being developed.

Ashworth, Titleist/FootJoy and Taylor Made, all of which are Verplank sponsors that sell their wares at Galyan's, are expected to participate in the sponsorship with store promotions. No definitive word on the cost of the deal, but industry sources said the price of a sponsorship with Verplank is generally about $250,000 a year. John Mascatello and Todd Ciuba at SFX Golf handled the contract.

 BALLPARK BUCKS: Tropicana's Dole 100% Juice brand, which gains promotional rights through Pepsi's expanded MLB sponsorship, is teaming with fellow MLB corporate sponsor MasterCard in a "Take Your Family to the Ballpark" English/Spanish promotion running through the coming MLB season and splashed across 90 million cartons of juice. Consumers can send in proof-of-purchase seals from two cartons to be entered in sweepstakes with daily drawings throughout the season. The 215 winners get $200 MasterCard debit cards, ostensibly to be used for taking a family to a ball game. Support is limited to point-of-sale ads. Millsport, Tropicana's sports marketing agency of record, handles.

 SPORTS DOCK-TER: The Dockers brand is in the midst of an agency review that has been whittled down from 12 to four agencies: Millsport, Octagon, Velocity and Squires Sports Group. The winning agency gets to determine a sports marketing strategy for the 16-year-old Levi's casual clothing brand, which targets males 30 and older. Past sports efforts for Dockers have included title sponsorship of a Fox NFL halftime show and golf efforts. The winning agency is expected to be named in April.

 FROM BOXER TO BOXES: In what's believed to be her first endorsement, though by no means the first in her immediate family, Laila Ali, daughter of the former heavyweight champ and a pugilist in her own right, has signed to appear on packaging and do print ads for L'Oréal's Soft Sheen hair care products. Burns Sports & Celebrities of Chicago handles for Burrell Communications Group, the ad agency for Soft Sheen.

 COMINGS AND GOINGS: David Ball to AOL, New York, where he'll put together sales packages as director of sales strategy. The former MLB sponsorship executive was most recently at

Andy Horrow to director of communications and professional marketing at Gatorade. He was manager of equity marketing. He replaces P.J. Sinopoli.

John Frascotti returns to Reebok as senior vice president of licensing and new business — both areas primed for growth with the brand in its best shape in years. Frascotti is also expected to work with Reebok's NFL and NBA licensing programs. Frascotti spent 10 years at Reebok (1989-1999) before leaving to become president and chief operating officer at

Dan Lynch to director of multimedia marketing at NASCAR's New York City office, a new position in which he will package and sell a wide range of media to the stock car circuit's corporate sponsors. Lynch was director of sales at the New York Giants.

Terry Lefton can be reached at

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