Coca-Cola has announced the return of its "Monsters of the
Gridiron" promotion to transform 28 of the NFL'S biggest players
into "halloween phantoms." The six-week promotion which begins
on Sept. 19 and runs through Oct. 31, features players from every
team, as well as mascots from Carolina and Jacksonville, and
offers a complete set of limited-edition collector cards produced
by Score Boards Classic Games. Two random cards will be
available inside specially marked multi-packs of Coca Cola
beverages, along with a scratch-off game piece that could win one
of 100 grand prize trips to Super Bowl XXIX (THE DAILY, 9/14).
LONE STAR SHERIFF: Emmitt Smith will serve as national
"spokesMonster" and star in a national advertising campaign that
will be supported by localized radio and in-store promotions.
Charles Frenette, Exec. VP, Coca-Cola USA Operations: "Monsters
of the Gridiron captures the fantasy of the Halloween season and
the lighthearted personalities of some of the NFL's biggest
stars. It is a fun, imaginative way to bring our long-standing
NFL relationship to our customers" (THE DAILY, 9/14).
This morning's BALTIMORE SUN reports on local test marketing
efforts for SunBolt, Gatorade's "new drink aimed at taking
morning market share away from coffee and orange juice": "People
who run into SunBolt product samplers are likely to encounter
someone in a bright-colored uniform, driving a truck painted in
SunBolt's eye-popping logo, and maybe roller-blading down the
street with a small helium balloon harnessed to his shoulders."
According to Gatorade's Patti Jo Sinopoli the campaign will also
feature morning-drive radio advertising. David Wellman, new
products editor of FOOD AND BEVERAGE MARKETING MAGAZINE:
"They're looking at it as a morning impulse buy. They're trying
to get a piece of the breakfast market as (an) alternative to
coffee and orange juice" (Timothy Mullaney, Baltimore SUN, 9/19).
In this week's BARRON'S, Shirley Lazo reports that "takeover
speculation and investor jitters about economic growth are
heating up food stocks such as" Gatorade parent company, Quaker
Oats (BARRON'S, 9/19 issue).
Two former Group W executives, Barry Stoddard and Theodore
Lau, are forming an entertainment research company called
MediaPoll to compete with the "well-known 'Q'" ratings in gauging
the public's opinion of celebrities. ....Cadbury "is launching
its biggest college football marketing program ever with Squirt's
College Football Challenge." Print ads and college football
program guides, from Foote, Cone & Belding (New York) will
support the campaign (AD AGE, 9/12 issue)....PepsiCo's Pizza Hut
division chose Omnicom Group's BBDO New York as its agency to
handle a "brand-positioning campaign that is due later this year"
(WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/12)....Walt Disney Co., in order to
compete directly with the "more adult-oriented merchandise in
Warner Bros. retail stores," plans an expansion of its retail
stores that will include art, adult fashions and household goods
with Disney themes (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/12)....General Motors
announced the winner of a $10,000 college scholarship for an
essay contest conducted as part of an in-classroom program in
connection with Ken Burns' PBS documentary, "Baseball" (DAILY
Entry Media President Martin Hering has told THE SPORTS
BUSINESS DAILY that a contract with Network International to
market "Turnstile AdSleeves" to over 45 facilities throughout the
U.S. and abroad will be signed this morning....Drew Pearson
Companies, the world's largest African American-owned licensed
sports and character headwear manufacturer, has retained
Advantage Marketing Group of Irving, TX to handle marketing and
public relations as part of an effort to increase global
promotional efforts.... Press Pass, a leading race card
manufacturer, has announced plans to release "Sportskings" --
trading cards that offer collectors a cross-sports set featuring
athletes from a variety of sports (THE DAILY, 9/14).
FROM THIS MORNING'S WALL STREET JOURNAL: John Labbatt Ltd.
shareholders narrowly rejected the company's poison pill plan "in
a move that reflects holders' discontent with management's recent
penchant for acquisitions....With Bud Dry sales "scrapping rock
bottom," Anheuser-Busch "has decided upon a wet approach" to
advertising with a new spot featuring a bathroom-frustrated
GenX'er. The spot was created by Dennis Ryan and DDB Needham's
Chicago office and produced for less than $350K. It first aired
on Fox earlier this month and will air tonight on CBS's "Late
Show with David Letterman" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/14).
John Falzone, President of the Ladies Pro Bowlers Tour, has
enlisted President Clinton and governors to promote a new
tournament. The Clinton 30-second TV spot will appear on ESPN
telecasts. December 4-10 will be declared National Ladies Pro
Bowler Tour Week (MIAMI HERALD, 9/18)....Rutgers University's
efforts to "soften the impact of budget cuts by awarding" Coca-
Cola a $10M, 10-year exclusive contract "has not only angered
Snapple and Pepsi fans, it has also raised questions about the
corporate presence on campus" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/18)....In a Rawlings
Sporting Goods warehouse, there are 5,000 baseballs stamped
"Official Ball 1994 World Series." They'll probably be sold as
collectibles if Acting Commissioner Bud Selig consents (ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION, 9/17)....Larry Albus, President and GM of DWA
Marketing Associates, is seriously interested in securing a
college football bowl game for St. Louis. Albus has enlisted the
aid of Blues Chair Mike Shanahan and Blues President Jack Quinn
(ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/17)....The U.S. Commerce Department's
Minority Business Development Center is holding a Minority
Enterprise Development Week in Miami to encourage minority-owned
companies to participate in Super Bowl activities (Alina Matas,
MIAMI HERALD, 9/17)....Coors has cancelled its sponsorship of Len
Pettyjohn's Coors Light cycling team (WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/17).
"Is the Michael Kranefuss/Carl Haas venture into NASCAR
skidding into oblivion," asks Raad Cawthon in this morning's
ATLANTA CONSTITUTION. Kmart was expected to sponsor the team's
car next season but, in the wake of announcing 100 store closings
nationwide, the company "has now said it will not be an auto-
racing sponsor next season." Cawthon also reports that Bill
Davis is losing Terry Labonte "because he cannot find a sponsor
for this Pontiac next season" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/14).
SURGE IN U.S. SPORTING GOODS EXPORTS: The Sporting Goods
Manufacturers Association reports that the growth rate in the
value of America's sporting goods exports is accelerating again
after a decline in the past two years. According to SGMA's
analysis of data from the U.S. Commerce Dept., the dollar value
of sporting goods exports increased 17.1% for the first six
months of this year, compared to 9.4% for the same period last
year. The total value of exported athletic footwear and selected
sports equipment was $877.4M, compared to $749.5M for the first
half of '93. Sebastian DiCasoli, SGMA Director of Marketing
Services: "A combination of improved economies in Japan and
Germany and the weakening of the U.S. dollar are primarily
accountable for this excellent performance. Foreign demand for
leather athletic footwear, bowling equipment, baseball/softball
equipment, golf clubs, and gym/exercise equipment has been
especially strong so far this year compared with last year."
SGMA also reports the value of tennis racquet and basketball
exports dropped 45.8% and 34%, respectively (THE DAILY).
ATHLETIC SHOE SALES UP: Sales of athletic footwear rose 5.2% in
terms of pairs during the first four months of '94, but edged up
only 1.4% in retail dollars, according to the Athletic Footwear
Association. Between Jan. and April '94, consumers spent $3.378
trillion on 115,779,000 pairs, compared to $3.333 trillion on
110,100,000 pairs during the same period of '93 (THE DAILY).
Like the NFL's Carolina Panthers, the Toronto Raptors will
institute a plan to charge season ticket holders a one-time
licensing fee, according to Craig Daniels in this morning's
TORONTO SUN. "Ticket buyers would pay an up-front fee in
addition to the cost of the ticket itself, giving the fan what
amounts to ownership of the seat. The seat could then be bought
and sold for whatever price the market would command." Raptors
VP for Communications Tom Mayenknecht said "exact figures will
be worked out later this week" and that "the plan will keep the
cost of single-game tickets down, will discourage scalping by
big-time operators, and will ensure the stadium is financed
without taxpayer help" (Craig Daniels, TORONTO SUN, 9/14).
GRIZZLIES GROWL AT CONCEPT: "The Grizzlies, who have
commitments for 6,600 season tickets and are expecting 1,244
commitments from the 88 luxury suite holders, have ruled out
having seat licenses," according to this morning's VANCOUVER SUN.
Grizzlies Marketing Dir John Rocha said the club did "some
research on seat licenses and decided against it": "We have club
seats that are bought for a three-year term, but that money is
applied to the ticket and to access to club amenities" (Ken
Bradshaw, VANCOUVER SUN, 9/14).
FANS BEAR HUG GRIZZLIES GEAR: Bradshaw also reports that
"Grizzly goods are flying out the door of retailers at a huge
rate." Larry Donen, Managing Dir of Winning Spirit stores: "We
think that means we have a more universally accepted logo"
(VANCOUVER SUN, 9/14).
AIRFARE AND EXPENSES COVERED: Nike is sending Anfernee
Hardaway, Alonzo Mourning and three other players to the Far East
to play in exhibition games that are not approved by the NBA.
Jason Kidd is joining the squad for its last stop in Japan.
Jerome Kersey said he was being fined $20,000 by his team for
going on the trip. Nike spokesperson Keith Peters declined to
say if any other players were being penalized, but that the
company would pick up the tab for any fines received (AP/SALT
LAKE TRIBUNE, 9/17).
SWEETENING THE POT FOR DEION? During Fox's "NFL Sunday,"
discussions of Deion Sanders' 49ers contract, Howie Long said
Sanders "is going to make a mountain of money off the field":
"Nike, it is rumored, will be paying him an additional $2 to $3
million because he is playing with the 49ers versus the small
market Atlanta Falcons" ("NFL Sunday," Fox, 9/18). Tom Friend
notes Nike reportedly "kicked in over" $1M to Sanders for signing
with a big-market team (N.Y. TIMES, 9/19).
Topps Co. reported that 2nd quarter net income dropped 68%
and warned the Strike "could hamper future earnings." Baseball
represents the largest percentage of sports-related cards sold by
Topps, and, according to this morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL,
Topps Chair Arthur Shorin said "my hope is that consumers don't
get angry with us" because of the cancellation of MLB's season.
For the three months ending August 27, the company's net income
fell to $2.5M from $7.9M a year earlier, while sales dropped 12%
to $61.3M from $69.9M. Shorin "blamed the dismal second-quarter
results on a 'great deal' of money spent on advertising and
promotion related to the company's entry into television
advertising" (Abby Schultz, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/19).
DOUBLE HIT: Susan Antilla reports in this morning's NEW
YORK TIMES that Topps' stock "had fallen from a June 17 yearly
high of $7.88 to $5.875 by Aug. 12, the day the strike was
called, but had rebounded to $7.125 by Thursday's close -- the
day after the baseball season was officially cancelled" (N.Y.
Canadian cities such as Victoria, Calgary, Edmonton, and
Toronto are attempting to "replace disappearing tax dollars with
private-industry money." This past week the Vancouver City
Council "decided it was going to start the process of listing
everything in the city that could be put up for corporate
sponsorship and developing a policy that will establish where the
ethical line is." Surrey and Edmonton started a similar process
last month, and Edmonton has signed a $C4M deal with Pepsi-Cola
to be the exclusive supplier at city facilities and events for 10
years. Dale Boniface, president of Spectrum Marketing, which is
serving as a sponsorship broker to Victoria, Edmonton, and the
Vancouver park board: "There are millions of dollars on the
table with regard to this question. This is something that is
really the wave of the future." Logo placement seems to be a
particularly high-growth area. Wayne Hartick, president of
Vancouver-based Verus Group Int'l: "The implication is that the
city would be selective about who gets to use the logo, so they
are implying this is a credible business. It's like getting the
royal designation. Instead of 'Supplier to Her Majesty' it's
'Supplier to the City of Vancouver'" (Frances Bula, VANCOUVER