RJ Reynolds and the PGA Tour have reached an agreement under
which the company will continue to sponsor the 1994 Vantage
Championship on the Senior Tour, but will discontinue sponsorship
of a scoreboard program after this season. T. Wayne Robertson,
President of Sports Marketing Enterprises, a division of RJ
Reynolds: "Although we are discontinuing sponsorship of the
scoreboards and other programs, we feel just as strongly as ever
that the Senior PGA Tour works excellently for us." According to
PGA Tortu Commissioner Tim Finchem, the Seniors Tour may seek
other sponsors for the scoreboard program and other promotional
efforts. This year's $1.5M Vantage Championship will be held
Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in Clemmons, NC (THE DAILY).
The AVP is a mix of "charm and cheese," "American Gladiators
meets Baywatch," according to Joe Drape of the ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION, and its players are "beginning to grumble about the
beefcake, jiggle-and-sell factor that, frankly, overshadows their
athleticisism, as well as the tour's contribution to the growth
of beach volleyball." AVP member and Olympic hopeful Randy
Stoklos: "We're looking for some legitimacy as a sport and the
Olympics provide that, so we've got to direct attention on the
court. It's no secret we took off, especially on TV, because you
could look left or right and see a good-looking male or female."
In '94, the AVP Tour is expected to generate $8M in revenues and
is being featured on 21 hours of broadcasts on NBC, and 42 hours
on ESPN and regional cable networks. Currently, the the U.S.
Volleyball Association and the sport's international federation
"are trying to cut the player-owned circuit out of the Olympics."
Mike Dodd, AVP Tour Chair: "The root of our sport was a beach
party. It's time to say we are a sport, but the media and
mainstream sports fans see the bikinis and say 'You're not.' The
TV growth was so profound, we haven't had a chance to catch up.
Maybe we do bend over backwards for our sponsors, and maybe we
still need to be a little cheesy because we're such a young
sport. We're going to continue to fine-tune our presentation.
Who Knows? Maybe someday we'll become as slick as the NFL and
NBA" (Joe Drape, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/24).
In this week's BUSINESS WEEK, Maria Mallory chronicles the
reasons for Coke's "eye-popping third-quarter worldwide volume
increases of 12%." After years of "marginal market share growth,
languid product development and stodgy marketing, Coca-Cola is
revving up its fortunes. It's tweaking every aspect of global
marketing, adding cutting-edge advertising, new packaging,
product sampling, and high-profile sponsorships. It's also
pushing new products out the door faster than ever before."
Mallory notes that the "rejuvenation of Coke has become a
personal quest" for Coke CEO Robert Goizueta (BUSINESS WEEK, 10/3
issue)....Coca-Cola has announced a bottling joint venture in
South Africa and an additional $100M investment in Russia over
the next three years (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/26).
"Suddenly, ice hockey is red hot," writes Kevin Goldman in
this morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL. But with the labor dispute
threatening the start of the season, the NHL could "squander an
opportunity that sports marketing experts agree won't likely be
handed to hockey ever again." Goldman reviews the new Fox-NHL TV
deal noting that Nike, Anheuser-Busch and Coke are the first
national sponsors of '94-95 NHL games. "Although hockey is
scoring more points with fans and national advertisers alike,
Madison Avenue remains reluctant to sign hockey stars as product
endorsers" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/26).
MORE ON THE FOX DEAL: In San Jose, Colin Seymour notes that
Fox's $31M deal for the NHL buys them "new clientele and a lot of
ink in the paper" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 9/26). In BUSINESS
WEEK, Ronald Grover notes that with the baseball strike, Rupert
Murdoch's sports deals look "very sweet" (BUSINESS WEEK, 10/3
Fox today announces a "watch and win" promotion with
McDonald's that the network says will include the biggest Super
Bowl ticket giveaway ever (Michael Hiestand, USA TODAY,
9/26).....Sports and Recreation of Tampa has filed for an
offering of three million common shares worth up to $25.25 each.
The company sells name-brand sporting equipment and athletic
apparel at 48 Sport Unlimited superstores around the country. The
offering is through CS First Boston, Lehman Brothers and Smith
Barney. Sports and Recreation is listed on the NYSE under the
symbol WON (MIAMI HERALD, 9/26)....Vaseline Lip Therapy, a
trademark of Chesebrough-Pond's USA, has signed on as a "gold
sponsor" of Jimmie Heuga's Ski Express and Jimmie Heuga's
Mountain Bike Express programs for 1995. Terms of the agreement
were not disclosed, but the program will include on-site signage,
sampling, P.A. announcements, and trade activities at each of the
28 Ski Express events. The Vaseline Lip Therapy logo will be
included on all program brochures, posters, and print
advertisements, as well as on program advertisements on the
Weather/Travel Channel. After the ski season, Vaseline Lip
Therapy will move into its sponsorship of the mountain biking
program (THE DAILY).
Today at 11:45 am, Foot Looker, Fila, and Mayor Rudolph
Guiliani will announce the details of a citywide backboard
replacement program in 625 of New York City's poorest schools.
Location: P.S. 171, The Patrick Henry School, 19 East 103rd
Street at Madison Avenue. Over the next three years, the $1.2M
program will replace and refurbish nets, rims, and backboards
The Panthers' second-season marketing strategy will closely
resemble last year's and will continue to be guided by a clear
philosophy: "Educate those who need to be educated without
insulting those who don't." Dean Jordan, Panthers' VP for
Business and Marketing: "We're not going to do much differently
from a marketing standpoint. We had a good system, and we're
going to just try and expand and build on it." Program elements
include: "Panthers' Pocket Guide to Hockey," a John
Vanbiesbrouck instructional video available for rent at
Blockbuster stores, the "Streetcats" street-hockey program for
children. 95% of the team's season-ticket holders renewed for
this year; prices were raised from only in the sold-out lower
bowl, which climbed from $32.50 to $38.00 (Dave Sheinin, MIAMI
COME ONE, COME ALL: In an effort to give all patrons an
equal chance to purchase Panther Pack seats ($8/ticket), the
Panthers and Ticketmaster announced the implementation of random
number distribution. Steve Dangerfield, Panthers' Director of
Ticket and Game Day Operations: "It is the goal of the Panthers
and Ticketmaster to stop overnight camping for safety reasons.
In addition, we hope to deter scalpers or ticket brokers the
ability to hire people to camp out to get the first tickets made
available" (THE DAILY).
TICKETMASTER REVIEW: In a separate story in yesterday's
MIAMI HERALD, Alina Matas profiles Ticketmaster, "a $190M-a-year
national giant" that "rules the off-site world of the tix biz"
through its agreements with a wide range of venues for ticket
sales and distribution. Matas: "The monies they get are called
'rebates.' Some call them 'kickbacks.'" Robert Franklin,
manager of the Miami Arena: "It's a revenue source for us. The
service charge is very profitable. There's virtually no cost
associated with it." (MIAMI HERALD, 9/25).