Tournament officials for the Wendy's Three Tour Challenge
announced that Four Seasons Resorts and Club in Irving, TX will
serve as the host for the October 24-25 event, which features
three top golfers from the PGA, LPGA and Senior PGA tours. ABC
will televise the event the weekend of December 17-18 (3-Tour
Challenge)....The Bank of the West Classic Tennis Tournament and
eWorld -- the online communication service from Apple Computer --
announced they will offer a live WorkingWoman Magazine seminar
online on November 3. The seminar will be hosted by Kristin
Norrgard, publisher of WorkingWoman, with guest Pam Shriver,
former WTA President. The seminar will be held at the Oakland
Coliseum Arena in conjunction with the Bank of the West Tennis
Tournament (Apple/Bank of the West)....On the O.J. front, many on
Madison Avenue are hoping Judge Lance Ito orders TV cameras out
of the court room. Hertz will forgo all advertising during the
trial; Ford has discouraged local agencies from "expanding their
advertising to include the Bronco"; Court TV has rejected
advertising for Florida Orange Juice. "Airing the trial at all
is certain to disrupt numerous corporate advertising plans for
what was shaping up as a bumper Christmas season" (PHILA.
INQUIRER, 10/18)....Sears Merchandise Group announced that it has
established a relationship with Television Production Partners, a
recently formed venture that develops original TV programming
projects. Sears will enjoy retail category exclusivity during
the programs. Other advertisers will include: GM, McDonald's,
AT&T, Clorox, Coca-Cola, Campbells, Reebok and Coors (Sears).
It's been a year since Michael Jordan retired from
basketball. "And the return from air to earth [for the NBA] has
been less bumpy than most would have thought." The NBA "managed
to re-sign nearly all of its major sponsors for the coming
season." And while no single star emerged to fill Jordan's
shoes, a "team of young athletes," including Shaquille O'Neal,
Anfernee Hardaway and Chris Webber, are "racking up endorsement
deals." AD AGE's Jeff Jensen notes, the NBA "still towers over
other" pro sports. The NBA renewed agreements with sponsors like
Gatorade, Miller Brewing and Schick. Miller will hike spending
on NBA media and promotions by 10% to $50M this season. Dick
Strup, Miller Senior VP/Marketing: "It's our most valuable sports
sponsorship. They generate creative marketing ideas. And they
have David Stern." Jensen notes that NBA Commissioner David
Stern earned applause from sponsors earlier this month by
promising not to order a lockout and start the season. Sponsors
were also happy with the league's decision to crack down on rough
play. "A key marketing concern for the NBA this season is
licensed products. For the first time, the league will
distribute all-star game ballots through Foot Locker stores in
the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Customers who vote will be
presented with a variety of incentives to buy NBA-licensed items"
(Jeff Jensen, AD AGE, 10/17 issue).
FOR JORDAN? While Jordan's career change meant a change in
ad strategy for some of makers of products he endorses, "no one
has seen a corresponding decline in sales." However, many
marketers "find their relationship" with Jordan at a crossroads.
McDonald's is "reassessing the role Mr. Jordan will play in
future advertising." Gatorade is defining Jordan's role in its
future marketing plans, "which include international expansion."
And Nike is looking to a "new generation of stars to supports its
basketball business." Nike will not release sales figures for
particular shoe lines, but some say sales of Air Jordans have
declined. Andrew Gaffney, editor of Sporting Good Business:
"There were definite signs of decrease, according to retailer
reports. It's become a smaller part of Nike's business."
Gaffney also noted the slip in Air Jordans could be part of an
overall decline in "popularity of basketball shoes and apparel"
(Jeff Jensen, AD AGE, 10/17 issue).
ESPN's Mike Tirico, "You may see more of those throwback
uniforms the rest of the season. Why? Today the league told
teams it is OK to wear them if you want. ...All the teams have to
do is request the league before the game" ("Prime Monday," ESPN,
Ackerley Communications Inc. has set up a subsidiary, Full
House Sports & Entertainment, to market the Supersonics,
Seattle's new CISL franchise and the Seattle Center Coliseum.
The 50 person staff includes all current Sonics employees, except
basketball operations and media relations personnel. Full House
will handle all marketing, sales, concessions, production and
retailing for the teams. In addition, the group will market
concessions, suite sales, signage and sponsorship sales for the
arena. The arena is currently undergoing renovation and will
reopen in November '95. Former Sonics Exec VP John Dresel has
been named president of Full House. Ackerley also controls three
Seattle radio stations, five TV stations and billboard and
airport ad companies (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 10/18).