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Volume 24 No. 112

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

     Japan's first professional soccer league, now in its second
season, has become "universally" supported throughout the
country, according to the latest issue of THE ECONOMIST.  Last
year, in its first season, the J League's 10 teams attracted more
than 4M spectators.  The success of soccer "may be new-found" but
the sport is as "solid" in Japan as it is "anywhere in the
world."  For many Japanese, soccer games have provided a escape
from watching baseball, the country's only sports alternative
(ECONOMIST, 10/22 issue).

     Callaway Golf, maker of Big Bertha irons and woods, will add
Tommy Smothers and Kenny G to its endorser lineup in next year's
TV ads, the first time the company has used non-pro golfers.
Callaway will spend $12M on its '95 ads which are done in-house
(ADVERTISING AGE, 10/24 issue).

     USAir Group Inc. yesterday reported a third-quarter loss of
$180.1M and "predicted a continued drop in revenue for the
remainder of the year as its airline struggles to cut" $1B a year
in costs.  Airline officials estimated that as much as $40M of
this year's 3rdQ loss "is a direct result of passengers turning
to other airlines" after last month's crash of a USAir jetliner
outside Pittsburgh that killed 131 people.  USAir owns the naming
rights to the arena owned by Capitals/Bullets owner Abe Pollin
(WASHINGTON POST, 10/25).

     The 5th annual Sportel international TV sports market has
"solidified its stature as an up-and-coming conference, doubling
the number of exhibitors" from last year.  Both buyers and
sellers were "giving the four-day convention high marks."
Several exhibitors, including the NBA, ESPN International, World
League of American Football with Fox Sports and the NFL,
Australian Football and Tomwil said interest and sales were
"strong as many" media buyers followed up initial meetings at the
previous week's MIPCOM market in Cannes, France.  Sportel also
showed how "televised sporting events have expanded, with such
varied product available at the market as a series of top
tournaments" from the Pro Squash Association to the Int'l
Trampoline Federation.  The conference had 57 exhibitors and more
than 200 companies represented by more than 500 participants
(Wayne Walley, ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 10/24 issue).

     The Univ. of KY has decided to alter its official Wildcat
logo after numerous complaints that the mascot's rolled tongue
resembles a penis.  Alyssa Middleton, Assistant Director of UK
Marketing, Promotion and Licensing, said that a new logo is
already being produced at Collegiate Licensing of Atlanta.
University officials said that there are no plans to take any
current Wildcat paraphernalia off the shelves and there are no
plans to repaint the Wildcat logo on the main scoreboard at
Commonwealth Stadium.  UK Associate Athletic Director Larry Ivy
said that there had been "many calls" recently complaining about
the logo: "We thought it was just a joke initially, but we've had
more than one call."  Jim Edmon, who designed the logo eight
years ago, claimed that he has "always been proud" of the
drawing:  "The idea that I would have done something
intentionally to the Wildcat logo is ridiculous" (AP/ Louisville
COURIER JOURNAL, 10/25).

     The NFL's role in the Warner Brothers film "Little Giants"
marks the start of the league's major initiative to get more
involved in Hollywood and promote football products, players and
sponsors.  NFL Properties designed a marketing program for Warner
Brothers, creating radio spots and promotions for the 62 markets
in which the movie opened.  The NFL is also talking with Warner
Brothers about launching the home video around Super Bowl time.
NFL Properties VP for Business Development Greg Garber: "We see
movies as a grass-roots marketing tool to bring the game to a new
generation of fans" (Jeff Jensen, AD AGE, 10/24 issue).

     RCA launched a national advertising campaign for the DSS
digital satellite receiving system on ABC's "Monday Night
Football."  The DSS system enables consumers to watch up to 175
channels of satellite TV including a wide array of sports
broadcasts.  Gilbert Ravelette, VP of brand management for
Thomson, the company which helped develop the DSS system: "It's
appropriate that we launch this multi-million dollar national
advertising program on ABC's Monday Night Football, since the RCA
digital satellite system will provide consumers with the most
extensive array of [TV] sports programming available."  Airing of
the DSS promotion will continue through January, 1995 (RCA).

     In this week's "must read," ADVERTISING AGE's Jeff Jensen
looks at the growing trend of sports as an entertainment
industry, noting that many athletes now refer to themselves as
entertainers.  "Such is the mind-set among professional athletes
in the post-Jordan era, where being like Mike means being a
polished celebrity who can slam, spike and strut for the
highlight reel, give good sound bite without embarrassing
himself, his sport and his sponsors; and be able to find that
Disneyland film crew amid the pandemonium of winning a world
championship."  Jensen notes that "among the biggest changes
within sports:  just what constitutes a league."  The NBA "has
become by its own admission an international media company,"
complete with its own production facility and studio in NJ,
called NBA Entertainment.  NBA Properties President Rick Welts:
"We often compare ourselves to the Walt Disney Co., actually.  We
have theme parks -- 27 scattered across the country.  We have
characters -- figuratively and literally.  We have licensed
products.  We just don't make feature films.  But we do make
1,100 new episodes every season with no repeats."
     LEAGUE STRATEGIES:  Jensen notes that the "evolution of
sports into show business stems from the leagues' strategy of
positioning their businesses as entertainment that can appeal to
both the casual and serious sports fan.  A key part of that
strategy was to turn their athletes into celebrity entertainers,
and it worked, perhaps too well."  Referring to the labor unrests
in the leagues, "now, these athletes want to be paid their fair
market amount that entertainers of their stature can command."
     MARKETERS WORRIED?  Companies that have come to depend on
sports leagues as "important marketing vehicles fear that if
leagues can't contain their costs, those costs will get passed on
to them.  That could result in sponsorship prices that could
scare away marketers."  Bill Schmidt, VP/Sports Marketing for
Gatorade: "That's the only issue that might deter us away from
using sports as a marketing vehicle."  But despite the labor
problems, many advertisers say the leagues will continue to be
"viable marketing vehicles" (ADVERTISING AGE, 10/24 issue).

     According to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association'sanalysis of data from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, sporting goodsimports for the first half of '94 were down compared to the sameperiod in '93 (SGMA):
YEAR
TOTAL
% CHANGE
1989-90
$2.635B
+19.1%
1990-91
2.604B
- 1.2%
1991-92
3.011B
+15.6%
1992-93
3.241B
+ 7.6%
1993-94
3.054B
- 5.8%

LARGEST Y-T-D DECREASES
Tennis racquets
-38%
Non-leather athl shoes
-20%
Leather athletic shoes
-18%

LARGEST Y-T-D INCREASES
Soccer balls
+89%
Backpacking tents
+74%
Ice skates
+72%