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Volume 24 No. 157

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

     Under the subheader "Sara Levinson's job:  Turn Teens and
Toddlers Into Gridiron Fans," the new president of NFL Properties
is profiled in the latest issue of BUSINESS WEEK.  NFL Properties
is "key" to the NFL's goal to gain a "new generation of channel
surfers," while retaining its core audience.  Levinson believes
cutting edge technology is important to attract young fans:  "The
twentysomethings are so technologically facile.  If you can get
them in early, then the commitment stays."  Levinson expects on-
line activity on Prodigy to become a "real-time bulletin board
for Monday morning quarterbacks," and to use the service as a
"market research gold mine" for tests such as fans' taste in
merchandise.  Levinson says fans "want to get their hands on this
game in other ways besides wearing the team jersey and watching
the game on TV."  Levinson noted that her goal is not to make the
NFL "hipper, younger" but to "bring the hard-core fan closer to
the game."  To help do so, Levinson is planning the "most
comprehensive survey ever" of sports fans.  Coca-Cola Senior VP
for Media Charles Fruit, a "longtime Levinson watcher," says that
she "knows the care and feeding of a global brand.  (The NFL) has
to be one big brand with 30 flavors" (Ruth Coxeter, BUSINESS
WEEK, 11/7).

     Gillette has become an official corporate sponsor of the
Women's Sports Foundation.  Gillette pledged $180,000 to be used
by the Foundation for educational workshops and programs, ongoing
research for women's athletics and grants for athlete travel and
training programs.  The company also announced a consumer
promotion to begin next summer where one lucky consumer will win
"the sports lesson of a lifetime with a Women's Sports Foundation
athlete."  Gillette female razors, deodorant and haircare brands
become official Women's Sports Foundation products (Gillette).

     Showtime Networks, Viacom's pay cable-TV service, is
expected to announce today its finalists in an ad agency search.
The likely finalists:  Young & Rubicam, TBWA Advertising, Ayer &
Partners and Angotti, Thomas, Hedge (WALL STREET JOURNAL,
10/31)....In this week's BARRONS, Jay Palmer reports that
Cadbury's and Dr. Pepper's relationship will come to a head by
the end of the year, with either Cadbury gaining a seat on Dr.
Pepper's board; taking Dr. Pepper over outright; or selling their
25.9% stake in the company (BARRONS, 10/31)....Second-year LPGA
pro Vicki Goetz has signed a 5-year endorsement deal with
Mondetta Clothing Inc. of Winnipeg.  Goetze will wear the new
Vicki Goetze line of golf clothes during all of her LPGA
appearances (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 10/26)....Motorola has launched
the Wireless Sports Channel.  With WSC, it will be possible to
get sports news faster, as well as track multiple games
simultaneously (SPORT, 12/94 issue)....Sun Microsystems and
Illustra Information Technologies will deliver internet
highlights of the NHL Russian Dream Team charity hockey games
(Sun & Illustra)....McDonald's, a sponsor of the NHLPA's charity
games, "seems to be satisifed that its relationship with the NHL,
and its major sponsorship of the league's annual all-star weekend
will not be jeopardized" (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 10/31).

     "Roller basketball -- a combination of basketball and in-
line skating -- is taking off on the East Coast," according to
the most recent issue of INSIDE SPORTS. '76 Olympic Basketball
Gold Medalist and Former Sonic Tom LaGuarde started the National
In-Line Basketball League (NIBBL) and has spent his time
regulating and promoting the "burgeoning" sport.  NIBBL branches
now exist in Baltimore, Toronto, and Washington, DC.  Leagues are
also being formed in CA, NJ, and Puerto Rico, and skaters from
Japan and France have shown interest in the new sport.  NIBBL is
scheduled to play during half-time at a number of NBA games this
season and at the NBA All-Star weekend in February (INSIDE
SPORTS, December '94).

     Phillips 66, TV syndicator Creative Sports Inc., and the Big
Eight Conference have signed an agreement retaining Phillips 66
as title sponsor of the Big 8 men's basketball tournament until
'99.  In addition, Phillips 66 will make a $3,000 scholarship
contribution to each Big 8 institution.  The company also
sponsors the Phillips 66 Classroom Champion series, the men's
basketball player-of-the-week, academic All-Big Eight teams in 21
sports, and a year-end academic honor roll (Big Eight
Conference).

     In this morning's HARTFORD COURANT, Stephen Williams
examines the sale of sneakers in urban areas compared with the
suburbs.  In Hartford, shoes from Nike, Reebok etc. are available
in the suburbs, but not in the cities, because the large footwear
makers "restrict sales of their products in efforts to protect
their supplies and prices.  That often means small retailers --
many of them urban -- can't get them.  Ironically, athletic
footwear and Timberland hiking boots and clothing is extremely
popular in urban areas throughout the nation, and much of the
footwear makers' advertising has an urban focus."  Robert Logan,
owner of an independent shoe store in North Hartford:  "It's
easier for young people in this neighborhood to get drugs than it
is to get Nike merchandise."  Footwear makers say distribution
restrictions are "simply sound business decisions.  If their
products were sold at every retail outlet that wanted them," they
claim it would drive the price down.  The report gives many other
examples of all the hurdles urban shoe retailers have had to jump
in order to carry Nike, Reebok, Fila, Adidas or Timberland
merchandise.  Donovan Cooper, owner of a sportswear store: "All
you have to do is go into any of the black stores and you don't
see the merchandise.  It's ironic that Michael Jordan is making
millions of dollars promoting sneakers to young black kids."
Nike spokesperson Keith Peters: "We do not address our
advertising to the inner-city. ... [Michael Jordan and Spike Lee]
are cultural icons.  We are very sensitive and do a lot in the
minority community" (HARTFORD COURANT, 10/31).
     TARGETING MINORITIES:  In INSIDE SPORTS, Stedman Graham is
critical of a lack of effort in marketing to women and
minorities: "If the leaders in pro sports do not make a
concentrated effort to attract young people, women and people of
color to their games, where are sellout crowds of the future
going to come from?" (INSIDE SPORTS, 12/94).

     This morning's USA TODAY looks at where major sports
sponsors will spend their money in the future.  "Off-the-field
labor disputes threaten to unravel the marketing plans of
companies that are planning to spend an estimated" $2.9B this
year on pro sports sponsorships.  Nike, which earlier this year
announced an NHL sponsorship, "now says it is no longer content
to make team sports its marketing base."  Nike Dir of Advertising
Joe McCarthy says the company may lean toward "sports that stress
individual athletics," like running and tennis.  Coca-Cola last
had a national baseball promotion in '93, but they will not plan
a similar event for '95 "unless it is certain a season will be
played."  Thrifty Car Rental "quietly ended" its 6-year
relationship with the NHL shortly after the season was postponed.
Thrifty's VP/Marketing Bob Dimmick insists the lockout "was just
a minor ripple" in that decision.  MCI, a major MLB sponsor,
"will look closely at the angry reaction the sports received from
more than 2,000 fans" MCI polled earlier this month.  Tadd Seitz,
chair of Scotts, a lawn and garden supply company and a baseball
sponsor, said his company "will follow the fans" (Bruce Horovitz,
USA TODAY, 10/31).
     WHAT THE TEAMS FACE:  As baseball enters its "money season,"
which includes selling ticket plans and advertising for next
season, Mark Maske of the WASHINGTON POST writes,  "It has become
survival of the fittest for baseball.  For the popular successful
teams, the going has not yet been all that tough.  Season ticket
holders and would-be advertisers know that if they relinquish
their place, others are waiting to jump in.  But for struggling
franchises, it's a different story." Advertisers are also wary.
Dennis Lehman, the Indians Exec VP/Business, on advertisers:
"They want some assurances, even more so than our ticket-
holders."  Maske notes that  major baseball advertisers, such as
beer and car companies, have "plenty of other places to put their
ads" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/29).