ACC TOURNAMANIA: The Atlantic Coast Conference, ScheerSports
and Koury Convention Center officials announced yesterday that
the conference will host an interactive fan festival called ACC
TournaMania in conjunction with the ACC Basketball Tournament in
March '95. TournaMania, which will be sponsored by NationsBank
and regional cable outlet Home Team Sports, will offer various
events including free throw competitions; intramural
competitions; a photo booth; clinics and forums; an ACC trading
card booth; and a food court. ACC Commissioner Gene Corrigan
said he "looks forward" to the opportunities TournaMania will
bring to the ACC and its corporate sponsors: "We have an
opportunity to educate so many more people about the quality
institutions within the ACC and the companies that support them"
THE SEC'S FANFARE: The Southeastern Conference will stage
"Fanfare" -- a "fan-interactive, 200,000-square foot theme park"
at the Georgia World Congress from December 1-4 to coincide with
the December 3rd SEC Football Championship at the Georgia Dome
Herman's Sporting Goods announced yesterday that it has
signed a letter of intent to open a 50,000-square-foot sports
emporium at the Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex on
New York's Hudson River Waterfront. Called "We Are Sports By
Herman's," the new sports emporium is expected to open in late
1995. The store will have a design resembling a stadium, with
graduated levels of selling floors surrounding the main
amphitheater. Herman's CEO Alfred Fasola said that the new
emporium will generate a first-year revenue of $15M: "The new
store will be one more example of Herman's dominance in the
sporting goods retail in the Northeastern United States"
(Herman's). Herman's will spend $5M to construct the store "to
match the imagination of the sports enthusiast's wildest dreams."
The store will include two separate 4,000 square foot specialty
stores featuring Nike and Reebok products, as well as a 1,500
square-foot Speedo store. It will also have a travel agency
offering "adventure trips," and a box office to sell tickets to
sporting events. The redevelopment of the Piers also includes
building an an ice rink and an in-line skating rink. Among the
leaders in the redevelopment effort are Roland Betts and Tom
Burnstein, two of the Texas Rangers' five principal owners
(Judith Evans, N.Y. NEWSDAY, 11/17).
NOT TO BE OUTDONE: Sports Authority "makes its long-awaited
debut" in New York with a store opening across from Madison
Square Garden. Sports Authority officials "claim the timing of
the Herman's announcement was deliberate" to offset any publicity
Sports Authority would get for its first NYC store. But Fasola
"coyly insists it was a coincidence" (Jonathan Auerbach, N.Y.
The New Britain franchise in the Double-A Eastern League has
changed its name and logo. The team, known as the New Britain
Red Sox for the last 12 years, will now be called the Hardware
City Rock Cats. The new logo, featuring a cat decked out in rock
and roll apparel, was introduced yesterday. Rock Cats GM Gerry
Berthiaume: "We think this could be one of the hottest logos in
minor league baseball." Rock Cats Owner George Buzas said "he
wasn't overwhelmed" by the logo, but was swayed by the marketing
potential. Buzas: "Everyone said it has great marketing
potential, especially with the kids" (Paul Doyle, HARTFORD
Miller Brewing Co. and the Carolina Panthers announced
yesterday that Miller will be the team's malt beverage sponsor
over the next 10 years. Miller's commitment to the Panthers
includes advertising on the Panther TV and radio networks, in-
stadium signage and video commercials, print advertising in
Panther publications and a variety of promotional opportunities.
Miller Marketing Services Director Michael Hart said that
Miller's Lite beer products would be the initial brands promoted
by Miller through the sponsorship (Miller Brewing Co.).
Kevin Goldman analyzes the new NBA-Bill Murray ads, and
calls it an "effort to remind the public that the popular sport
is fun and not dominated by high-priced prima-donnas." Over the
next several months, a series of ads as well as longer segments
will featuring Murray's dream of playing in the NBA. Other NBA
ads that will not feature Murray will feature NBA licensed
products. The ads will contain the tag line, "I love this
stuff." The NBA's ad agency for both ad campaigns is Berlin
Cameron (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/17). ....IBM took out two full-
page ads in USA TODAY featuring their new product, "OS/2 Warp."
The first page features a "warped" picture of Bulls coach Phil
Jackson, while the second page features the product (USA TODAY,
Disney was scheduled to announce the creation of the
Disneyland Marathon in Orange County, CA, yesterday. The race is
set to take place in '95, just three weeks after the L.A.
Marathon. But Disney spokesperson Joe Aguirre said the two
marathons are not in competition: "We've been in touch with
officials of the Los Angeles Marathon and we're going to be
offering an arrangement whereby people can fun both races at a
reduced price." Elite runners frequently compete only twice a
year, "and never, so close together." The L.A. Marathon has had
Mercedes Benz as its primary sponsor since its inception, but the
contract runs out after '95 and Mercedes has no plans to renew.
However, L.A. Marathon spokesperson Bill Burke said other car
sponsors could become involved (Jim Hodges, L.A. TIMES, 11/17).
For many fans, last year's NBA Rookie of the Year Chris
Webber "has gone from hero to villain." During his holdout,
which ended last night when he re-signed with the Warriors,
souvenir shops reported lower interest in Webber apparel.
Retailer Matt Medrano: "Right now, I'd say [fans are] just mad at
Webber." The AP notes that $45 Webber jerseys "are getting
ignored" at Oakland Coliseum (AP/N.Y. POST, 11/17).
SKI Magazine and Wendy's Restaurants have joined to produce
the Wendy's SKI Family Challenge to benefit the Dave Thomas
Foundation for Adoption. Wendy's SKI Family Challenge will offer
families a chance to race together and, by doing so, be eligible
to win a family ski trip to the Wendy's Pro Cup. The Wendy's Pro
Cup will be part of an NBC television special on March 18 and a
one-hour special on the Family Channel (SKI Magazine).