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Volume 24 No. 156

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

     In its cover story this week, BRANDWEEK reports that Dial
Corp. is "on the eve of capping off an extensive sponsorship
contract with NFL Properties that sets in place NFL-themed
promotions around Super Bowl XXIX this January, and kicks off
next season with a series of local team tie-ins."  Dial's NFL
pact "usurps rival soap and detergent marketer Lever Brothers,"
NFLP's previous partner for Super Bowl and Tailgate promotions.
The '96 Super Bowl will be in Phoenix, home of Dial's
headquarters.  The deal also "maps out preliminaries for a series
of tailored regional promotional efforts in each of the 30 NFL
team markets, fitting neatly with Dial's aggressive retial
partner-oriented regional initiative."  Since Lever's contract
with NFLP does not expire until Dec. 1, Dial would not comment on
the deal.  Still, Super Bowl XXX's Phoenix venue "opens the door
to a massive trade promo and hospitality initiative for
retailers" (Pam Weisz, BRANDWEEK, 11/28 issue).

     Licensed apparel marketer Logo Athletic is changing its
logo.  "Seeking a more contemporary image, the firm is dropping
the 'A' from its corporate icon, while retaining its red and blue
colors."  Marketing VP Channing Souther said an overall name
change is also under consideration, since the company is often
called just "Logo."  Print trade ads breaking in December will
show Logo spokesperson Troy Aikman in apparel with Logo's new
design.  The first TV spots with the new logo feature Chris
Webber and debut in January on TNT's NBA broadcasts (BRANDWEEK,
11/28 issue).

     The Golf Channel has hired Crispin & Porter as its first
agency to handle advertising for the new cable TV network (N.Y.
TIMES, 11/25)....Leo Burnett Co. announced that it has mutually
agreed with H.J. Heinz Co. to end their "long relationships" on
two brands:  Star-Kist Tuna and 9-Lives Cat food.  Burnett is
also relinquishing its remaining Heinz accounts, including
ketchup, Heinz 57 steak sauce and Homestyle gravy.  Heinz does
some regional signage in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and FL (N.Y.
TIMES, 11/24).... Bristol-Myers has renewed its sponsorship of
the Naismith Awards for college basketball players, with Ban
deodorant as title sponsor for the 2nd year in a row (BRANDWEEK,
11/28 issue)....Shea Stadium will have advertising behind home
plate beginning in '95 (NEWSDAY, 11/24).

     With plans for the Madison Square Garden bid "long abandoned
and the need for immediate cash savings shelved," Nike cast of
vote of confidence in its own future last week, "hiking the
quarterly" dividend payout 25%, to 25 cents a share.  "That
increase came despite less-than-impressive first-quarter
results."  But, Nike's "optimism appears well founded.  The
company is confident that additional manufacturing capacity
secured in Asia will enable it to meet future order demands."
And a growing number of analysts "figure that domestic demand for
athletic footwear is finally starting to grow again after more
than three years of stagnation" (Jay Palmer, BARRON'S, 11/28
issue).

     After 50 years, O-Pee-Chee Co. Ltd. is "folding its hand as
Canada's major sports card company."  Instead, the firm will
"concentrate on its core business" -- gum and other
confectionaries.  O-Pee-Chee officials would not comment on the
reasons for the move, "and the company doesn't release sales
figures."  The company made hickey and baseball cards through an
agreement with Topps Co.  Topps, which holds the licenses, will
now deal directly in  Canada.  O-Pee-Chee was hurt by an NHLPA
decision to limit licensees such as Topps to two sets.  "The
North American sports card industry is recovering from a near
collapse in the early nineties caused partly by an oversupply of
cards, which deflated their value" (CANADIAN PRESS, 11/25).

     Global Telecommunication Solutions (GTS) plans to go public
before the end of the year.  GTS has "carved a niche in the
mushrooming" $200M phone-card market by acquiring the rights to
high profile licenses, including the NFL, MLB, MLBPA and Marvel
Comics.  The proposed NASDAQ offering would trade under the TELE
symbol, with 1.5M shares offered at $5 in hopes of raising cash
to grow GTS.  The company plans to use the IPO to finance
additional marketing activities and to establish a "better
distribution network which would include phonecard vending
machines in sports arenas and travel centers" (Terry Lefton,
BRANDWEEK, 11/28).