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Volume 24 No. 117

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

     Red Sox Exec VP Lou Gorman continues to pursue a possible
two-game exhibition against the Mets in Dublin, "tentatively
scheduled for early March 1996."  Gorman said that MLB is trying
to secure sponsors for the series, which "would further the goal
of baseball interest internationally" (Nick Cafardo, BOSTON
GLOBE, 11/29).

     The baseball strike and the work stoppage in the NHL has
thrown a "curve into John Labatt Ltd.'s plan to spin off its
sports and entertainment holding, worth more than $1B."  Analysts
said that the Toronto beer manufacturer faces uncertainty over
the value of its sports properties, which include interests in
the Blue Jays, The Sports Network (TSN) cable channel, and
SkyDome.  Analyst Michael Palmer of Equity Research Associates in
Toronto: "Labatt's whole empire or structure, has been thrown
into disarray by the labor disruptions."  Labatt is also saddled
by the C$720M investment purchase into a Mexican brewery that
"loaded Labatt with debt and raised doubts" among shareholders
about the corporate strategy.  Labatt had hoped to reduce its
stake in some holdings and offer 49% of assets in a public
offering, but company spokesperson Lorne Stephenson said the
baseball strike has made "spinoff plans a little more difficult"
(Marina Strauss, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 11/30).

     This week's BUSINESS WEEK looks at the NBA's "fast break
overseas."  With revenues over $1B and U.S. arenas filled to 92%
of capacity, Commissioner David Stern is now looking to Europe,
Latin America and, "especially to Asia," to expand the hot
product.  Stern hopes to "have all the NBA's business
opportunities -- in TV, merchandise, and events -- staffed and
running at full speed on six continents" in the next two years.
The NBA is especially strong in Australia, Israel, and Japan --
with Germany and Britain "surging dramatically."  Allen Furst, of
D&F Group Ltd., a event sponsorship agency in Washington, DC: "Of
U.S. pro sports, the NBA is No. 1 in international expansion and
awareness."  Stern's global plan is for TV to bring basketball
into 140 countries, making the NBA Game of the Week into a
worldwide "staple", while "holding in reserve commercial time on
each overseas channel that it can sell" to marketers such as
Coca-Cola, IBM, McDonald's, and Nike (Desens & O'Reilly, BUSINESS
WEEK, 12/5 issue).

     "Sniping" -- a "guerilla brand of outdoor advertising that
swathes construction sites, scaffolds, and other public property
with poster-size ads" -- is proving to be a big boost for Turbo
Sportswear in New York.  Turbo is seeing its First Down line of
parkas and vests become the "must have item of the season."  The
ads have been running only since September, but have made a big
impact on the city's youth.  The ad campaign, created by
Manhattan-based ad agency Cain Associates, has tapped "into the
trendsetting inner city market" and is being "launched in ethnic
neighborhoods in Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Baltimore."
One of the next step for First Down is a line of NFL- and MLB-
licensed merchandise (Ylonda Gault, CRAIN'S NEW YORK, 11/28
issue).