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Volume 24 No. 156

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

     The U.S. Figure Skating Association announced that the State
Farm Insurance Companies have signed on as the official title
sponsor for this year's U.S. Figure Skating Championships.  The
'95 State Farm Figure Skating Championships will be held at the
Providence Civic Center, February 6-12.  State Farm is the most
recent company to become an official sponsor of the USFSA and
U.S. Figure Skating Team.  The company became a sponsor under the
joint marketing program developed by USFSA and ABC Sports and
will extend its commitment through '96 (USFSA).

     NBC's David Bloom examined the latest craze among children -
- the POG, small cardboard milk caps.  POG, which stands for
"Passion-fruit, Orange and Guava" originated with a Hawaiian
juice drink.  Generally priced between $3-5, they  can be used
for games, collecting, and trading.  POGs have become so popular
that Alan Rapinsky has started the World POG Federation.
Rapinsky got the idea after 1 billion milk caps were distributed
in Hawaii alone last year.  Bloom noted that the POG craze is
becoming so large that even "corporate America" is joining in
("Nightly News," 12/22).

     The Tournament of Roses has announced that Disneyland  will
kick off this year's Rose Parade with a gala sports spectacular.
The gala will include over 100 singers, dancers, stunt performers
and Disney characters who will perform a tribute to Disneyland's
40th anniversary.  The salute will contain an original musical
celebrating the Parade theme, "SPORTS -- Quest for Excellence"
(Rose Bowl).

     Pistons rookie Grant Hill debuts as a spokesperson for GMC
Truck in a TV spot on Christmas Eve.  The ad ties in with GMC's
Truck themeline "The Strength of Experience."  The spot follows
Hill from a young boy playing basketball to his days at Duke, to
his current place with the Pistons.  McCann/SAS, GMC Truck's ad
agency, created the add which is the first in a series of
commercials in which Hill will represent GMC Truck and its
products.  Additional ads are in development and will air in '95
and '96.  The commercial will debut Christmas Eve on NBC and Fox
NFL games; and December 31 on ABC during the NFC Wildcard game

     CBS' Bob McKeown examined Nike's use of controversial
basketball players like Dennis Rodman to sell their shoes.
Cavaliers President Wayne Embry reinforced his earlier comments
criticizing the Foot Action/Nike ad depicting Rodman threatening
Santa Claus.  Ad exec Jerry Della Femina:  "Nike is doing what
they have been trying to do with all of their advertising, and
what they've done very successfully, they are trying to get
attention."  McKeown:  "So what does it say about Nike and
America this Christmas -- that the world's biggest sporting goods
company thinks it can sell more shoes with the Dennis Rodman
who's naughty than with the Dennis Rodman who's nice?" ("CBS
Evening News," 12/22).
denied a report from The Greenville, SC, NEWS that the company
gave financial help to Chicago hich school star Kevin Garnett, a
6-11 center and possible national player of the year.  The paper
ran a report Wednesday that Nike paid for the player's move from
SC to Chicago and helped finance an apartment in Chicago for him
and his mother.  Nike said it did pay for airfare and lodging for
Garnett's mother to attend its Scholastic Festival.  Nike
spokesperson Tom Feuer said that is totally legal, and said
"there is no truth" to the other allegations (Todd Schultz, USA
TODAY, 12/23).

     Reebok International, Ltd. has said it will not manufacture
it products in Burma "until significant improvements in human
rights conditions are in place." In a letter to Canadian
activists who oppose Burma's ruling military junta, Reebok
President Paul Fireman wrote:  "Reebok is not currently
purchasing footwear or apparel made in Burma and will not
consider doing so until significant improvements in human rights
conditions are in place."  Reebok received some bad publicity
earlier in the year for the living conditions of their workers in
Southeast Asia (Mitchell Zuckoff, BOSTON GLOBE, 12/22).