For the second year in a row, Coca-Cola will "pitch a giant
tent near the Super Bowl, where it will throw an 'interactive'
party for fans." For five days in Miami starting January 26, the
company will present "Touchdown Town," featuring NFL player
appearances, live music and entertainment, games and attractions,
a pin trading center and a nightly laser show. This year's party
is expected to draw 100-120,000. According to Ben Deutsch,
public relations manger for Coca-Cola's sports sponsorships and
marketing, it will be the only Super Bowl-related activity to
continue on the Monday after the game. This will be the fourth
year Coca-Cola has stayed out of the on-air ad "fray during the
game." Deutsch: "We've found that this is a better way to
activate our sponsorship of the NFL. It brings the event to the
consumer in the most direct possible way." The company also
plans Round Two of "Coca-Cola Big TV" programming during Super
Bowl weekend, this time teaming up with TNT. Programming will
kick off Friday night during TNT's NBA game. Through the
weekend, TNT will interrupt its programming hourly with news
reports about the game. Ad sponsorship for Coca-Cola Big TV,
estimated at $100,000 each, are believed to be sold out, with
Coke, Reebok and Frito Lay "taking prominent positions in the
telecast" (Cynthia Mitchell, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/12).
McDONALD'S: Sources say that the two football fanatics
featured in the company's Super Bowl ads will make several live
appearances during the playoff games as well as the Super Bowl.
McDonald's, however, has not yet decided whether to use the
characters in Super Bowl spots which the company plans to use to
launch a new tagline: "Have you had your break today" (Jeanne
Whalen, AD AGE, 1/9 issue).
AD WATCH: USA TODAY began a "Super Bowl Ad Watch" column.
Today, Dottie Enrico profiles the National Pork Producers' two
30-second ads (USA TODAY, 1/12).
HALF-TIME SHOW: Singer Tony Bennett will headline the
Frito-Lay Doritos halftime show. The Raiders of the Lost Ark-
inspired theme is being produced by Disney. Sony is teaming up
with Blockbuster Music and Video shows for a sweepstakes
promotion tied to the halftime show featuring Bennett (Jeff
Jensen, AD AGE, 1/9 issue).
Dorna USA's AdTime rotational signage system will be
installed behind home plate at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh
during '95. The addition of Three Rivers brings the total number
of MLB stadiums using AdTime to thirteen: nine AL, four NL.
Dorna USA COO Jerry Cifarelli: "With thirteen Major League
ballparks in place, AdTime offers baseball advertisers coverage
through an extensive network that will deliver approximately 250
million television households in 1995. All told, AdTime will be
seen in nearly 50% of all televised baseball games in 1995"
ESPN is looking for advertisers to be the presenting sponsor
of four different pro sports leagues -- Arena Football, National
Professional Soccer, Major Indoor Lacrosse and Roller Hockey.
The cost? About $2M a year for which "sponsors will get a varied
merchandising/promotional package, as well as commercial time on
ESPN's coverage of the leagues." ESPN Dir of Sponsorships and
Business Development Paul Slagle: "We're not just packaging them
together to sell media time; it is everything from on-air to on-
site exposure." Putting a "single theme" on the four leagues
will help all involved, according to Slagle. "It will enable us
to cross-promote the leagues, and to give them more personality
and identity, and it should provide a continuity and a thread for
advertisers." ESPN will look first to the soft-drink and fast
food companies, as the sports appeal primarily to a young male
audience. A presenting sponsor will get media spots,
exclusivity, logos on uniforms, arena signage, and other benefits
for the year round programming (COWLES BUSINESS MEDIA, 1/11).
The golf equipment industry is in a fierce competition to
"secure the world's No. 1 player as a spokesman, salesman and
walking billboard for its irons." Nick Price, who previously was
under contract with Ram, was "disappointed" both with Ram
President Jim Hansberger's refusal to listen to him in matters of
research and development, and his contract of only $150,000 a
year plus $5,000 per victory. Price: "I wanted to take [Ram] to
the next level. I went to him with extremely good ideas ... and
they fell on deaf ears. I don't want to be with a company like
that." Currently, Price is "weighing offers" from Cobra, Taylor
Made, Maruman, Bridgestone, Pro Group. In addition, little-known
Atrigon Golf Company of Camarillo, CA has offered the star $2.5M
plus 10% of the company, 1% international sales and "total
freedom to redesign its irons." Because it may take Price until
June to make his decision, he may lose out. Companies could balk
because June "is too late in the season to start an advertising
campaign and justify an enormous financial commitment" (Tim
Rosaforte, SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, 1/16 issue).