The SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS profiles the relationship between
donations to CA political campaigns and the special laws facing
beer makers in the state. CA's anti-monopoly laws restrict beer
makers from owning an interest in more than one of the three
segments of the business -- manufacturing, distribution and
retail. But, a law passed in the last legislative session would
now allow "alcoholic beverage manufacturers" to buy ad space "at
a fully enclosed arena with a fixed seating capacity in excess of
18,000 located in Orange County." Translation: beer companies
can now buy ad space at The Pond in Anaheim. The law was needed
because there Ogden Corp. manages both concessions and at The
Pond advertising -- not typically allowed under the alcoholic
monopoly laws (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 1/11).
Callaway Golf has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in
L.A. against four Southern CA golf retailers, one L.A.-based golf
component wholesaler, a Taiwanese maker of golf club heads and
seven individuals. The suit seeks damages for illegally making,
distributing and selling of Big Bursar irons -- which are illegal
copies of Callaway's top selling "Big Bertha" Irons (Callaway).
Streetball Partners Int'l, who created Hoop-It-Up and Air-
It-Out, is "drawing new attention from investors as its sporting
events catch on across the country." According to a story in the
Southwest edition of the WALL STREET JOURNAL, sources familiar
with Streetball say "they expect General Electric Capital
Services to make an offer soon to acquire about 50%" of the
company from owner Terry Murphy and his partners. And, they say
Streetball "is ready to sell an ownership stake to an
unidentified party," a deal that could be closed within two
weeks. Supposedly, the negotiations with GE "aren't linked to
the offer for the ownership stake," and the deals don't "hinge"
on each other being completed. GE Capital's parent, GE Co. of
Fairfield, CT, already owns 30% to 40% of Streetball -- through
its NBC unit, and according to the sources close to Streetball,
"GE Capital would buy shares from the existing partners,
including NBC, thereby diluting NBC's stake."
EXISTING SPONSORS: If GE and the other unidentified party
go ahead with their offers, they would join such Hoop-It-Up
sponsors as AT&T Corp, Gatorade, and Champion Products. Each
pays about $500,000 as national sponsors. For the Air-It-Out
football games, Budweiser and Gatorade each pay a "similar"
amount to co-sponsor the event.
STREETBALL'S FUTURE: Now that they have been so successful
with the "grass-roots" basketball and football markets,
Streetball has started a Spike-It-Up volleyball competition which
traveled to 10 cities last year, and street hockey and golf
competitions will begin later this year (Jeff Opdyke, WALL STREET
JOURNAL-SW edition, 1/11).
Kmart and Little Caesars Pizza announced a joint title
sponsorship of the Kranefuss/Haas Racing Team for the '95-96
NASCAR Winston Cup seasons. John Andretti will drive the
Kmart/Little Caesars car debuting at the Daytona 500, as this is
the second go around for Kmart in the Winston Cup Racing series.
This is the initial involvement for Little Caesars in the motor-
sports field. Kmart Senior VP/Sales and Operations Paul Hueber:
"Winston Cup racing is a dynamic promotional opportunity with a
strong appeal to our Kmart customers. NASCAR racing has proven
itself time and again to be cost-effective, high impact sport
which reaches a large, extremely loyal consumer audience" Little
Caesars owners, Michael and Marian Ilitch, also own the Tigers,
the Red Wings, plus the NPSL Rockers. Little Caesars VP
Christopher Ilitch: "This brings new marketing opportunities and
brand exposure within a sport that is growing rapidly and is known
for strong fan loyalty" (Kmart).
AT&T is in discussions with Time Warner to create a joint
venture to market residential phone services. One source says the
deal "could be finalized in the next 30 days" (COWLES BUSINESS
MEDIA, 1/11)....Fleer and newly acquired European partner Panni,
will have Fleer basketball cards on retail shelves across Europe
in two weeks. The cards will feature packaging in five different
languages and translator cards to help fans translate information
into their native tongues (THE BRILL REPORT, 1/12 issue)....
England's national soccer team has acquired its first sponsor --
Green Flag, primarily known for its vehicle breakdown and recovery
service. The 4-year deal is worth $6M (AP/N.Y. TIMES, 1/13).
....Quaker Oats Co. said yesterday that 2ndQ earnings will be down
by 20-25% from last year's 31 cents a share, primarily because of
costs related to its December purchase of Snapple Beverage Corp.
(CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/13)....USA TODAY's "Company Spotlight" is
Fila. The article notes that Fila's goal for '95 is to become the
No. 3 shoe seller in the U.S., behind Nike and Reebok. Currently,
Fila is No. 5, behind Addidas and L.A. Gear (USA TODAY,
1/13)....The Bucks will install new basketball goals and
backboards in all 14 Milwaukee public high school gyms at no cost
to the school system. Bucks VP/Business Operations John
Steinmiller: "We recognize that the budget of the MPS system is
strapped and that athletic equipment cannot always be a priority"
NFLP and the NFLPA have signed a deal with a major recording
company to produce a country album and a rap record. Players
will be "doing duets with leading country and rap artists," plus
solos written for them by top professional musicians. It is
going to be a year-long project, including music videos, a world
tour and merchandising tie-ins. The deal will officially be
revealed at a Super Bowl press conference (N.Y. POST, 1/13).
The name of the character that Dennis Hopper plays in Nike
ads will be revealed in a new campaign this weekend: Stanley
Craver. The teaser ads promote a speech by Craver that will be
made in a 90-second ad during the Super Bowl. The ads will
feature various NFL players from Troy Aikman and Brett Favre to
Natrone Means (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 1/13). The new Nike campaign is
today's profile in USA TODAY's "Super Bowl Ad Watch" (USA TODAY,
1/13)....The 49ers-Cowboys game is shaping up as "Super Bowl
Lite" for advertisers. Some 30-second spots cost as much as
$500,000, half the price of a Super Bowl ad. Fox says that all
58 units for the game are sold out (USA TODAY, 1/13)....Goodyear
will launch its new Wrangler Aquatred tire in ads during the
Super Bowl's pre- and post-game shows (Goodyear)....The
accounting firm Arthur Andersen is running an ad that pokes fun
at the cost of Super Bowl ads -- but the ad will not be seen
during the game. Andersen is running the ad, starting on January
15, for two weeks on other networks (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 1/12).