49ers DB Deion Sanders "had an audience swarming at his lipson Media Day, but he threatened to ruin this rare marketingopportunity by behaving like an absolute darling of a gentleman."Sanders: "I've had enough hype, exposure and press to last 10people in their lifetime. Now, I just want the ring. ... I don'tneed exposure. I'm already household" (Bernie Miklasz, ST. LOUISPOST-DISPATCH, 1/25). In New York, Steve Serby writes onSanders: "Prime Time is an act. He is a family man and a teamman. He has made suckers of us all, so good for him" (N.Y. POST,1/25).
ESPN has sold out its gold level sponsorship positions for
the inaugural Extreme Games, which are to take place in and
around Providence, RI from June 24-July 1. The six gold level
sponsorships are held by Miller, PepsiCo's Mountain Dew, Nike,
Taco Bell, AT&T and GM's Chevrolet Truck and Pontiac divisions.
In addition, Advil will be a participating sponsor as the
official "Medical Services Provider." Additional sponsorship
packages are being made available for domestic and int'l
telecasts (GOULD MEDIA).
Euro Disney reported a "sharply narrowed loss for its fiscal
first quarter as a financial restructuring and higher revenue
gave a boost to the theme park" (WALL STREET JOURNAL,
1/25)....United Airlines reported a 4thQ profit, its first in
five years. The results "confirm that the industry is slowly
recovering." In the past week, American and Northwest both
reported profits for the last quarter. The industry now awaits
word from Delta (WASHINGTON TIMES, 1/25)....AT&T produced $75B in
revenue last year, more than in '83 when the company was broken
up and "stripped" of 73% of its assets. AT&T called '94 "by far"
the best year it has had since the breakup (USA TODAY,
1/25)....Hardee's is said to be looking for a new ad agency for
the second time in less than two years. Currently, the company
is with Manhattan-based Deutsch Inc. (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/25).
According to MLBP, the Negro Leagues Licensing program,
officially launched at last year's Super Show, has been
"extremely successful." From July through November '94, retail
sales of Negro League merchandise totaled approximately $3.4M.
As a pro bono program, 100% of the revenues generated from the
sale of the merchandise is distributed to former Negro Leagues
players, The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the Jackie
Robinson Foundation. MLBP VP/General Counsel Don Gibson will
present the checks to Don Motley, Exec Dir for the Negro Leagues
Museum, Wilmer Fields, a former Negro Leagues player, and Rachel
Robinson, Jackie Robinson's widow and Chair of the Jackie
Robinson Foundation -- at a press conference to be held on Sunday
February 5 at the Super Show in Atlanta (MLBP).
Joining former NY Gov. Mario Cuomo in Doritos' Super Bowlspot will be former TX Gov. Ann Richards. In the ad, Richardscleans out her office as she and Cuomo discuss change (USA TODAY,1/25).... ESPN Int'l will televise the game to viewers throughoutLatin America, Asia and the Pacific Rim, the Middle East andAfrica. The game will be delivered in English, Spanish,Portuguese and Mandarin Chinese (THE DAILY)....Coca-Cola will notadvertise during the broadcast of the game, but they "continue tobe a heavy NFL sponsor." In addition to being one of the namesponsors of the NFL Experience themepark situtaed outside JoeRobbie Stadium, Coca-Cola is also the sole sponsor of TouchdownTown, a smaller interactive display. "Coca-Cola BIG TV," a jointventure with Turner Broadcasting, will air on TNT from 10:30pm onJanuary 27 until three hours before game time. Coca-Colaspokesperson Ben Deutsch: "There are better ways to invest moneyin Super Bowl marketing than throwing $1 million at a 30-secondad" (Eric Conrad, FT. LAUDERDALE SUN-SENTINEL, 1/25)....USATODAY's Super Bowl ad watch features McDonald's, which haspurchased one :60 ad slated for the first half (USA TODAY,1/25)....In Houston, Eric Hanson writes on the NFL program thatprovides football collecting cards for kids that double as aneducational tool. Each card features an NFL star with a messageon the back from urging kids to stay in school to stayingphysically fit. Shell Oil is the main sponsor of the program andFleer produced the cards (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/24).
"With hordes of media from all over the country on hand andmillions of people focusing their attention on it all week, SuperBowl XXIX would appear to be the ideal spot for San Francisco andSan Diego to do a little self-promotion," writes Wendy Tanaka inthis morning's SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER. But neither city hasplanned any marketing efforts at home or in Miami. Officialsfrom both cities said marketing their respective cities duringSuper Bowl week would be "pretty much a wasted effort."Officials claim that both game-goers and TV viewers "are toofocused on the game and on partying to pay much attention totourism pitches." Laurie Allison, Nat'l PR Manager for the SanDiego Convention & Visitors Bureau, points out that coverage ofthe teams will provide "essentially free advertising." Althoughnot in town to push his city, San Francisco Mayor Frank Jordan isin Miami talking with NFL officials about marketing plans forSuper Bowl XXXIII, slated to be played at Candlestick Park in '99(SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER, 1/25).
Amid all the talk that ABC's 2nd half ratings could sufferif this year's Super Bowl is another NFC blowout, Dennis Lewin,Senior VP of Programming for ABC Sports, said there is nospecific barometer for a successful Super Bowl other than thefact that, "in all likelihood, it is going to be the highestrated television show of the year. And that is successful by anystandard." Lewin, who made his remarks during of news conferenceattended by members of ABC's Super Bowl broadcast team, alsonoted that ad sales for this year's game "are as good as they'veever been for the history of this game." Also in attendance:Announcers Al Michaels, Frank Gifford and Dan Dierdorf, sidelinereporter Lynn Swann, pregame host Brent Musberger, pregameproducer Curt Gowdy Jr., "Monday Night Football" Producer KenWolfe and Exec Producer Jack O'Hara. Excerpts follow: THE GOALS OF THE BROADCAST: Ken Wolfe said that the goalswon't change and called the Super Bowl "a natural extension ofwhat we don on 'Monday Night' on a regular basis." He noted the"diverse audience" that tunes into "Monday Night," including"peripheral" males and women. THE "FOX BOX": Wolfe maintained his position that the on-screen scoreboard, instituted this year by Fox, is not necessaryand will not be used during the Super Bowl. Wolfe: "I think toomuch has been made of it." THE HYPE: Brent Musberger said there was no need to hypethe game in the pre-game show: "The printed media, ESPN and allthe cable channels do it for us. ... [Viewers will want to know]Is there a chance for an upset? If there is, if this game turnsthe corner in the 4th quarter and the Chargers have a chance towin it, then I think you'll see one of the greatest Super Bowlratings of all time." Gifford said if the Chargers were to win,it would probably be the biggest Super Bowl upset ever, at leastsimilar to Super Bowl III (Jets over Colts). Dierdorf counteredthat it would be "bigger" Super Bowl III (THE DAILY).
"There is virtually no chance Super Bowl tickets arecounterfeit, and the NFL doesn't expect a problem withcounterfeit media credentials like it had in Atlanta last year,"according to a report in this morning's Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL. NFL Dir of Special Events Jim Steeg: "We learned alot about how far people will go last year." Steeg said he andhis staff are paying more attention to game credentials -- usinghard-to-purchase materials that increase the cost ofcounterfeiting. In addition, the presence of a 75th anniversaryhologram has decreased concern over counterfeit game tickets.Steeg, who estimated the costs of printing tickets at $150,000per 2,000: "You can see making a profit wouldn't be easy" (CraigBarnes, Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 1/25). THE INFAMOUS NUDE CRUISE: NFL Dir of Communications GregAiello said the league will have a "presence" aboard a cruisefeaturing naked show girls and gambling. Cruise promoters areclaiming that 50 present or former NFL players will also beaboard. Aiello: "There will be a representative of NFL securityon board. But I don't know who that will be." The league hasthreatened fines and "lifetime suspensions" to players or othersaffliliated with the NFL that attend (Ken Rodriguez, MIAMIHERALD, 1/25).