The Bulls' Scottie Pippen, whose chair-throwing incident two
days ago was widely publicized, is still seen as a positive
endorser "in the eyes" of some of the companies that have hired
him. Ameritech spokeperson Dave Onak: "Sure, we're disappointed
with some of his recent incidents. But on the balance, we still
believe he makes a strong contribution to the community." Nike
VP/Public Relations Keith Peters, commenting on the contract
talks between the Bulls and Pippen: "While all this is going on,
Scottie is playing pretty well. It's not an easy thing to deal
with. Controversy isn't always good but it's not always bad,
either. And from what I've seen and heard, Scottie is just
stating his feelings" (Terry Armour, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/26).
PepsiCo's Frito Lay unit has reportedly filmed an adfeaturing 49er Steve Young and his coach George Seifert alongwith Charger Stan Humphries. This new Doritos spot is expectedto run during the Frito Lay Halftime Show. Besides Frito Lay,Young is under contract with Nike, Sprint and a "collection ofother advertisers." A "standout performance" in the game couldenhance his marketability. Humphries' Nike contract expires atthe end of the Super Bowl. If Nike does not pick up hiscontract, "look for Reebok to enter the picture." David Burns ofBurns Sports Celebrity Service notes that advertisers are now"very aware" of Humphries (George Lazarus, CHICAGO TRIBUNE,1/26)....San Francisco ad agency Foote Cone & Belding, hasunveiled its annual "tongue-slightly-in-cheek Super Bowl scoutingreport" for potential new endorsers for advertisers. DeionSanders and Steve Young "are money in the bank"; Jerry Rice andJunior Seau "have untapped potential"; other players have a shot,but most "just aren't well ... ready for prime time." Some theagency's cute endorsement ideas: Dana Stubblefield -- "Nice namefor a Remington shaver commercial"; Ken Norton Jr. -- he and hisdad the heavyweight boxer could do a "warm-hearted AT&T long-distance commercial"; Stan Humphries -- "Given his much-publicized weight problems, Stan could be the man for an UltraSlimFast or Weight Watchers before-and-after commercial" (JohnFlinn, S.F. EXAMINER, 1/25)....USA TODAY's Super Bowl Ad Watchfeatures HBO, which has purchased one :60 spot that will airduring the first half (USA TODAY, 1/26).
"This is the state of the Players Association on the eve ofthe union's showcase event: discord and distrust," according toWilliam Rhoden in this morning's N.Y. TIMES in previewing NFLPAExec Dir Gene Upshaw's Super Bowl news conference today. Morethan one player "expressed anger yesterday over Upshaw'sleadership, from the collective bargaining agreement that grantedfree agency but included a salary cap to Upshaw's own salary of$900,000." 49er Player Rep Toi Cook defends Upshaw's salary:"He needs to get what other people are getting. The other peopleare getting a million dollars." But Cowboy Michael Irvin said:"Not only did he let me down as a football player, he let me downas a black man, making that poor business decision. People willlook at this and say, 'That's why you can't put a black man ashead of anything.'" If shows of unity and minimum playersalaries are any measure, the NFLPA is the "weakest of all" teamsports players' associations, according to Rhoden. He notes thestart of the NFLPA licensing corporation, which NFL Propertiescountered by offering to sign players to contracts. "Instead ofsigning with their own licensing entity, certain key playerssigned with NFL Properties." As for the report that former NFLPAstaffer John Walker misappropriated union funds and stole checksthat were payments from agents for union certification, someplayers are upset with the union's handling of the situation.49er WR Ed McCaffrey: "Something like this -- misappropriation offunds, regardless of how much it is -- I think it's a prettysignificant blow to the relationship between players and theunion" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/26).
The Athletic Footwear Association (AFA) announced that U.S.
sales of athletic footwear declined fractionally during the first
eight months of 1994, about 2%. The men's shoes category rose
7.7% in pairs sold and 2.9% in dollars spent during the time
period, while women's and children's shoes declined. Women's
footwear sold and dollars spent both slipped 6% and children's
footwear sold fell 1.4% with dollars spent declining by 6.1%
Curtis Management Group, a firm specializing in selectivity
marketing and protecting famous names, has announced an expanded
year-long schedule of what Curtis calls high-profile events in
celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Babe Ruth's birthday.
According to Curtis Management Senior VP Darci Dillard Ross, the
following list of licensees "are empowered to utilize a
distinctive, one-of-a-kind" Ruth Anniversary logo designed by
Curtis: Sport Stamp Collectors, Bradford Exchange, Ashton Drake,
Mark Allen Productions, Anaconda, Schneiderheit Glass Allstar
Marketing, Megacards, Talking Frames, David Blumenthal, Sports
Gems, Koral International, Champion Sports, Promint, Trevlin
Collection, White Rose Collectibles, Wilkinson Enterprises,
American Eagle Associates, Custom Pin & Design (Curtis Management
Agents for Jerry Rice announced yesterday that Rice hassigned a multi-year consulting and endorsement agreement with CNSInc. for Breathe Right nasal strips. The agreement states thatRice will be the first member of the CNS Sports Advisory Boardand will also appear in some advertising and promotionalmaterials. According to Rice's agent Jim Sterner, the agreementis the result of Rice's personal satisfaction with the BreatheRight product (CNS, Inc)
Patriots LB Vincent Brown has signed an endorsement deal
with Converse for a new cross-training shoe, "Scratching Turf,"
which comes out in May. A nationwide :30 ad will run June 5-25
(BOSTON GLOBE, 1/25)....Pinnacle Enterprises signed three more
golfers to endorsement contracts: Senior PGA Tour player Butch
Baird and PGA Tour players Doug Tewell and Mark Wurtz
(Pinnacle)....Novell Inc. and Walt Disney Co. are planning a
worldwide joint development and marketing pact to produce co-
branded applications combining animated entertainment with
traditional software programs such as word processing
(INTERACTIVE WEEK, 1/16 issue)....Peabody, MA-based Saucony, a
division of Hyde Athletic, annouced its sponsorship of the April
9 Saucony Fenway 5000 in Boston (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/25). ....In
Toronto, Art Chamberlain examines how Molson Brewing decided to
pick the fight against AIDS as one of its corporate causes
(TORONTO STAR, 1/26)...."Fueled by strong gains in its domestic
and international tobacco operations," Philip Morris reported
"soaring" 4thQ earnings. Even though growth in the company's
food division was "sluggish," tobacco's performance made up the
difference (N.Y. TIMES, 1/26)....Porsche has pulled its two cars
from the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona due to new engine
requirements. Indy racer Mario Andretti was scheduled to drive
the Porsche entries for the February 4-5 race (USA TODAY, 1/26).
Cowboy RB Emmitt Smith serves as honorary Mayor at theopening of Coca-Cola Touchdown Town, a football themed festivalfor Super Bowl visitors. The town opens today through January 30(Coca-Cola)....According to a report in this morning's USA TODAY,many fans from the West Coast cities still have not arrivedyet....Both Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan are expected toparticipate in the Powerade/ Deion Sanders Super PrimeTimeShootout basketball game tomorrow night at the Miami campus ofFlorida Int'l Univ. (USA TODAY, 1/26)....The Super Bowl will betelevised in a record 174 countries, territories and islands -- a24% increase over last year's record of 141 countries. Of the174 countries, 150 will see the game live. The game is expectedto draw 750M viewers (NFL)....McDonald's is sponsoring aneighborhood football clinic today. Also, look for MichaelJordan and Larry Bird to make an appearance in the company'sfinal "Super Bowl Buddies" spot (McDonald's). ....CorporateVillage has been erected in the northwestern corner of the JoeRobbie Stadium parking lot -- it's a compound of 27 wood-flooredtents surrounded by a chain-link fence. Companies can rent spaceto entertain clients or employees. The list of participatingcompanies is "confidential," but signs on the side of the tentsindicate that ABC, MCI, General Electric, Miller, SportsIllustrated, Nissan, Sherwin Williams, Seagrams and the MiamiHerald are all participating. The price is $295 per guest (RonIshoy, MIAMI HERALD, 1/26)....Peter Max's officially-licensed NFLart is on display at the NFL Experience. Max has created theofficial poster for Super Bowl XXIX, as well as a collection oforiginal Max art on NFL helmets (THE DAILY).
Nike released the Super Bowl speech that will be read byDennis Hopper, portraying Stanley Craver. Full text from the :90ad: "When I was a boy, I dreamed of playing football. But I wasallergic to milk and the soybean juice substitute that my mothergave me made my bones weak. But I digress. My point is: I lovefootball. Football. The ballet of bulldozers. The moments ofgrace in a sea of fury. The crowd: fickle, fanatical, andfaithful. Every kick-off is possibility. Every down a war. Andevery now and then, it doesn't come down to fancy strategy orspeed or strength. It comes down to who has more heart. Yes.You see football is in my bones, and where goes the two pointconversion, the on-side kick and the TV time-out, so go I. Ihave seen the locker room my friends. I have smelled the shoes,stormed the field and sung the songs. And I have heard thefootsteps. Yes. And they say to me, they say 'Stanley, isfootball the greatest game in the world?' And I say, 'Yes,footsteps. Yes it is!'" (Nike).
The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, patrons of the
Wimbledon Tennis Championships, announced yesterday that they
have signed an exclusive licensing arrangement for North America
with Gem International. The arrangement calls for Gem to
manufacture neckties, men's and ladies' scarves, cummerbunds and
pocket squares using the WIMBLEDON brand name (Wimbledon).