"The financially strapped women's tennis tour, without a title sponsor for two years, rejected an offer Wednesday from Tampax to become the tour's worldwide sponsor," reports Julie Cart in this morning's L.A. TIMES. A letter from the WTA Executive Committee to the WTA Board of Directors said the decision to turn down the 3-year, $10M deal "was made, in part, because of the negative image associated with feminine hygiene products." According to the letter, more than 75% of "tennis insiders" polled on the deal thought it would be a "bad move" for the WTA Tour. Bruce Garren, spokesperson for Tambrands, Tampax's parent company, had no comment (L.A. TIMES, 2/16). WTA Tour CEO Anne Person Worcester: "We were flattered by their interest. But after a great deal of discussion and input from various members of the tennis community, the decision was made to discontinue discussions with Tampax." The tour is still considering IMG's 4-year, $16M offer to represent them in marketing and TV negotiations. Worcester: "We're very close to a final decision on IMG's offer." Tampax was brought to the tour by Advantage International. Advantage Senior VP of Marketing & Sales Harlan Stone: "We think they missed a chance for a break- through sponsorship that would have helped the players and the tour over time" (Doug Smith, USA TODAY, 2/16).
Sponsorships Advertising Marketing
The NBA, which saw its Jam Session grow from 40,000 people and 18 sponsors during All-Star Weekend in '94 to 120,000 people and 29 sponsors in '95, is already accepting sponsorship requests for next year. But NBA spokesperson Kelly McComb notes that with the league's 18 sponsors and 150 licensees getting right of first refusal, "there may not be room for everyone" (Karen Hunter, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/16). ....Sporting goods stores made strong productivity gains over the five-year period from 1987-92, according to the NSGA's analysis of the Census Retail Trade data. In five key categories -- sales, number of stores, number of employees, sales per store and sales per employee -- sporting goods stores showed higher increases than the general retail trade (NSGA)....Haagen-Dazs will use the PGA Senior Tour's GTE Suncoast Classic as an opportunity to market its new fat-free Sorbet Bar (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 2/16)....Sportmart Inc. announced it expects 4th quarter sales to be down 3% from last year due to "unseasonably warm weather" and flooding in CA where about half of the chain's outlets are located (Sportmart)....The city of Pittsburgh announced plans for the 1995 Thrift Drug Women's Invitational, a new int'l bicycle race to be held May 21. The race is part of the Tour of America, the premier series of international bicycle races in the U.S., and will be produced by ICP/Pittsburgh, an affiliate of ISL Sports & Co. USA (Thrift Drug).
Shaquille O'Neal will be the NBA's All-Star MVP in 2000,according to a survey of journalists covering this year's game inPhoenix sponsored by Miller Genuine Draft. O'Neal, who received28%, was followed by Grant Hill at 23%.
THE TOP TEN
|Shaquille O'Neal|| |
|Grant Hill|| |
|Anfernee Hardaway|| |
|Glenn Robinson|| |
|Jason Kidd|| |
|Charles Barkley|| |
| ||Michael Jordan|| |
|Jamie Watson|| |
| ||Chris Webber|| |
|Jimmy Jackson|| |
| ||Vin Baker|| |
NationsBank and the Panthers announced a deal yesterday that will make the bank the team's official financial services company and a "platinum" sponsor. NationsBank will have a 5-year, exclusive commitment from the team that will include in-stadium promotional and media activities and the right to develop Panthers-related banking products and services (Panthers).
This week's "Scorecard" in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED applauds Hakeem Olajuwon's new sneaker deal. Olajuwon will endorse a new line of Spaldings that cost no more than $60 a pair. "Scorecard" calls the deal "a significant break from the established practice of superstar athletes," because of Olajuwon's decision not to sign with Nike, Reebok "or any of the other 'top end' manufacturers." The shoes will be available at discount stores, where almost half of the 400M sales of athletic shoes take place. Olajuwon says he signed the deal "because he's alarmed at the values he sometimes sees youngsters espouse." Olajuwon: "A lot of kids just go with the name brand. They bother their parents for $150 shoes" (SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, 2/20 issue). USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand notes Olajuwon's Spalding deal and gives a "Thumbs Down" to "the idea that it's mandatory for superstars to drain kids' wallets" (USA TODAY, 2/16).
Pepsi has signed a three-year agreement to become the Official Soft Drink of NASCAR. According to NASCAR, "Pepsi's plans include a program that will honor a NASCAR fan with an award of appreciation at all 31 NASCAR Winston Cup events, as well as a Pepsi/NASCAR Fan Club and promotions and sweepstakes in all local markets." NASCAR VP for Marketing & Corporate Communications Brian France: "Pepsi is recognized as a world leader in its creative use of media and packaging." PepsiCo Exec VP of Marketing Brian Swette: "We're thrilled to be broadening our relationship with the most popular and fastest-growing spectator sport. We'll leverage the power of NASCAR racing with the popularity of Pepsi. It's a perfect marriage." PepsiCo currently sponsors the Pepsi 400 Winston Cup event at Daytona, FL, in July and the Mountain Dew Southern 400 at Darlington, SC, in September (NASCAR).
Upper Deck announced that it has filed a lawsuit to stop the flow of unauthorized sports memorabilia. The company named four corporations in its suit: The Score Board, Shop at Home, CPG Direct, and B&J Collectibles. Upper Deck Authenticated Chair & CEO Brian Burr said the company will do "whatever we can to clean up the sports autograph business. The consumer must be protected from the illegal businesses that profit from sports fans' lack of awareness." Upper Deck filed the lawsuit in an attempt to force all sports memorabilia manufacturers to comply with CA law relating to certificates of authenticity (Upper Deck).