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Volume 24 No. 155

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

     "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).

     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
1)
Shaquille O'Neal
28%
2)
Grant Hill
23%
3)
Anfernee Hardaway
12%
4)
Glenn Robinson
7.5%
5)
Jason Kidd
6%
6)
Charles Barkley
2.5%
Michael Jordan
2.5%
8)
Jamie Watson
2%
Chris Webber
2%
10)
Jimmy Jackson
1.2%
Vin Baker
1.2%
THE NEXT GENERATION: Among those not in the Top 10 includedcollege players not yet in the pros: St. Johns' Felipe Lopez,Georgetown's Allen Iverson, UNC's Jerry Stackhouse and RasheedWallace, UCLA's Ed O'Bannon, Arkansas' Corliss Williamson,Michigan State's Shawn Respert, Duke's Cherokee Parks, Maryland'sJoe Smith and Arizona's Damon Stoudamire (Miller Genuine Draft).

     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).