Reebok Int'l unveiled a new spot featuring White Sox slugger
Frank Thomas touting the Big Hurt line of baseball and cross-
training shoes. TV ads aired on TBS and MTV Sports; Print ads
will soon break in INSIDE SPORTS, SPORT and THE SPORTING NEWS (AD
AGE, 2/20 issue)....For the fifth straight year, Footaction USA
will offer college scholarships to high school seniors who have
successfully combined academics with athletics with its Hooked on
Sports Not Drugs or Violence program (Footaction)....Wendy's
founder Dave Thomas and SKI Magazine are teaming up to help
100,000 children awaiting adoption by participating in the
Wendy's SKI Family Challenge in Keystone, CO, February 23-26.
Proceeds from the newly created national ski event will benefit
the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (Wendy's). ....Mars Inc.
announced that it was dismissing two ad agencies of the Saatchi &
Saatchi Company, ending a 40-year relationship. Mars said BBDO
would join D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles and Grey Advertising to
become the company's "core international agencies" (N.Y. TIMES,
2/22)....The earthquake that shook Kobe, Japan, took a divet in
the golf ball industry. Maxfli and Slazanger both have plants in
Kobe. Maxfli's plant, already old, will move to another location,
while Slazenger will repair its plant and re-open in late April
or early May (USA TODAY, 2/22)....In the current issue of CRAIN'S
CHICAGO BUSINESS, Judith Crown examines some of the reasons for
Sportmart's poor 4th Quarter showing. While the company blames
losses on unseasonably warm winter weather and flooding in CA,
where half its stores are located, analysts say competitors such
as The Sports Authority "are taking a toll" (CRAIN'S CHICAGO
BUSINESS, 2/20-26 issue)....Columnist Bernie Lincicome on the
WTA's decision not to accept Tampax's title sponsorship offer:
"Women's tennis may be the first sport to ever blush its way out
of business" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/22).
With labor strife and an apparent change in tastes "by some
fickle consumers," marketers in the $10B sports licensing
industry are asking if the "boom days are over," writes Terry
Lefton in the current issue of BRANDWEEK. Aside from the damage
caused by labor unrest, licensed apparel "seems to have lost some
of the cachet that made it a fashion" over the past few years.
Authentic and replica jerseys are now the only licensed apparel
showing double digit growth. The Sports Authority Chair Jack
Smith: "There was a change in direction by consumers even prior
to the labor unrest. It's moved from licensing to a completely
different look, an outdoor look, with brown shoes instead of
sneakers and rather than a team shirt or jacket with them, it's a
red flannel plaid shirt" (BRANDWEEK, 2/20 issue).
THE LICENSEES: Lefton notes that larger companies are
moving in the licensing business, while smaller companies may be
getting pushed out. Most pro sports leagues are eliminating
their lower tier licensees. And companies such as Apex and Logo
7 that grew because of their licenses have "sale rumors swirling"
around them (BRANDWEEK, 2/20).
Richard Petty, country singer Tracy Lawrence, NASCAR driver
Rodney Combs and World Championship Wrestling (WCW) announced the
formation of a unique marketing alliance. The alliance includes
WCW sponsorship of Petty-owned cars, and ones driven by Combs.
As part of the agreement, Hulk Hogan will be at the Atlanta Busch
Grand National race to help Combs unveil his WCW car, which
Lawrence will use to promote his concerts, some of which take
place at various NASCAR events.....Bausch & Lomb has announced
the association of Ray-Ban sunglasses with NASCAR and select
Winston Cup and Busch National Division teams. More than 40
drivers and teams will represent Ray-Ban during the '95
season.... HEALTHSOUTH will be associate sponsor on the Bobby
Allison Motorsports Winston Cup team and the Zook Busch Grand
National team (ERNIE SAXTON'S MOTORSPORTS SPONSORSHIP NEWS).
The CFL's Toronto Argonauts unveiled a new logo and team
colors yesterday. The team's logo features the familiar "A" on a
shield held by a helmeted warrior from the mythological tale of
Jason and the Argonauts. The team's colors are now dark blue,
slate green and silver ensemble which replaces the dark and light
blue combination (TORONTO STAR, 2/22). The team will unveil its
new uniform look and secondary logos at a later date (Argonauts).