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Volume 24 No. 112

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

     A new issue, Speedway Motorsports Inc., debuted on the NYSE
Friday with a "solid push out of the gate," rising 5.5% from its
initial offering of $18/share.  The stock closed at $19/share.
In betting on Speedway Motorsports, a company that owns of two
racetracks in NC and GA, "investors appear to be trying to hitch
a ride on the exploding popularity of stock-car racing."
Analysts said they were not surprised by the stock's strong
start, "given the public's passion for the sport.  The issue's
staying power is much less certain, however."  Steve Samblis,
analyst with Empire Financial Group:  "Once the enthusiasts are
gone, I don't think any portfolio managers are going to support
the market.  A lot of people are going to be buying a share and
frame it on their walls."  The WALL STREET JOURNAL also
chronicles some of the financial problems that have plagued CEO
Bruton Smith in the past (Emory Thomas, WALL STREET JOURNAL,
2/27).

     Some "angry fans" of British soccer are blaming the game
riots on the primary sponsor of soccer teams and leagues: beer
companies.  Mark Bennett, a spokesperson for Alcohol Concern, a
pressure group in the UK that wants brewers voluntarily to drop
their names from team shirts: "It's quite obvious the role that
alcohol plays in acting as a fuel for disorder."  The brewers
deny their marketing efforts contribute to the riotous behavior.
Bass sponsorship manager Jonathan Nye: "Football fans drink beer,
and there's no denying that. ... There's no correlation that
shows beer sponsorship encourages anything to do with violence or
soccer troubles at all."  But according to Tara Parker-Pope in
this morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL, "the troubled alliance of
beer sponsors, soccer clubs and the rowdy fans who love them
both, has prompted widespread criticism and even spurred some
countries to ban alcohol-related advertising on team jerseys and
in stadiums."  The list of soccer-club sponsors is a "veritable
who's who of the European brewing industry," which includes Coors
UK, a joint venture between Coors and Britain's Scottish &
Newcastle brewery, Carlsberg, Bass, Heineken and Holsten-Brauerei
(WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/27).

     In April, Borden will ship fat free Cracker Jack in original
and toffee flavors to compete with a growing field of fat-free
popcorn snacks.  A TV campaign is in the works by Grey
Advertising and a "Bring Back Baseball" sweepstakes breaks March
6, with an ad in USA TODAY asking for fans' solutions to the
strike.  It is Borden's first ad campaign for Cracker Jack in
three years.  "Bring Back Baseball's" grand prize is a trip for
four to the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Secondary winners get their
picture on a Donruss baseball card (Betsy Spethmann, BRANDWEEK,
2/27 issue).

     "Basketball mania is gripping corporate Canada," writes
Gayle MacDonald of the FINANCIAL POST.  Following Air Canada's
purchase of the Raptors' arena naming rights, Confectionary giant
William Neilson Ltd. signed Shaquille O'Neal to a C$250,000
endorsement deal for its Mr. Big chocolate bar.  The contract is
the first and largest of its kind in Canada for an NBA athlete
(FINANCIAL POST, 2/25).       STEVE YOUNG:  According to Frank
Vuono, president of Integrated Sports Int'l, Steve Young's
marketing rep, Young will soon endorse a beverage, a computer
company and perhaps a video game (USA TODAY, 2/27).

     MLS has entered into a consulting arrangement with Strategic
Merchandising Associates, headed by Rick White, former president
of MLBP, and Adrian DeGroot, former president of NBAP.  They will
be heading up the MLS licensing and merchandising operation
through the inaugural '96 season (MLS News).

     "Vultures continue to circle licensed apparel maker Apex
One," according to Terry Lefton in this week's BRANDWEEK.  Two
marketing execs last week left the company last week.  Marketing
Dir Diane Wentworth left to take a position at an OR software
company, and ad/public relations  exec Dave Verieri is joining
the Mariners.  Lefton concludes:  "Is Nike lurking in the wings
to pick up the Apex remains?  Stay tuned" (BRANDWEEK, 2/27
issue).

     Nike Chair Phil Knight sold approximately $12M of his Nike
stock on Thursday according to a BLOOMBERG BUSINESS NEWS report
(Portland OREGONIAN, 2/24)....FROM BRANDWEEK: Colgate-Palmolive
and Western Union will help New Line Home Video leverage a
groundswell of public and industry acclaim into a cross-promotion
for the home video release of the documentary "Hoop Dreams."
Colgate-Palmolive will bundle its Speedstick deodorant and Afta
aftershave in support of the movie's release.  Western Union will
place displays for the movie in as many as 5,000 retail
outlets....Nestle will continue its ongoing Baby Ruth tie-in to
Babe Ruth's 100th anniversary with an instant-win game this
summer offering memorabilia signed by the Babe (BRANDWEEK, 2/27
issue).  In other Babe news, MLBP announced that the Babe Ruth
teddy bear which was introduced in the Spring of '94 was sold out
as of November '94, but limited editions of the bear are
available at collector stores (MLBP)....Apparel-maker VF Corp. is
profiled in the current issue of BUSINESS WEEK and is commended
for its delivery system to retail outlets (BUSINESS WEEK, 3/6
issue)....A new device that allows for aerial photos to be taken
from the ground is profiled in the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER.  Tony
Powers, founder of Heaven's View, has been experimenting with
"floatography" at the site of the new Carolina Panther stadium
(CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 2/27).

     NBAP's Consumer Products Group -- the league's retail
licensing division -- unveiled its "I Love This Stuff" ad
campaign over the weekend.  The campaign is the league's first
unified effort designed to promote the sale of all NBA-licensed
merchandise, from clothing to trading cards to video games.  "I
Love This Stuff," developed with NY-based ad agency Berlin
Cameron Doyle, features All-Stars Hakeem Olajuwon, Shawn Kemp,
David Robinson, Latrell Sprewell, Gary Payton and several other
NBA players.  The campaign will air on NBC, MTV, ESPN, ESPN2,
TNT, TBS and Nickelodeon -- and on regional NBA team broadcasts.
NBAP calls the campaign a "key component of an integrated effort
that includes trade advertising, retail point-of-sale materials,
retail promotions, a buyers' reference guide and a quarterly
newsletter."  The Consumer Products Group of NBAP generated $2.8B
in gross retail sales in '93-94 and is projected to generate $3B
in '94-95.  The ad campaign features six 30-second spots --
"Dunk," "Three-point," "Cops," "Wedding," "Paperboy," and
"Psychic" (NBA Properties).

     A group of Bay Area kids that are participating in the
Nike/NHL street hockey program, will also be participating in the
taping of a street hockey promotional TV spot for the Nike/NHL
Street Program.  The spots will air on national and local NHL
broadcasts on ESPN, ESPN2 and Fox.  This year, 14 NHL cities are
participating in the street hockey program.  All 26 NHL cities
hope to have a program by '97 (Nike).