Three weeks ago, Micky Arison became the managing partner of
the Heat. Now Arison, also chair of Carnival Cruise Lines, is
investing in the kind of "high-profile marketing that made his
cruise line a household word." The Heat has hired McFarland &
Drier of Miami, which also handles the Carnival account, to
develop advertising for the team. Next month, the Heat will
introduce its first-ever midseason TV and print ad campaign.
According to Heat Exec VP/Business Ops Pauline Winick, the idea
is to create "excitement about the team and bring back
disillusioned fans." Winick: "We want to get the word out that
we have an aggressive, young, new owner in Micky Arison. We are
new, we listen, and we are fan-friendly" (MIAMI HERALD, 2/27).
Fox Sports is "out once again trying to sell its inaugural
NHL package," according to the current issue of INSIDE MEDIA.
Although the network declines to comment on sales, sources say
that Fox has sold almost half of its inventory. Soft drink,
computer, and telecommunications company categories "are being
targeted." Although the network has landed "one major deal" with
Chrysler, other ad agency execs "are squawking about Fox's
sizable price tags, and they're threatening to take a pass on
hockey." Asking prices range from $35-60,000 per 30-second spot
for regular-season and playoff telecasts. One sports media
buyer: "It's more expensive than the freakin' NBA." Sales should
be helped by "an already tight second-quarter marketplace.
Still, the network has a way to go to reach sell-out"
(Brockington & Reynolds, INSIDE MEDIA, 2/28 issue).
ESPN'S NHL SPOTS: ESPN and ESPN2 are "extremely well sold
during the regular season," according to Jack Bonanni, Senior
VP/Ad Sales at ESPN. The network's NHL cost per minutes are
cheaper than Fox, and Bonanni said "fortunately, our sponsors
stayed with us (during the lockout); no one got out." Among the
advertisers with a strong presence on the hockey cablecasts are
Visa, Dodge, Miller Brewing, A-B (Bud Ice), MCI, Nike, and
Heineken. A select list of sponsors have been "afforded the
opportunity to run spots on both ESPN and ESPN2" (INSIDE MEDIA,
FROZEN FOODS: Fox ran a promo ad with the Canucks' Pavel
Bure during last night's "Melrose Place," to promote its NHL
telecasts in April. Bure explains the fine points of shooting by
hitting frozen foods with his stick ("Melrose Place," Fox,
2/27). This morning's TORONTO STAR chronicles the making of the
Fox info-spots. Fox VP/Creative Dir George Greenberg on the
featured NHL players: "They're beginning to realize how big the
game is getting and what big stars they can become. We're just
asking them to come out of their shells a little bit. The onus
is on us to bring out their personalities" (TORONTO STAR, 2/28).
CNBC's Scott Cohn examined the effect of the baseball strike
on the trading card industry. Cohn said retailers have cut back
their orders during the work stoppage, and "with the game in
shambles, even the classic cards are less in demand." Steve
Gould at AU Sports Memorabilia said his business was about "20%
less than last year." Topps said their production of cards was
the lowest it has been in 30 years ("Market Wrap," CNBC, 2/27).
Celebrity golfers Joe DiMaggio, Joe Pesci, Lawrence Taylor,
Jeff Daniels, Emmitt Smith and John Denver will join in efforts
to raise funds for the United Negro College Fund at the 1995
Bryant Gumbel Walt Disney World Golf Tournament. The tournament
is managed by Special Event Management of Stamford, CT;
sponsorship sales are managed by People & Properties, Inc. of New
York (J. Brown/LMC Group)....USA Basketball will form a women's
team to play 30-40 games starting in the fall. The NBA, USA
Basketball's marketing agent, says the "as yet-unnamed women's
squad" might get 6-8 TV games, including 2-3 on a broadcast
network, as well as team sponsors and merchandising spinoffs
(Michael Hiestand, USA TODAY, 2/28)....Ford has struck a
multiyear deal with NBC that makes it the only domestic
automotive advertiser on the network's Wimbledon telecasts
(INSIDE MEDIA, 2/28).... Anheuser-Busch has bought an 80% stake
in Chinese brewer Zhongde Brewery and will begin making Budweiser
beer in China starting in May. The deal is A-B's second
significant venture in China's growing beer market (N.Y. TIMES,
2/28). ....CNS Inc., the maker of Breathe Right nasal strips, is
profiled in the current issue of FORBES. The company expects
sales of the nasal strip will hit $12M this year and $20M in '96
(FORBES, 3/13 issue)....To "hasten" its expansion into the
breakfast business, Boston Chicken Inc. is in talks with a number
of bagel chains about possible joint ventures or investments
(WASHINGTON TIMES, 2/28).
The efforts of the Braves to keep fans and sponsors during
the baseball strike is examined in the current issue of BUSINESS
WEEK. Only one sponsor, candymaker Leaf Inc., has canceled all
ties for '95 while "stalwarts" Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, and
Delta Air Lines are "proceeding with full sponsorship programs."
Still, "half of last season's 105 backers are still undecided."
Ticket sales are "more promising," since season-ticket holders
who do not renew will "lose their claim to priority seating" when
the new Olympic Stadium opens for baseball in '97. Such "strong-
armed tactics" have helped the Braves sell 20,000 seats, down
only one-third from last year. TBS, the Braves' station (owned
by Braves Owner Ted Turner), will broadcast a full schedule of
Braves games, even with replacement players. But the network
"could be liable for costly paybacks or makeup advertising" if
viewers don't watch. Kevin O'Malley, Senior VP/Programming at
TBS Sports: "Advertisers will ultimately end up paying only for
what they get" (David Greising, BUSINESS WEEK, 3/6 issue).
TIGER TOWN: The Tigers are carrying out one of their most
aggressive marketing campaigns in years with the theme, "Tiger
Baseball: There's No Place Like Home." The theme was created by
Young & Rubicam. The Tigers have about 75 advertisers and "not
one has said it won't sponsor the Tigers this year." Sponsors
will be able to renegotiate its contract if replacements are used
(Steve Raphael, CRAIN'S DETROIT BUSINESS, 2/26 issue).
WOULDN'T YOU LIKE TO BE A SPONSOR, TOO? According to INSIDE
MEDIA, expect Dr Pepper to pull out of its plans to advertise
during the game to be held at The Ballpark at Arlington if
replacement All-Stars are used. Dr Pepper's HQs are located in
Dallas (INSIDE MEDIA, 2/28 issue).