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Volume 24 No. 114

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

     The latest edition of BUSINESS WEEK ranks the 1000 "Most
Valuable" companies in America, based on their market value as of
February 28.  The Top Ten:  GE (1), AT&T (2), Exxon (3), Coca-
Cola (4), Wal-Mart (5), Merck (6), Philip Morris (7), Procter &
Gamble (8), IBM (9), DuPont (10).  Other sports-related companies
spotted on the list:  PepsiCo (21), Walt Disney (26), McDonald's
(33), Gillette (44), Viacom (50), Time Warner (55), Anheuser-
Busch (56), NationsBank (58), Capital Cities/ABC (61), TCI (66),
Sara Lee (68), ITT (82), Nike (188), Fleet Financial (232), CBS
(250), Turner Broadcasting (256), Champion Int'l (263), Comcast
(273), Reebok Int'l (335), Jefferson-Pilot (355), Great Western
Financial (386), Gaylord Entertainment (412), Russell (691),
Callaway Golf (715), Infinity Broadcasting (723), New World
Communications (755), Electronic Arts (778), Ogden (838)
(BUSINESS WEEK, 3/27 issue).

     Although ad deals for Sunday's Bulls-Pacers game featuring
the much-anticipated return of Michael Jordan were finalized
long-ago, several advertisers scored big with what were expected
to be playoff-type ratings for a regular-season game.  Ratings
were not available as of 11:00am EST.   RIGHT PLACE, RIGHT TIME:
Chrysler, Toyota and Miller's Lite and Ice brands led the pack
with four spots while Gatorade had three spots -- all featuring
Jordan.  Taco Bell, Goodyear and Sharp also ran three ads apiece.
Reebok ran its "Shaq vs. Shaq" spot and Grant Hill was featured
in one of GMC Trucks' two spots.  Others: Miller's Red Dog beer
(2), Schick (2), Castrol GTX (2), A-B's Red Wolf beer (2) Bud Ice
(2), AT&T (2), Oldsmobile (2), Army, Navy, Old Spice, Wendy's,
Speed Stick, McDonald's, Coast, Prudential, Chevy Trucks, Coke,
Midas, IBM, Molson Ice, Lexus, Miller Genuine Draft, Nike,
Pringles, Pizza Hut, Dodge Trucks, Carnation Coffeemate, Lincoln
Continental, Lynx Black Cat Irons, Top Flite, and Freeport
McMoran Copper & Gold all ran one ad (THE DAILY).  Ad time on
NBC's NBA games are sold out through the playoffs.  Only Games 6
& 7 of the Conference Finals and NBA finals have slots available.
Turner's NBA broadcasts are sold out (Dottie Enrico, USA TODAY,
3/20).         JORDAN BACKERS:  Wheaties distributed black-and-
white placards outside Market Square Arena: "Jordan's back!  And
he's eating his Wheaties" (Baltimore SUN, 3/20).  It is expected
that General Mills will produce a special Jordan Wheaties box
(Tim Jones, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/19).  A new McDonald's Looney
Tunes promotion featuring Jordan, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley and
other NBA stars, begins April 1 (McDonald's).  Stock prices for
all of Jordan's corporate partners, including Sara Lee (Hanes),
McDonald's, Nike, Quaker Oats (Gatorade) and General Mills, were
up last week (L.A. TIMES, 3/19).  Gatorade debuted a new ad
saluting Jordan's return with footage of some of Jordan's great
moments.  The spot aired during Sunday's game (Gatorade).
     STRUTTING PEACOCK:  Rather than show the Bulls-Pacers game
in just 53% of the country as originally planned, NBC expanded
its scope to 98% sending the Jazz-Hornets game to only the teams'
home markets.  Yesterday's noon slot has been the lowest-rated of
NBC's NBA telecasts because it competes with CBS' NCAA Tournament
coverage.  NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol: "I'd assume we'll
do much better.  We're down 3 to 4 percent this year, and we
should make it back today" (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 3/20).
NBC broke into its programming on Saturday to report Jordan's
return.  In Chicago, Steve Nidetz writes, "Networks used to break
into programming to report the ending of wars or the
assassination of a president.  Now they interrupt shows to report
that a jock, finding himself unable to play another sport, is
returning to his first love."  An NBC official was asked Saturday
why the news bulletin was necessary, when the network could have
waited until 1:00pm, when it had a sports show planned.  She said
Jordan's comeback "meant as much to business as it did to sports"
(CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/20).
     RATINGS:  Nielsen Media Research VP Ward Woodhead predicted
25% of households in Chicago and 12% of households nationally
would tune in (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/19).

     The baseball strike is being blamed for "flat" 2ndQ earnings
for Rawlings Sporting Goods Co.  Rawlings CFO Craig Mankowski:
"We're not facing a decline; it's just flat compared to last
year.  The leagues have already made their (spring) order."
Mankowski notes that "the problem could come later if the
baseball strike continues and people start to lose interest in
the game" (Rawlings).

     Russell Corp. announced Friday that "disappointing results"
in the Russell Athletic and Licensed Products Divisions will
limit 1stQ sales gains to 3-5% and cause earnings to be $.03-05
per share below last year's 1st first quarter.  Russell Chair &
CEO John Adams:  "We expect the results for the balance of 1995
to be more in line with street estimates" (Russell).

     Bill Koch, founder of the all-female America's Cup racing
team America3, added a male crew member to the team.  Dave
Dellenbaugh, a rules expert and starting helmsman for Koch's
victorious men's team in the '92 Cup, came aboard as of Saturday.
According to Barbara Lloyd of the N.Y. TIMES NEWS SERVICE,
Lifetime Television, which has committed nearly $1M to the team,
did not know of the change until this weekend.  Lifetime
President Doug McCormack:  "I was having breakfast and drinking
my coffee when I got a phone call from Bill Koch.  What he had to
say hit me like a ton of bricks.  I'd by lying if I said we
weren't disappointed."  McCormack agreed to the new plan, "but
there was no doubt his vision for this competition had been
altered.  The concept of backing the first all-women team in the
144 years of America's Cup history had given way to a women's
team with a male strategist -- still unusual, but without the
cache of going it on their own."  McCormack: "We're operating
under the assumption that this is something the women brought on
themselves. ... I'm not going to come in here with an Armani suit
and tell them how to run this thing."  Other America3 sponsors
include:  L'Oreal, Yoplait, Chevrolet, Citizen and Glamour
Magazine.  None knew of the change until this weekend, yet talks
within America3's camp began more than a week ago.  New Team
Captain Dawn Riley:  "It's nice to say, well, all-women was the
only way to go.  But you get tired of it when you're always in
women's programs, and they say, 'You didn't win, but that's OK.'
We'd rather say, 'We won'" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/20).