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Volume 24 No. 158

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

     Lifetime Television has made some changes to its support of
their $1M sponsorship of the all-female America's Cup racing
team, America3 since tactician Dave Dellenbaugh was added to the
crew.  The network's eight daily TV spots have been pulled from
the air, and Lifetime is "frantically editing new spots that
couch the all-women issue."  Brian Donlon, Lifetime's VP/Public
Affairs, "was clearly rattled," but said the network would
continue with "full support":   "It's going to cost a lot more to
remake everything."  A special on America3 to air April 8 was
"scrapped."  A new show is being shot (Lara Weber, CHICAGO
TRIBUNE, 3/26).

     "After a disappointing holiday season, the slumping sports-
retailing business faces a big challenge:  Can spring and summer
sales make up for a mild winter and labor disputes," according to
Molly Baker in her small-stock focus in this morning's WALL
STREET JOURNAL.  Sports superstores are getting "mixed reviews"
on Wall Street and a disappointing 4th quarter at Sports &
Recreation and a bankruptcy filing by SportsTown have brought
most stocks to new lows.  Some analysts are showing no interest
in sports retailers' stocks, but others see this as a time to buy
while they are "at real value and the superstore penetration of
the sporting goods market is a mere 5% to 6%."  So far this year,
Sports & Recreation is down 59% while The Sports Authority has
slipped 7.4% -- both on NYSE.  SportMart has fallen 24% on
Nasdaq.  Analysts say superstore companies are going to have to
meet, if not exceed, expectations for at least a few quarters
before investors "take notice."  The return of Michael Jordan
"has added a few extra points to mild" 1st quarter sales (WALL
STREET JOURNAL, 3/27).
     NOT IN THE CARDS?  Topps' 4thQ net income fell 78% on lower
sales as the company "continued to feel the effects of labor
disputes in professional sports."  The company said that net
income for the three months ended February 25 totaled $1M,
compared with $4.6M a year earlier.  Sales fell 12% to $56.6M
from $64M.  For the year, net income fell 41% to $15.7M from
$26.6M a year earlier (N.Y. TIMES, 3/27).

     The Walt Disney Co. is teaming up with the Dodgers to handle
the team's merchandising operations at Dodger Stadium.  The
agreement is the first that Disney has signed that does not
involve any of its own products.  Terms were undisclosed, but it
was disclosed that no Disney characters will be involved.  Dodger
and Disney officials say they are considering "creating a host of
new Dodger merchandise, ranging from fashionable jerseys to a
possible team mascot.  Even a Tommy Lasorda doll might not be out
of the question."  Dodger VP/Marketing Barry Stockhamer:  "We'll
be examining a lot of different things."  Chuck Champlin of
Disney's consumer-products division said the agreement with the
Dodgers is a natural evolution for the company after its
merchandising success with the Mighty Ducks and the play "Beauty
and the Beast on Broadway."  The Dodger deal could be the first
of other merchandising agreements for Disney.  Champlin:  "In
cases where it makes sense, ... we'd like to pursue it" (Kelly
Barron, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 3/26).

     The marketing appeal of Canucks winger Pavel Bure is
examined by Neil Campbell of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, who notes
that two months of "lackluster play and controversial headlines
have done little to smooth the Bure sales pitch."  Glen Ringdal,
VP/Marketing for the Canucks, who take an undisclosed percentage
of any endorsement revenue:  "There are going to be ups and downs
during any long-term period, times when an athlete is hot and
times when he's not.  Our estimate is that within five years
Pavel's full marketing potential should be understood."  Campbell
notes that the team, along with New York-based marketing firm J.
Michael Bloom, have been working to "milk" Bure's potential: A
Vancouver-based author is being sought to write a pictorial bio
of Bure for the holidays; a video biography will be released in
late summer; Bure has landed a bit part in Disney's next Mighty
Ducks movie; the NHL has bought marketing rights to seven Russian
hockey teams -- with Bure to pitch uniform jerseys; Canstar is
launching an equipment campaign based around Bure and the
"Pavelocity" slogan; Nike is apparently "extremely interested" in
using Bure for both cross-training and street-hockey campaigns;
and, Coca-Cola and GM are possibile endorsements.  Ringdal:  "We
have reason to believe he could achieve the levels of Mario
Lemieux, perhaps even Wayne Gretzky at some point. ... Because of
his language barrier and his personal demeanor he comes across in
a James Dean sort of way.  He's got the look and the attitude"
(Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 3/27).

     Homestead Motorsports Complex has secured Jiffy Lube as
title sponsor for its grand-opening race November 3-5.  The Jiffy
Lube 300, NASCAR's South FL debut, will be televised live on CBS
(MIAMI HERALD, 3/24)....Time Warner, seeking to reduce its debt
load, plans to sell part or all of its 24.5% stake in Atari
(BLOOMBERG BUSINESS NEWS, 3/25)....Microsoft unveiled its '95
version of the Microsoft Complete Baseball Guide.  The Microsoft
Baseball Daily online service, which works with the Guide, is
available for $79.95 per season (MLB).... Spalding Sports
Worldwide and the Women's Sports Foundation announced the
establishment of the Spalding Team Ball Grant Program designed to
provide balls to girls' sports teams that cannot afford the
equipment they need (Women's Sports Foundation)....Paul Kariya of
the Mighty Ducks has signed an exclusive agreement with Easton
Sports to use and endorse the company's ice and roller hockey
products (NSGA RETAIL FOCUS, 3/95 issue).

     Participation in different sports and exercise activitieswas surveyed by the Nat'l Sporting Goods Association.  In-lineskating showed the highest-growth from '93 to '94 among the 53sports surveyed.  In-line skating drew 19.5M participants in '94,a 57% increase over '93 and roller hockey grew 50%.  The top 10participating increases/decreases for 1994 follows:
BIGGEST INCREASES
BIGGEST DECREASES
ACTIVITY
% INCREASE
ACTIVITY
% DECREASE
In-line skating
57.20%
Calisthenics
21.00%
Roller hockey
50.3
Tennis
18.4
Canoeing
31
Volleyball
15.1
Hiking
30
Skateboarding
11.9
Power boating
27.6
Hunting w/guns
11.3
Exercise w/equip
25.5
Fishing
10.8
Soccer
21.8
Bowling
9.6
Snorkeling
21.1
Baseball
9.5
Billiards/Pool
15.6
Roller Skating (2X2)
8.9
Ice Hockey
14.5
Water Skiing
8.5409
OTHER STATS: A survey by the Sporting Goods ManufacturersAssoc. measured an increase in participation in the followingfitness categories from '87-93: Stair-climbing machines (974%),treadmills (348%), cross-country ski machines (132%), fitnesswalking (34%), free weights (27%), resistance machines (27%),stationary bicycles (17%), low-impact aerobics (13%) and swimming(3%) (SGMA).

     New Bucs Owner Malcolm Glazer plans to "ditch the
swashbuckler and orange and white colors that have graced Tampa
Bay's uniforms and helmets since the team's first season."  The
change will not take place in '95 since the league deadline for
logo change requests has passed.  Once the Glazers decide on new
colors and logo for '96, they must seek approval from the NFL
before September 1.  In Tampa, Nick Pugliese notes the team is
traditionally at the bottom of NFL merchandising sales (TAMPA
TRIBUNE, 3/25).

     Sega Sports is launching its "Final Five" sports games:
World Series Baseball '95," "NBA Action '95 Starring David
Robinson," "NHL All-Star Hockey," "Golf Magazine Presents 36
Holes Starring Fred Couples," and "ATP Tour Championship Tennis."
Hockey, golf and tennis are available in stores, with baseball
and basketball due March 28 (Sega).