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Volume 24 No. 155

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

     Anheuser-Busch will break new TV spots themed to its
participation in hot-rod and NASCAR racing.  In addition, the
company signed on as the first-ever beer sponsor of IndyCar.  In
the next 45 days, A-B is looking to integrate its motorsports
sponsorships into everything from point-of-purchase,
merchandising and TV ads to a possible new role in a summer
promotion.  Tony Ponturo, A-B VP/Corporate Media & Sports
Marketing, notes that it is easier to get car drivers to
participate with wholesalers and retailers in local events.  An
added draw to IndyCar is driver Paul Newman. Ponturo said it is
"not inconceivable" that Newman could appear in an ad campaign
(Gerry Khermouch, BRANDWEEK, 4/17).     BEER NOTES:  A new summer
promotion for Pete's Wicked Ale will tap into "fans' disgust at
the baseball strike."  Pete's Salary Cap GreedStakes -- the
company's first foray into consumer promos -- offers chances at
18 "salaries" of $10,000 and 800 "revenue-sharing checks" ranging
from $50 to $500.  The promo is supported by point-of-purchase
materials portraying players and owners with $1,000 bills
spilling from their pockets (Gerry Khermouch, ADWEEK, 4/10
issue)....The current BUSINESS WEEK examines the growing business
of micro-breweries and the big brewers (A-B, Coors & Miller)
attempts to cash in (BUSINESS WEEK, 4/24 issue)....Coors blamed
higher packaging costs and a shift in sales away from its
highest-market malt products for a "sharp drop" in net income
despite higher sales for its 1stQ ended March 19 (Bob Ortega,

     The Bruins, Ducks, Kings, Penguins, Canucks and Maple Leafs
could be using two styles of home jerseys next season (Kevin Paul
Dupont, BOSTON GLOBE, 4/16)....The NHL will increase its
licensing relationship with Nike, granting the company the
authority to manufacture and merchandise NHL undershirts

     L.A. Gear reported a "very disappointing" net loss of $11.6M
on "sharply lower sales for the fiscal" 1stQ of '95, ended
February 28.  The company, whose sales fell 42% to $69.4M from
$120.4M, attributed the drop to a number of factors, including
lower sales of its trademark children's lighted sneakers, a
general drop-off in sales of women's and men's shoes and an
average $2.20 price decrease on shoes sold in the U.S.  L.A. Gear
Chair Stanley Gold:  "Although we recognize that the first-
quarter results are very disappointing, they do not reflect the
anticipated positive impact of the bold steps being taken by the
company to increase sales."  The steps include an ad campaign
targeted at women and the introduction of a new line of kids'
shoe endorsed by Wayne Gretzky (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/17).  In
other news, L.A. Gear has told MA-based Ryka Inc., makers of
women's footwear, that it will terminate a proposed merger unless
Ryka agrees to new terms.  If the deal falls through and Ryka is
acquired by another company within a year, Ryka might have to pay
L.A. Gear $1M (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/18).

     The New York Racing Association will have Lowe &
Partners/SMS New York handle its ad account, previously managed
by Bates USA (N.Y. TIMES, 4/18)....Sega Enterprises has been
forced to revise down profit forecasts for its recently-completed
fiscal year because of the surge of the yen and "further
sluggishness" in the European market.  Sega's announcement
follows a similar revision by its chief rival Nintendo (FINANCIAL
TIMES, 4/18)....As part of a review of new sport/health drinks,
BRANDWEEK notes Spalding Sports Refresher, which is produced by
former NBA star Kiki Vandeweghe's Pro-Team, is positioning itself
between an isotonic and a soda (BRANDWEEK, 4/17)....People
Magazine and Yankelovich Partners are introducing a new service
called "Pop Scores," which will track the appeal of celebrities
in terms of traits such as credibility and familiarity (N.Y.
TIMES, 4/17)...."NBA Inside Stuff" profiled "Project Home Team"
sponsored by Fannie Mae and the NBA.  Fannie Mae Communications
Manager Tim Carlsgaard:  "We have eight teams now, we want to get
more teams.  We want to add at least three more next year" ("NBA
Inside Stuff," 4/15)....A federal court in L.A. and not in
Hammond, IN -- which is close to Robinson's hometown of Gary, IN
-- will decide whether Bucks rookie Glenn Robinson can market
sports equipment and apparel under the "Big Dog" name.  Robinson
filed suit in October, 1994, against Fortune Dogs, Inc., which
holds trademark for the "Big Dogs" name.  Fortune responded with
a trademark infringement lawsuit against Robinson (WASHINGTON
POST, 4/18).

     MLB heard pitches last week from ad agencies looking to
create its "return of baseball" campaign, according to the
current issue of AD AGE.  At least three agencies are bidding,
including Goodby, Silverstein & Partners of San Francisco.  A
"Let's Play Ball" theme was developed by Partners & Shevack
during the replacement spring training (ADVERTISING AGE, 4/17
issue).  Sources tell THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY that MLB will
announce its new marketing campaign on Wednesday, but that the
campaign's theme will not be "Let's Play Ball" (THE DAILY).
     AROUND THE LEAGUE:  The Marlins launch a new TV ad campaign
April 21.  The new 15- and 30-second ads feature comic Gary
Valentine playing a fan in a Marlins uniform, who, in an empty
stadium, plays out different fantasies -- from being a play-by-
play announcer to a player who catches a ball against the foul
wall.  The tagline:  "You Gotta Be There.  Marlins" (Alina Matas,
MIAMI HERALD, 4/17).  "Entertainment Tonight" examined the push
to win back baseball fans.  Media analyst Paul Schulman, on wary
fans:  "If their team wins two in a row they're going to be
excited and they'll be right back there."  Clips of the Marlins
spot and a Twins ad featuring manager Tom Kelly getting some
psychotherapy were shown ("ET," 4/16).
     WORRIES?  TBS ran a special last night entitled "Baseball's
Back," with a segment on the business aspect. Timothy Mueller,
sports consultant at KPMG Peat Marwick:  "We're still faced with
a situation where we don't have a contract, we don't have a new
economic environment."  Brandon Steiner, Steiner Sports
Marketing:  "Corporate America doesn't wait around.  They find
other avenues and they go different directions and they have.
You will not see corporate America back this summer and maybe not
even through the season."  Former MLBP President Richard White:
"The concern we had with baseball when I was there, and one that
continues, is that baseball's audience is aging.  It's not an
attractive audience for advertisers for people who deal with
consumers at large.  It is by and large, an audience that's 35+
and that has the entire industry greatly concerned."  ABC's Al
Michaels called MLB's $1B CBS deal "a blessing and a curse.  It
brought baseball a lot of money for a particular period of time
and then all of a sudden everybody took a look at the ratings and
where baseball was and that money wasn't there any more" (TBS,