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Volume 24 No. 137

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

     Penn State quarterback Kerry Collins and Colorado running
back Rashaan Salaam both figure to be drafted in the first round
of this weekend's NFL draft, and "both are getting themselves set
up to take advantage of endorsements."  The two have signed up
Integrated Sports International of NJ to handle their "marketing
interests."  ISI VP Steve Rosner noted that prospects are "able
to arrange trading card and shoe contracts before the draft."
Collins has signed with Classic trading cards and Salaam with
Signature Rookies, with Rosner estimating both deals at "well
over six figures, definitely more than $100,000."  For a shoe
deal, rookies must sign with NFL-approved companies Nike, Reebok,
or Apex (Timothy Smith, N.Y. TIMES, 4/19).

     Chevrolet will announce today that Greg Norman has signed a
three-year endorsement deal to promote the company's sport
utility vehicles.  Norman will appear in TV ads for Chevy's
Suburban, Tahoe and Blazer models starting next month.  Print ads
featuring Norman will start in June (USA TODAY, 4/19)....Ford
Motor becomes the first founding sponsor of Daytona USA, a
multimedia motorsports entertainment attraction opening Summer
'96 (AD AGE, 4/17). ....The Grizzlies have chosen Vancouver-based
Palmer Jarvis Communications as their ad agency.  The agency is
currently working with the team in planning a second major push
for selling season/individual tickets slated to begin in May
(Grizzlies)....The Dodgers object to the new Giants TV ad
campaign that includes the tagline: "Two reasons to Hate the
Dodgers."  Dodger Exec VP Fred Claire: "There's no reason for
that.  Any campaign to put another team down is a poor campaign"
(L.A. TIMES, 4/19)....Concessionaire Volume Services will
introduce new menus at its five MLB accounts:  the Giants, Twins,
Royals, Yankees and A's (Volume Services)....BARRON's "Up & Down
Wall Street" focuses on CNS Inc., makers of Breathe Right nose
strips. "While investors are unreservedly enthusiastic, the
company is more restrained about its prospects" (BARRON'S, 4/17

     The ATP Tour and Mercedes-Benz announced a four-year
agreement beginning in '96, making Mercedes the Official Car of
the Tour.  The company will also be the major sponsor of the ATP
Tour World Championship and sponsor of the ATP Tour World Doubles
Championship.  The agreement, which the Tour calls "one of the
most significant sponsorship agreements in tennis history and the
most significant in the history of the ATP Tour," also provides
Mercedes with additional promotional, advertising and marketing
opportunities in its partnership with the Tour.  That includes
extensive on-court signage.  Terms of the deal were undisclosed
(ATP Tour).  ATP Tour spokesperson Peter Alfano: "We believe it's
significant not because of the money involved, but because of the
prestige of Mercedes" (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 4/19).

     According to Norm Cohen of N.Y. NEWSDAY, "all signs point to
the fact that" the Ted Williams Card Co. is out of business,
"although there have been no official confirmations."  Cohen
notes their MA-phone number has been disconnected.  Tom Cosentino
of Lapin East/West, who represented the card company until they
stopped paying their bills:  "It was a niche product that fell
into the black hole of a bad market" (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 4/16)....The
"Ring Leaders Phone Cards," inserted in Topps Stadium Club
baseball Series I, will also be inserted in Series II due May 15.
At a rate of one per 96 packs, the 13 different cards each
contain three minutes of long distance phone time
(Topps)....NASCAR's SuperTrucks will be featured in an 80-card
set from Finish Line Collectibles, which will also include phone
card inserts (Baltimore SUN, 4/16)....In his upcoming book, "Card
Sharks:  How Upper Deck Turned a Child's Hobby Into a High Stakes
Billion Dollar Business," Pete Williams examines Upper Deck's
"metoric rise" under President Richard "Mac" McWilliam (MacMillan

     "Despite gains in sales and earnings," Reebok Int'l
announced that it "failed to meet its first-quarter financial
goals and would cut costs."  Reebok said it has embarked on cost-
cutting measures that include staff reductions at its Avia Group
in OR.  Last week, the OREGONIAN reported that Avia laid off
nearly 10% of its OR-based work force.  Reebok said it would
"streamline its European operations and reduce spending in other
areas."  Reebok Chair Paul Fireman:  "Although consolidated sales
for the 1st quarter were close to outside projections, they were
below our own plan, particularly in Reebok's business outside the
United States, where favorable foreign exchange rates helped to
increase sales in U.S. dollars."  Sales for the quarter were
$935.5M, an increase of 9.1% from '94.  Sales for basketball and
baseball shoes and Greg Norman apparel were strong.  But Avia, a
brand known for its appeal to women, "might be losing some market
share" to Nike, according to Jennifer Black Groves of Black & Co.
in Portland (Chris Reidy, BOSTON GLOBE, 4/19).

     The "significant shift" of companies trying to get greater
leverage out of their sports sponsorships was a hot topic at the
Sponsorship Forum, the first annual gathering of top execs from
the corporate, media and property sides of the sports marketing
industry organized by Clarion Performance Properties.  Execs from
Reebok, IBM, GM, Sara Lee and Sprint all said they are rethinking
how they are leveraging their sports sponsorships.  IBM has taken
"a machete to its sport sponsorship roster," opting to keep ties
to the NBA, Olympics and pro golf and tennis, while dropping such
deals as the Fiesta Bowl.  At GM, execs now file some 25
sponsorship proposals a day into the trash, "as most of them fail
to address the carmaker's marketing needs."  Reebok reserves its
dollars for properties it can build a product around (Jeff
Jensen, AD AGE, 4/17).

     The appeal of oversized woods and clubs from Cobra Golf and
Callaway Golf is examined by Leslie Norton of BARRON'S.  The
"surging popularity of oversized clubs goes a long way toward
explaining" why both companies became "stock market darlings"
after going public a few years ago.  But both stocks have
"slipped" in the past few months and they have been the "subject
of much debate" on Wall Street.  Last week, Merrill Lynch
downgraded Callaway, noting concerns on slowing sales of
oversized woods as well as uncertainties associated with the
company's new extra-large wood.  While CNBC's Dan Dorfman
continues his "bullish pronouncements" on both, BARRON's Norton
notes that more rivals are turning out their own versions of
oversized woods and new technology could slow sales for Cobra and
Callaway even more.  Another "new threat" to Cobra and Callaway
are the mid-sized clubs.  If midsized woods were to steal some of
the oversized crowd, "it would be a repeat of what happened in
tennis."  Jumbo rackets were popular, but then sizes settled back
to something closer to the old standard (BARRON'S, 4/17 issue).
     LOOK AT THE NUMBERS:  Cobra reported net income of $10.4M
for the quarter ended March 31, a 132% increase from net income
of $4.5M in '94.  Cobra's net sales increased by 106% to $56.2M
in '94.  Cobra attributes the increase in sales in income to
continued demand for all of its oversized products and increased
marketing efforts (Cobra).