MLB's integrated marketing campaign, built around the theme
"Welcome to the Show," also calls for cooperation of corporate
sponsors. But, according to Jeff Jensen in the current AD AGE,
"some key sponsors said they had yet to be contacted about
participating." Peter McLoughlin, Group Dir of Corporate Media
at Anheuser-Busch: "We haven't heard much more than we've read
in the papers, and I don't think we'd get involved, not like we
did with [the NHL's] 'Game On!'" But McLoughlin said A-B will
continue to spend as much on baseball as in years past. Jensen
also notes that some marketers are staying away from baseball
until there is a labor agreement. True Value Hardware's
VP/Marketing Chuck Kremers: "We have a deal with MLB, but we
aren't activating it at this time" (AD AGE, 4/24 issue). MLB ran
a full-page ad in today's USA TODAY featuring the "Welcome to the
Show" logo and the words, "Opening Day, April 25th." ESPN also
ran a full-page USA TODAY ad featuring a picture of a bat and
words in the shape of a ball that reads: "Why not think of it as
a seventh-inning stretch? That just happened to last 257 days.
Baseball resumes: Opening Day Game Dodgers vs. Marlins Tonight
at 7:30 PM ET" (USA TODAY, 4/25).
The Mighty Ducks seem poised to stay perched atop the NHL in
terms of team merchandise sales. The second-year franchise ranks
No. 1 in the U.S. and No. 3 in Canada. Below are the Top 10
teams in merchandising sales in the U.S. and Canada (combined
North American figures are still being calculated by the league).
The rankings are based on sales from July 1, 1994-March 15, 1995.
The NHL expects $1B in sales at year's end (THE DAILY).
SALES (U.S.) SALES (CANADA)
1. Ducks 6. Sharks 1. Leafs 6. Sharks
2. Blackhawks 7. Bruins 2. Canadiens 7. Flames
3. Rangers 8. Blues 3. Ducks 8. Wings
4. Red Wings 9. Panthers 4. Canucks 9. Bruins
5. Penguins 10. Kings 5. Panthers 10. B'Hawks
Consumer spending for athletic footwear in the U.S. declined
3.2% during '94 as buyers purchased 1.3% fewer pairs than the
year before, according to a consumer study released by the
Athletic Footwear Association (AFA). But sales of hiking,
hunting and fishing boots grew more than 50%, exceeding $1B in
sales for the first time. The study also found that the average
price of a pair of sneakers declined about 2% from $31.82 to
$31.19. The study was sponsored by the AFA and conducted by
Footwear Market Insights of Nashville, TN (AFA).
Dorna USA's AdTime rotational signage system will be
installed behind home plate at Busch Stadium in St. Louis for the
'95 MLB season. The AdTime system is now in 15 of 28 MLB
stadiums (Dorna USA)....Schaefer beer will launch a baseball-
themed promotion next month. From May to October, Schaefer will
present "Schaefer NostalgiCans," a packaging program featuring
on-can graphic renderings of six different classic ballparks --
Ebbets Field, Forbes Field, League Park, Braves Field, Shibe Park
and the Polo Grounds (Schaefer)....The MIAMI HERALD examined pan-
regional advertising where companies can target more than 300
million people in Latin America with a single ad. The concept is
being pushed by U.S.-based Spanish language networks that link
via satellite (MIAMI HERALD, 4/23)....This morning's "Bloomberg
Business News" reported on the counterfeiting of officially
licensed athletic apparel. Counterfeiting goods is "a booming
industry worldwide," with "brandname fakes" costing American
companies about $61B annually. NHL Properties' Adam Halfant: "We
have a network of investigators who frequently bring to us
information about counterfeiting activities across the country.
Last year along we participated in 30 actions" (PBS, 4/25).
Mobil Corp., "track and field's most faithful sponsor" in
both the U.S. and the world, "likely will end all ties with the
sport when its contracts expire after the 1996 season," according
to Philip Hersh of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. Last Thursday, Mobil
told USA Track & Field and IMG that it would not renew its
sponsorship of the five-meet indoor track series carried by NBC.
Mobil paid $1.25M for title sponsorship of the series, which is
co-owned by USATF & IMG. Despite "decent" ratings (2.2), Mobil
"was not pleased with the meets." The original signage
allocations did not give Mobil any more space than minor
sponsors, Nike and Visa. Hersh also notes, "USATF's failure to
see the pitfalls of allowing legal gambling on the Reno meet
without first prohibiting participant athletes from betting also
displeased Mobil." Mobil, a track and field sponsor since '81,
pays about $11M annually in sponsorship fees and has been the
title sponsor of both the indoor and outdoor Grand Prix circuits,
the indoor and outdoor U.S. Championships and one of the indoor
Grand Prix meets. IMG's Sean McManus denied that any decision
has been made by Mobil to pull out of track & field, but Mobil
spokesperson John Lord said, "Everything is under review."
Mobil's eventual decision to end its involvement with the track &
field "owes to both disenchantment with track's leadership,
particularly in the United States, and its resistance to demands
for more sponsorship money" by the IAAF, which governs the sport
field worldwide. Through its marketing agent, ISL of
Switzerland, IAAF is asking Mobil to increase its $6M annual
sponsorship of the outdoor Grand Prix this year and to pay $7M
for each of the next four years (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/25). Last
month, Mobil terminated its title sponsorship of the Cotton Bowl
college football game (see THE DAILY, 3/29).
The NBA will augment its "I Love This Stuff" ad campaign for
licensed products with some "playoff-themed print ads," according
to the current BRANDWEEK. Breaking this Thursday in USA TODAY is
a two-page ad partially funded with "co-op dollars" from J.C.
Penney, Champs, Foot Locker and The Sports Authority. Local
newspaper ads with retail co-ops start in eight NBA markets after
the first round of the playoffs (Terry Lefton, BRANDWEEK, 4/24).
NFLP VP/Marketing Howard Handler is the focus of Terry
Lefton's column in BRANDWEEK. Handler is overseeing a series of
research projects, conducted by Morgan Horan, ESPN/Chilton and
Ross Cooper & Lund, to find out why NFL fans love the game.
Handler: "We want to create a marketing blueprint that should
really become our mantra." Handler hopes to create a marketing
plan that will cut across licensing, sponsorship and events, with
any eye toward segmenting different ethnic, gender and age groups
and "delve into database marketing with some of the country's
largest direct marketers." Handler also plans to bring one or
two full-time market researchers in-house. Noting that Handler
comes from MTV, as did NFLP President Sara Levinson, Lefton
concludes: "The most severe test of the new Levinson-Handler axis
... will be to see if they treat the game with the same kind of
reverence, while adding a requisite dose of fresh marketing
insight" (BRANDWEEK, 4/24 issue).
Bayer Corp. has joined Brunswick in sponsoring the final
stop on the Pro Bowlers Association fall tour, the $200,000
Touring Players in Pittsburgh November 3-8, according to the
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES. As for the '96 Tour, PBA Commissioner Mike
Connor said they are considering an expansion into Europe.
Connor said Finland, England, Germany and Italy are being
considered for Tour stops in August '96 (Dave Manthey, CHICAGO