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Volume 24 No. 156
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     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).