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Volume 24 No. 117

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

     The Bruce Jenner Classic track meet in San Jose has secured
the financing to continue the 19-year old event.  Last week,
Event Dir Bert Bonanno said the meet was in jeopardy unless a
sponsor or $150,000 in financing was found.  Yesterday ISL
Worldwide, a Switzerland-based sports marketing firm, said they
would "handle the finances."  It is "not clear" whether ISL
Worldwide "has secured a corporate sponsorship for the meet or
will put up the money on its own" (Jody Meacham, SAN JOSE MERCURY
NEWS, 4/28).

     The Mariners introduced their "mockumentary" ad campaign --
six spots (or "innings") which parody Ken Burns' "Baseball"
documentary.  Included in the campaign are spots featuring faux
commentators with tales of Jay Buhner, Ken Griffey Jr., Lou
Piniella and Randy Johnson.  In the Griffey spot, a "noted
historian" discusses the "uncanny" similarities between Griffey
and Babe Ruth:  "Ruth was a lefthand power hitter, Griffey is a
lefthand power hitter.  Ruth played in New York, Griffey has been
to New York. ... Coincidence?  I say conspiracy."  The spots were
altered to give the look of vintage baseball footage (THE DAILY).

     Actor Matthew Perry of "Friends" fame has shot commercials
with the Stanley Cup to publicize the NHL playoffs on Fox.  Model
Kim Alexis also appeared in some ads (William Houston, Toronto
GLOBE & MAIL, 4/28)....Two leading ad companies in Toronto merged
yesterday to create the Canada's second largest agency.
MacLaren:Lintas and McCann-Erickson of Canada will now be called
MacLaren McCann, second only to MBL/BBDO.  Together they will
handle GM Canada, Molson and Coca-Cola (FINANCIAL POST, 4/28).

     Marvel Entertainment Group Inc. completed its tender offer
for shares of SkyBox International, the trading card maker in
Durham, NC.  Marvel said 98.7% of all SkyBox shares have been
tendered, and the acquisition, valued at about $150M, should be
finished soon.  Marvel intends to operate SkyBox as a separate
subsidiary of its Fleer trading card unit (WALL STREET JOURNAL,
4/28).

     Rebecca Lobo, who led the UConn Women's basketball team to a
national championship, has signed a multi-year sponsorship deal
with Reebok, according to this morning's HARTFORD COURANT.  The
terms, which Reebok said are subject to NCAA guidelines until
Lobo's graduation, were not disclosed.  But Reebok's "enthusiasm
indicated the company is ready to develop a diverse" ad campaign
which could make Lobo "one of the most prominent female athletes
in the United States."  Lobo will promote women's footwear and
apparel, with an emphasis on a line of basketball footwear,  and
represent Reebok in community service activities and appear in
national ads beginning this fall.  Reebok will also make a annual
donation in Lobo's name to organizations promoting women's
sports.  Reebok VP/Women's Footwear Patricia Hambrick said the
company sees Lobo "becoming one of our lead female icons."
Hambrick said the deal is not "tied to Lobo's next step," but
noted that an Olympic tie-in is possible (Sean Horgan, HARTFORD
COURANT, 4/28).  Lobo is also the subject of a N.Y. TIMES profile
today:  "Every day brings more kudos" (Evelyn Nieves, N.Y. TIMES,
4/28).

     The Marlboro sign at Candlestick Park "will be standing
tall" when the Giants play their home opener today, according to
the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE.  Last year, S.F. Board of
Supervisors members wanted the sign removed, but Marlboro has a
contract through '97 and removal "could have easily" led to a
lawsuit against Sony Corp., which handles scoreboard ads at
Candlestick.  The city receives $250,000/ year from the sign a
year as part of its Sony contract. S.F. Recreation and Parks
Commission President Jack Immendorf said they were "willing to
have the sign removed," but didn't want the liability.  A
commission resolution states if the Board wants the sign down,
"they should put up money to fight the suit" (Matier & Ross, S.F.
CHRONICLE, 4/28).