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Volume 24 No. 156

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

     Converse said yesterday it would buy Apex One at a cost of
$51M.  Converse, the MA-based manufacturer of athletic shoes,
will issue $11M of notes to Apex investors and 1.75 million
warrants for the right to purchase shares of Converse at $11.40 a
share over five years.  Converse would also take over about $20M
of Apex's existing debt (DOW JONES NEWS SERVICE/N.Y. TIMES,
5/10).
     REEBOK RECONSIDERS SITE:  Faced with a "few vocal opponents"
as well as "other challenges with the site," Reebok International
will "defer for at least 60 days" discussions on whether to buy
the 200-acre spot in Dedham, MA, for their new corporate offices.
The site was purchased last year for use as open space, and state
and local officials have warned the company that it faces a
political and public relations "battle" if it insisted on buying
the land (Jerry Ackerman, BOSTON GLOBE, 5/9).

     As previewed in Monday's issue of THE SPORT BUSINESS DAILY,
Andres Galarraga publicly unveiled his new signature line of
footwear, apparel and baseball caps yesterday, all under the "Big
Cat" label.  Distribution is expected to be handled by Gart
Sports and Foley's Department stores in the CO area, but
Galarraga and his agent Fernando Cuza "are looking to official
sponsors of the Rockies for distribution rights."  Cuza expects
the CO marketplace to "be minuscule" compared to Galarraga's home
of Venezuela.  Cuza: "How big is Michael Jordan in America?
Well, that's how big Andres is in Venezuela.  Surveys show he's
the most important person in that country" (Chance Conner, DENVER
POST, 5/10).

     Lawrence Taylor's All-Pro Products Inc., one of '93's
"hottest" initial public offerings, still hasn't introduced its
main product, a $399 video game system, according to BLOOMBERG
BUSINESS NEWS.  Based in Tarrytown, NJ, the company went public
in November of '93 by selling $4.5M worth of stock in $5 units,
which include a share and a warrant to buy another share.  The
price for a single unit rose to $14.25 after two weeks.  But as
of last Thursday, the stock had reached an "all-time low" of
$1.37 1/2.  Taylor has since been replaced as CEO by Michael
Stone, who blames the delay in releasing the game system on the
need for more financing.  Stone:  "We wanted to make sure we back
it properly with marketing support."  However, retailers such as
J&R Music World, Nobody Beats the Wiz and Tops Appliance City are
reportedly concerned about selling such an expensive product when
the parent company is struggling.  Jack Wahrman, Dir of
Merchandising for J&R Music World: "It could be its a matter of
saying to customers: 'Look, spend $400, the company's going to be
out of business in a year'" (BLOOMBERG BUSINESS NEWS/N.Y.
NEWSDAY, 5/9).
     BACK TO FOOTBALL BUSINESS?  The N.Y. TIMES reports that
Taylor says there is a "30 percent chance" he would return to the
NFL (Timothy Smith, N.Y. TIMES, 5/10)

     CNN's John Raedler reported on the "Lucky Red Socks" worn by
the Kiwi crew in the America's Cup.  The fad is sweeping New
Zealand and is selling fast ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 5/9)....A
return of European travelers, a weak dollar and the "most
financially successful Super Bowl in history" boosted Dade
County, FL tourism 13.7% for the first quarter of '95 (MIAMI
HERALD, 5/9 issue).....The PGA Tour's Motorola Western Open has
moved into the "upper echelon" of PGA Tour events by raising its
purse by $800,000 to $2M (PGA Tour). ....Winners of the
International Andy Awards for creative excellence announced by
the Advertising Club of New York included three honors for CA-
based commercial production company Pytka for their work on Nike
ads, including one in which soccer players painted on building-
sized billboards around the world come to life (N.Y. TIMES,
5/10).

     The NBA and Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) have announced the
renewal of their partnership through the '96-97 NBA season.  NCL
will continue as the official cruise line of the NBA, while also
becoming presenting sponsor of the NBA Finals MVP Award beginning
this June.  The agreement includes an increased media purchase on
NBA game broadcasts and other promotional elements.  NCL will
continue with their NBA "Sports Afloat Basketball Cruise" and
passengers will be able to purchase NBA-licensed goods aboard NCL
ships.  NCL will also hold at least one NBA-themed promotion each
year of the three year agreement.  Currently, they are running a
sweepstakes with NBA Radio that offers trips on the "Stay Afloat"
cruise (NBA).

     STATS, Inc., the Skokie, IL-based sports information
service, is profiled in the latest INSIDE SPORTS.  Rated No. 144
on INC. magazine's '93 list of the 500 fastest growing companies,
STATS "capitalizes on its statistical wealth in a number of
ways."  They provide sports data to many news services, including
ESPN, and STATS' online services "cater to commercial enterprises
and to the public."  More than 20 MLB teams subscribe, as do TV
stations, print outlets and sports PR departments.  One of the
company's "most innovative" contributions to the interactive
arena is providing the data for a new Motorola product called
Sportstrax, a pocket beeper that "displays a tiny baseball field
to discreetly keep you posted on the basics of a game" (Bob
Rubin, INSIDE SPORTS, 6/95 issue).

     The Big East is seeking a title sponsor for their men's
basketball tournament, according to the recent issue of Regional
SportsReport.  Regional SportsReport Editor and Publisher John
Carbonell said the Big East "entitlement opportunity, along with
the creation of Conference USA and its new title spot, are the
two latest examples of collegiate properties evolving into fully
integrated sponsorship vehicles" (REGIONAL SPORTSREPORT, 5/95
issue).