The Bulls could be fined for not notifying the NBA of
Michael Jordan's uniform switch to number 23 before last night's
game against Orlando. In addition, Jordan could also be fined
for wearing white Nike Air Jordan shoes and not the black ones
worn by his teammates. NBA rules say teammates must wear the
same colored shoes. Magic GM Pat Williams: "Shaq can't just
come out wearing No. 40. It's prohibited." Shaquille O'Neal had
asked the league three weeks ago to change his number from 32 to
40, his college number, but the league declined (USA TODAY,
Many golf professionals who endorse club brands use
different brands in tournament play, creating a situation where
"what you see is not always what you should believe," according
to Jeff Rude in the DALLAS MORNING NEWS. Several PGA Tour pros,
including Davis Love, Fred Couples, Ben Crenshaw and Greg Norman,
use different clubs than they endorse. Lanny Wadkins, who
endorses Founders Club irons: "The comment I make in the
commercial is based on my experience of hitting that iron.
Nowhere in there does it say I'm using it." Rude notes that
"much of the misleading marketing" is due to the different needs
of pros on tour versus the amateurs which buy the clubs. Rude
notes that deals "now usually require a player to carry a minimum
of eight of its clubs." Wadkins says players "are trying harder"
to play with equipment they endorse, and "companies seem to be
cracking down more" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/10).
Nonalcoholic beer sales slumped 13% last year and marketers
are trying to bring back drinkers with new ad campaigns,
reformulation, and give-aways at events like bass-fishing
tournaments (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/11)..... President Clinton
plans to visit a $65M Coca-Cola plant near Moscow on Thursday.
Pepsi, which is "losing market share to Coca-Cola in the former
Soviet Union, was not thrilled with the decision" (Alessandra
Stanley, N.Y. TIMES, 5/11).... American Marketing Association of
New York named three advertisers to their Marketing Hall of Fame:
Apple Computer, Walt Disney, and Viacom's MTV (N.Y. TIMES, 5/11).
....A 40-year-old Ted Williams uniform sold for $57,500 at an
auction in San Francisco. The "spirited bidding" on that and
other items suggests "the sports memorabilia market is beginning
to recover" (Larry Tye, BOSTON GLOBE, 5/11).
Nokia Group, the Finland-based telecommunications company,
has announced that they will participate as a title sponsor of
the '95 FIA Formula One World Championship season. Nokia will
join with Tyrrell Yamaha and field a team in Formula One
competition around the world. This is the second major sports
package for Nokia, which is also Sugar Bowl title sponsor (ERNIE
SAXTON SPONSORSHIP NEWS).
At the Electronic Entertainment Expo in L.A. yesterday, Sega
of America announced that they will begin shipping its "next-
generation game player, called Saturn, in the U.S. immediately."
The move is a "pre-emptive attack in the war for video-game
supremacy," according to Jim Carlton in this morning's WALL
STREET JOURNAL. The move will put Saturn on the shelves "nearly
four months sooner than they had previously announced and far
ahead of new systems from rivals" Nintendo and Sony. Carlton
writes the move is "certain to put pressure" on Nintendo and Sony
as they battle Sega over the new 32-bit and 64-bit game market.
The new systems are expected to "revive the flagging video-game
industry" by offering more realistic animation. Sega's
introduction of Saturn comes at a "crucial juncture in the
industry," as sales of the older 16-bit machines are down 40%
this year and overall U.S. video game sales projected to fall
about 5%. Sega will launch a $50M ad campaign, its most
expensive ever, to promote Saturn with the slogan "It's Out
There." Saturn will sell for about $350-450 (WALL STREET
JOURNAL, 5/11). Also at the Expo, Sony announced its first move
in the video-game business by previewing the U.S. launch of
PlayStation on Sept. 9. The PlayStation runs games on CD-ROM and
uses the faster 32-bit microprocessor (Mike Langberg, SAN JOSE
MERCURY NEWS, 5/11).