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Volume 24 No. 117

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

     The LPGA and officials from the McDonald's LPGA Championship
have announced the renewal of the tournament's contract with the
LPGA.  The new contract is a three-year rolling agreement,
whereby each year the McDonald's LPGA Championship is staged,
another year is automatically added to the term of the contract.
LPGA Commissioner Charles Meachem said both parties were
"extremely happy" to make the announcement and pointed out that
the '95 McDonald's LPGA Championship contributed $2.1M to
charity.  The event is one of four LPGA's Major Championships and
is played annually at the DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, DE
(LPGA).

     The latest National Golf Foundation figures show continued
strength in the construction of golf courses in the U.S.  In '94,
golf course development projects showed 381 new courses open --
283 daily fee courses -- with another 769 under construction and
541 in planning stages.  MI led the country in new courses opened
during '94 with 27, followed by FL with 21.  MI also leads with
66 courses under construction, followed by CA with 44 and IL with
42.  FL still has the most courses in the country with 1,098
(George Sweda, Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 5/23).  More and more
women are playing golf, according to the National Golf
Foundation.  Women account for "just 21% of golfers, but they
make up 37% of newcomers to the game."  The Executive Women's
Golf League in West Palm Beach, FL was started in '91 and has
nearly 10,000 members in 81 chapters, including "one of its
fastest growing in Atlanta."  The Atlanta chapter has gained "a
big boost from AT&T, where VP Larry Bell has encouraged
saleswomen and other employees to learn golf as a way to enhance
business."  Bell is so impressed with the league, he is going to
write AT&T's 10 largest customers in Atlanta -- including Delta
Air, Coca-Cola and Home Depot and "urge them to join" (Chris
Burkitt, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 5/24)
     BRING IN THE SKY CAM:  MA-based Player Systems Corp. has
developed SkyCaddie, a golf cart program that provides small
electronic screens.  The screens "provide players with detailed
information, such as yards to the front of the green, yards to
the pin, yards to certain hazards and obstacles, and suggestions
for playing the hole."  The system can also track play, and
messages can be sent to ask slow players to speed up.  Players
Systems Dir of Marketing Richard Beckmann has installation of the
system pending at courses in Cape Cod, Myrtle Beach and Las
Vegas, while it has already been installed at Sailfish Point Golf
Club in Stuart, FL.  The "optimum market is probably resort
courses, where management considers tee times to be like
inventory.  Any method of better flow and speedier play is a
profit maker for the course" (Joe Gordon, BOSTON HERALD, 5/24).

     Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. stock fell to a record low after
the company announced its revenue and profit would be lower this
year because of the baseball strike.  Shares fell $1.50 to
$10.12, a drop of 12.9%.  Rawlings blamed weak baseball-equipment
sales at retail outlets.  That "revised forecast surprised
analysts, who thought the company might avoid a ripple effect"
from the strike.  Jack Russo, who follows Rawlings for A.G.
Edwards & Sons in St. Louis: "I don't know if it's because of the
strike or just kids playing other sports. ... I think all of us
were crossing our fingers."  A.G. Edwards, which had earlier
considered Rawlings stock a "buy," has changed its position to
give the company's stock a neutral "hold."  Rawlings has lowered
its revenue projection for the fiscal year by 3.13% to $145M
(Christopher Carey, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 5/24).
     MERCHANDISE SALES SLOW ALL AROUND:  Although the sale of
licensed baseball merchandise is down due to the strike,
retailers and analysts hope revenue will pick up as the season
progresses.  According to Nancy McCusker, Sports Services Dir of
Merchandising, the "good news for the clubs and merchants is that
fans who show up at the games are buying food, caps, shirts and
other goods at about the same rate per person ... as they did
this time last year."  Industry watchers all note that exciting
pennant races would help the $2.5B business return to past
performance.  John Horan, publisher of SPORTING GOODS
INTELLIGENCE, said there are "lots of problems," but by the
playoffs, "sales will back to normal" (Robyn Meredith, USA TODAY,
5/24).

     Volume Services has been selected to provide concessions for
the Jaguars and all events at the team's new stadium.  As part of
a three-year deal, Volume Services will manage all food, beverage
and merchandise concessions in the stadium.  Jaguars President &
COO David Seldin said the company "has a strong track record as
the industry leader in NFL stadiums."  Volume Services is the
largest concessions provider to the NFL.  Jacksonville's new
stadium, in the rebuilt Gator Bowl, is on schedule for completion
in mid-August and will seat 73,000 fans.  The first game is
scheduled for August 18 (Jaguars).