The Capitals will change their uniform and create a new logo
for next season, according to Len Hochberg in today's WASHINGTON
POST. They will "unveil a new uniform next month, changing the
red, white and blue colors" they have worn since their '74-75
inaugural season. Capitals VP of Communications Ed Quinlan said
the team "wanted a more contemporary look ... We're moving into a
new arena, with new and younger fans." Sources say the team will
switch colors, but "the new colors are being kept a secret until
the unveiling, tentatively set for June 22." The uniform change
will also enable the franchise for the first time to design a
logo. One Caps employee: "We never had a logo, we always had a
'word'" (Len Hochberg, WASHINGTON POST, 5/26).
Ideon Group, Inc., the firm that manages PGA Tour Partners,
has become title sponsor of the PGA Tour event in Sutton, MA.
The first Ideon Classic at Pleasant Valley will be played July
24-30 at the Pleasant Valley Country Club. The event was formerly
know as the New England Classic and has been without a sponsor
since '90. Buick Motor Division will remain as presenting
sponsor for the tournament, which will be televised nationally on
The Golf Channel (PGA Tour).
The Bruins' Adam Oates has inked a deal with Reebok to be
both a spokesperson and product consultant. Oates agent attorney
Brian Cooke said the deal is "similar" to Cam Neely's with Nike
(BOSTON GLOBE, 5/25)...."ET" reported on the NBA's "I Love this
Game" campaign done with characters from NBC TV shows and a new
spot tied to the movie "Casper" which premiered during last
night's Magic-Pacers game ("ET," 5/25)....Kirin Brewery has
signed a basic agreement to become a Gold Sponsor of the '98
Nagano Games in the beer category (NAGANO NEWS)....Wieden &
Kennedy's Amsterdam office took the Best of Show and a Gold
Pencil for its Nike ad, "The Wall," at The One Club's The One
Show awards in New York (AD AGE ONLINE, 5/26). ....Firestone's
return to the Indy 500 is profiled in the N.Y. TIMES. But the
"spin" was not "completely positive." Union pickets outside the
speedway complained about Firestone's demands for concessions in
stalled contract talks (N.Y. TIMES, 5/26).... The NHL web site
will be accessible starting today, with three interactive chat
sessions have been scheduled for the week of May 29-June 2.
Address: http//www.nhl.com (NHL).
Addressing shareholders at the company's first annual
meeting yesterday, The Sports Authority (TSA) Chair Jack Smith
said they are experimenting with using their stores to sell
tickets. TSA stores in the Detroit area have "exclusive rights"
to sell Tigers tickets outside of Tiger Stadium. The Sports
Authority replaced Ticketmaster as the Tigers' ticket rep, as the
team was "looking to lower service charges and to provide an 800
number dedicated to the team." If the experiment works, TSA
hopes to expand the program. TSA Promotions Manager Valerie
Zucker said both sides seem "happy with the arrangement."
Zucker: "It saves them money and it draws traffic for the
stores." The Sports Authority will expand with 50 new stores by
the end of '96 (David Altaner, Ft. Lauderdale SUN SENTINEL,
O.J. Simpson, Mike Tyson, and Tonya Harding are among the
most admired athletes according to a poll by Sponsorship Research
International of Stamford, CT. They asked people to "name the
athletes they most admire." Michael Jordan was No. 1, while
Harding, Simpson, and Tyson ranked 18, 19 and 20. SRI's Mike
Kellner: "The significance of the poll isn't in the number of
mentions but in the fact that all three made the list at all"
(Dottie Enrico, USA TODAY, 5/26).
Women are buying more athletic shoes than men, according to
the NPD Group, Inc., a research firm in Port Washington, NY. In
'94, women (age 12+) purchased $5.4B in athletic footwear,
compared with $5.3B for men. Women's sneaker sales grew 17%
between '92 and '94. With sales of men's sneakers "flat and
other footwear segments slowing, the women's sneaker market has
become a battleground for the industry's top competitors" -- Nike
and Reebok, according to Joseph Pereira of the WALL STREET
JOURNAL. Reebok hit the women's sneaker market early, but Nike
has "come on fast." It now has 21.7% share, according to NDP,
with 23.4% for Reebok. Adidas plans to introduce a women's
division later this month, and will "also unveil a new line of
women's training shoes next month." Women's increased "interest
in watching and playing sports accounts for the increase in
sneaker sales," and that could continue with the U.S. Women's
soccer team at the Worlds in Sweden and the Women's Basketball
team in Atlanta (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/26).
CONVERSE SIGNS THREE: Converse has announced yesterday that
they have signed three top female basketball players from the USA
Basketball Women's Senior National Team. Nikki McCray, Carla
McGhee and Kathryn Steding will wear Converse basketball
footwear, while appearing in print ads and participating in
retailer tie-ins (Converse).