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Volume 24 No. 158

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

     A list of spending on national TV spots by the top sports
advertisers in the first three months of '95, was compiled by the
Nielsen Monitor-Plus Sports Facts.  Figures in millions (Michael
Hiestand, USA TODAY, 6/15).
     1) Anheuser-Busch   $42.9M    6) Nike        $16.4M
     2) Chevrolet        $37.0     7) AT&T        $16.1
     3) IBM              $24.5     8) Frito-Lay   $16.0
     4) McDonald's       $22.5     9) Dodge       $13.4
     5) Ford             $19.9     10) Miller     $12.6

     FORBES magazine will profile sports stars Isiah Thomas, now
VP of Basketball Ops for the NBA Raptors, and 49ers QB Steve
Young in its "CEO Profiles" ad campaign.  It marks the first time
athletes have been used in the campaign, which was developed by
Merkley Newman Harty, New York.  The print ads will appear in
business publications, and the Wall Street Journal, New York
Times, USA Today, Financial Times and Int'l Herald Tribune (AD
AGE ONLINE, 6/15 issue).

     Group W Sports Marketing has reached an agreement with the
Capitals and Bullets to "jointly handle advertising sales" of
national and local spots on broadcast and cable TV for all Caps
and Bullets games.  The agreement, announced by GSWM Senior VP &
GM Bob Kunath and Capitol Region Sports Marketing President Susan
O'Malley, "marks the first time the Capitals and Bullets have had
an outside sales agency handle its broadcast sales
representation."  For the past six years, GWSM has handled
national ad sales for Caps and Bullets games on HTS.  On Tuesday,
it was announced that HTS would produce all Caps and Bullets
games, including those aired on new broadcast partner, WFTY-TV in
DC.  Kunath, noting their similar deal with the Orioles, said
that GWSM "now handles the full range of television advertising
sales for the region's" MLB, NHL and NBA teams (Group W Sports).
An ADWEEK analysis of the NFL notes that, for the first time,
Group W will sell sponsorships within "Sunday Ticket,"  the
league's satellite subscription service.  Group W has three to
five 30-second spots per game in what would be local avails of
the network feed (John Flinn, ADWEEK, 6/12).

     Last night, ESPN's Mike Tirico reported that three San Diego
TV station employees have filed a trademark application for
commercial rights to the name "Air McNair" ("SportsCenter," ESPN,
6/14).  If approved, Steve McNair, the Oilers' No. 1 pick, would
lose the "exclusive control over the commercialization of his
nickname, and potentially, millions of dollars."  The U.S.
Department of Patents and Trademarks is expected to rule on the
application within six months (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/14).  USA
TODAY's Michael Hiestand gives a "thumbs down" to the three.
Hiestand: "Whether or not pro athletes are overpaid, they still
deserve rights to their own nicknames" (USA TODAY, 6/15).

     The latest hot "fashion tip" may high top black Nikes   --
"the Johnny Unitas look."  In Dallas, Barry Horn writes that
"they will be the hottest selling shoe in Dallas-Fort Worth come
late July," when Troy Aikman dons them for the first time during
Cowboys training camp (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/14)....The issue of
brand names appearing on TV shows is analyzed by Fara Warner in
this morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL.  Warner points to a Logo
Athletic Lions jacket that has been featured by a character on
ABC's "Home Improvement."  Tami Glenn, of Hollywood International
Placements, calls product placement "a cheap advertising tool for
a lot of companies that want product recognition, especially if
the companies don't have big advertising budgets" (WALL STREET
JOURNAL, 6/15)....This week's ADWEEK reports that the recent
resignation of Reebok Chief Marketing Officer Robert Muller "is
not expected to shake" the relationship between Reebok and its ad
agency, Leo Burnett (AD WEEK, 6/12)....MLS announced that TSI
Soccer, one of the country's largest soccer retailers, will be
the league's official mail-order catalog (MLS).

     Sega of America's $50M "guerrilla marketing" blitz to sell
their Saturn game is examined by Michelle Quinn of the SAN
FRANCISCO CHRONICLE.  Sega's "self-described 'SWAT' marketing
team" has done a deal with Coca-Cola and will run print ads in
Playboy, Wired, Rolling Stone, and Sports Illustrated "trying to
snare: Saturn's market of 18-35 year olds (SAN FRANCISCO
CHRONICLE, 6/15).  Sega's shares fell 7.7% in early morning
trading on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.  The reason was "fear of
mounting competition" in the video game market, as news that
Softbank and Microsoft are working on a joint venture to develop
and market computer-game software which can be used on PCs (USA
TODAY, 6/15).

     The Rockets completed a sweep of the Magic last night,
causing some to examine the potential marketing fallout for the
two-time champions and the runners-up.  A sampling:
     HAKEEM AND MARS' BIG RISK?  The "advertising world took
notice" of Hakeem Olajuwon's deal with Uncle Ben's rice,
according to Jay Matthews of the WASHINGTON POST.  Uncle Ben's
"product symbol" is an elderly black man "who could be a cook on
a Southern plantation," and Matthews wonders if Mars Inc., which
owns Uncle Ben's, took a "risk in hiring a leading black athlete
to sell its product."  Olajuwon's agent, Ralph Greene, admitted
that the image was "a slave vestige," but said that the
connection did not bother Olajuwon (WASHINGTON POST, 6/15).
"Entertainment Tonight" profiled Olajuwon's Uncle Ben's deal and
reported that some African-Americans are upset because of the
logo, which they consider "demeaning to blacks" ("ET," 6/14).
"Michael and McDonald's, Shaq and Pepsi, the Admiral and Pizza
Hut, the Dream and Uncle Ben's rice.  What's wrong with this
picture?," asks Tom Knott in Washington (WASHINGTON TIMES, 6/15).
In New York, Richard Sandomir writes of Hakeem's "whole new
transition game" to that of product pitchman.  Marty Blackman of
Blackman & Raber, who matches athletes with advertisers, suggests
Hakeem endorse Volvo -- the "perfect Dream vehicle" -- and Sharp
business machines.  Brian Murphy, publisher of Sport Marketing
Letter, sees him with Lexus or Craftsman tools (N.Y. TIMES,
6/15).  In Toronto, Chris Young tries to sell Hakeem to Madison
Avenue: "Self-effacing.  Team first.  Unpretentious.  An NBA guy
who does a pilgrimage to Mecca, not Madonna" (TORONTO STAR,
6/15).  Olajuwon was on the "Today" show this morning.  Hakeem on
a "three-peat":  "I have to work on my game this summer and
prepare for next year" (NBC, 6/15).
     HAPPY TO BE ON CLYDE'S SIDE:  Clyde Drexler's strong
performance in the NBA Finals earned him the cover story in this
week's SI, and is good news for two OR-based companies, Avia
Group Int'l and BioArch.  For them, "it's the kind of national
publicity that money can't buy."  Drexler wears Avia 910 Fly-By-U
sneakers that retail for about $80, and is an investor in
BioArch, a Portland foot-support maker launched by former Blazer
physician Dr. Robert Cook.  Bioarch President Julia Cook said she
hopes to put together a press tour with Drexler after the series,
"primarily aimed at specialty magazines such as Runner's World
and Self."  Attorney Paul Loving of Stoel River Boley Jones &
Grey, said Drexler's "strengths are his clean-cut image; he's a
family man.  He also speaks well and he's good looking. ... He's
a different animal compared to a lot of young guys in this
league" (Jeff Manning, Portland OREGONIAN, 6/14).
     WHO ELSE IS NEXT:  Other "possible endorsement winners,"
include Sam Cassell, Robert Horry, Anfernee Hardaway and Horace
Grant (Dottie Enrico, USA TODAY, 6/15).
sale of telephone calling cards featuring Magic players have
"taken a sharp turn upward since the playoffs began."  A
Sprint/United Telephone-Florida spokesperson said sales of their
cards featuring Nick Anderson and the team mascot have doubled
(Rene Stutzman, ORLANDO SENTINEL, 6/15).
     IF IT AIN'T BROKE, DON'T FIX IT:  The Rockets' plans to
change their logo and uniforms are being met with resistance by
Houston fans.  A HOUSTON CHRONICLE comment line was "overloaded
with calls" -- with votes against a change leading 5-to-1
(HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/13).  In New York, George Vecsey writes of
the change, "In sports, everything changes.  Usually to make a
buck" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/15).