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
Sponsorships Advertising Marketing
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). NO NEED TO CALL, THEY'RE ON THEIR WAY HOME: In Orlando, the 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).