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Volume 24 No. 156

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

     Although the NBA season is over, the off-season -- when the
league's stars "are in demand as ad spokesmen" -- has just begun,
according to Jeff Jensen of ADVERTISING AGE.  Jensen surveyed
several sports marketers about the players that "will be shopping
themselves around this summer" and players were "assessed for
their long-term potential."  Highlights -- GRANT HILL:
Conventional Wisdom (CW) is up.  "He's the next Shaq, minus the
manufactured hype."  SHAQUILLE O'NEAL:  CW is up.  "As Shaq gets
better, he gets bigger, and his marketing clout grows. ...  Shaq
sometimes comes across as a marketing mercenary."  ANFERNEE
HARDAWAY:  CW is up.  Penny "has two big things going for him:
his game and Nike. ... One gripe: Smile, son!"  Reggie Miller: CW
is unclear.  HAKEEM OLAJUWON:  CW is unclear, but he could "be a
print ad darling."  DAVID ROBINSON:  CW is unclear.  "Get Nike to
give you more facetime."  CLYDE DREXLER:  CW is down.  "Could get
a quick hit, but has no marketing legs."  DENNIS RODMAN:  CW is
down.  "Unless he defuses himself, Mr. Rodman is an endorsement
bomb."  SCOTTIE PIPPEN:  CW is down. "Marketable?  Don't make us
laugh."  MICHAEL JORDAN: CW is down.  "Never thought we'd say
this, but Jordan needs to improve his game" (AD AGE ONLINE,
6/19).
     DREAM ON:  Frank Vuono, one of Olajuwon's representatives,
told the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION's Ailene Voisin that he "expects to
finalize a number" of endorsement deals within the next several
weeks, with Coca-Cola among the possibilities.  Voisin is one of
the few writers to mention the break between Olajuwon and former
agent (and Shaq representative) Leonard Armato.  While Armato
"still handles pre-existing deals, the two apparently differed
philosophically, with Olajuwon embracing a more conservative
approach and acknowledging a higher comfort level with more
conventional products."  Vuono, a marketing consultant for
Integrated Sports Int'l, says that although Olajuwon "still
speaks in broken English," the positive exposure of the last two
NBA Finals have helped his marketability (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
6/18).  Olajuwon signature shoes, manufactured by Spalding, will
be available at the beginning of next season.  Hakeem Game 1 will
retail for $40-50 and run with the tagline "Finish Strong"
(HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/16).  This week's TIME profiles Olajuwon's
deals (TIME, 6/26).      FINALS WRAP-UP:  In Dallas, Kevin
Blackistone looks at the Reebok ads featuring mothers of NBA
players, and writes, "In the lives of these young men, fathers,
for the most part, didn't exist."  Reebok Basketball Marketing
Dir Dan Brown: "If we look at the market we are trying to sell
to, the trend setter is a 17-year-old African American who is in
the malls every week. ... Women in those households are generally
the sole provider" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/18).

     Although the NBA season is over, the off-season -- when the
league's stars "are in demand as ad spokesmen" -- has just begun,
according to Jeff Jensen of ADVERTISING AGE.  Jensen surveyed
several sports marketers about the players that "will be shopping
themselves around this summer" and players were "assessed for
their long-term potential."  Highlights -- GRANT HILL:
Conventional Wisdom (CW) is up.  "He's the next Shaq, minus the
manufactured hype."  SHAQUILLE O'NEAL:  CW is up.  "As Shaq gets
better, he gets bigger, and his marketing clout grows. ...  Shaq
sometimes comes across as a marketing mercenary."  ANFERNEE
HARDAWAY:  CW is up.  Penny "has two big things going for him:
his game and Nike. ... One gripe: Smile, son!"  Reggie Miller: CW
is unclear.  HAKEEM OLAJUWON:  CW is unclear, but he could "be a
print ad darling."  DAVID ROBINSON:  CW is unclear.  "Get Nike to
give you more facetime."  CLYDE DREXLER:  CW is down.  "Could get
a quick hit, but has no marketing legs."  DENNIS RODMAN:  CW is
down.  "Unless he defuses himself, Mr. Rodman is an endorsement
bomb."  SCOTTIE PIPPEN:  CW is down. "Marketable?  Don't make us
laugh."  MICHAEL JORDAN: CW is down.  "Never thought we'd say
this, but Jordan needs to improve his game" (AD AGE ONLINE,
6/19).
     DREAM ON:  Frank Vuono, one of Olajuwon's representatives,
told the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION's Ailene Voisin that he "expects to
finalize a number" of endorsement deals within the next several
weeks, with Coca-Cola among the possibilities.  Voisin is one of
the few writers to mention the break between Olajuwon and former
agent (and Shaq representative) Leonard Armato.  While Armato
"still handles pre-existing deals, the two apparently differed
philosophically, with Olajuwon embracing a more conservative
approach and acknowledging a higher comfort level with more
conventional products."  Vuono, a marketing consultant for
Integrated Sports Int'l, says that although Olajuwon "still
speaks in broken English," the positive exposure of the last two
NBA Finals have helped his marketability (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
6/18).  Olajuwon signature shoes, manufactured by Spalding, will
be available at the beginning of next season.  Hakeem Game 1 will
retail for $40-50 and run with the tagline "Finish Strong"
(HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/16).  This week's TIME profiles Olajuwon's
deals (TIME, 6/26).      FINALS WRAP-UP:  In Dallas, Kevin
Blackistone looks at the Reebok ads featuring mothers of NBA
players, and writes, "In the lives of these young men, fathers,
for the most part, didn't exist."  Reebok Basketball Marketing
Dir Dan Brown: "If we look at the market we are trying to sell
to, the trend setter is a 17-year-old African American who is in
the malls every week. ... Women in those households are generally
the sole provider" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/18).

     Ticketmaster, which has exclusive control over an "estimated
two-thirds of the major stadiums, arenas, and amphitheaters in
urban centers -- and provides tickets for more than 50 major
professional sports teams," is profiled in the current BUSINESS
WEEK.  The federal government, state law enforcers, and private
litigants are all "questioning the legality of Ticketmaster's
dominance in the ticketing industry."  Ticketmaster CEO Fredric
Rosen has "locked up the choicest promoters and sites," and made
many of the deals by "visiting cash squeezed arena owners and
offering them money ... as a guarantee against their share of
future service fees."  In turn, Ticketmaster's "aggressive climb
has enabled it to call most of the shots in its market," which
has led to high ticket surcharges.  But the legal challenges may
be "taking [their] toll," as Ticketmaster lost the "coveted
contract" to sell tickets to the '96 Olympic Games to Protix.
But Ticketmaster is looking ahead to new ventures, including a
shopping channel to sell merchandise, and by going online to sell
their services.  Rosen is also looking to reduce the companies
"dependence on ticket sales" which make up 95% of revenue,
especially as competitors move into the ticketing industry
(Himelstein & Grover, BUSINESS WEEK, 6/26 issue).   Rosen is also
featured in the L.A. TIMES.  Within weeks, Ticketmaster will be
on the World Wide Web, and is looking at using its phone system
to sell airline tickets (Helm & Phillips, L.A. TIMES, 6/19).

     Ticketmaster, which has exclusive control over an "estimated
two-thirds of the major stadiums, arenas, and amphitheaters in
urban centers -- and provides tickets for more than 50 major
professional sports teams," is profiled in the current BUSINESS
WEEK.  The federal government, state law enforcers, and private
litigants are all "questioning the legality of Ticketmaster's
dominance in the ticketing industry."  Ticketmaster CEO Fredric
Rosen has "locked up the choicest promoters and sites," and made
many of the deals by "visiting cash squeezed arena owners and
offering them money ... as a guarantee against their share of
future service fees."  In turn, Ticketmaster's "aggressive climb
has enabled it to call most of the shots in its market," which
has led to high ticket surcharges.  But the legal challenges may
be "taking [their] toll," as Ticketmaster lost the "coveted
contract" to sell tickets to the '96 Olympic Games to Protix.
But Ticketmaster is looking ahead to new ventures, including a
shopping channel to sell merchandise, and by going online to sell
their services.  Rosen is also looking to reduce the companies
"dependence on ticket sales" which make up 95% of revenue,
especially as competitors move into the ticketing industry
(Himelstein & Grover, BUSINESS WEEK, 6/26 issue).   Rosen is also
featured in the L.A. TIMES.  Within weeks, Ticketmaster will be
on the World Wide Web, and is looking at using its phone system
to sell airline tickets (Helm & Phillips, L.A. TIMES, 6/19).

     The Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) is looking for
marketers to sign on their sponsorship program for the Indy
Racing League (IRL) '96 Series, which will consist of five races,
including the Indy 500 and the inaugural Indy 200 at Disney
World.  Clarion Performance Properties, the marketing agency for
IMS, will help develop and implement marketing programs.  Each
IRL sponsor will purchase a one-year package which includes ABC-
TV advertising, on-site signage, hospitality, program ads, radio,
international TV, and other features for each of the five races.
Title sponsorship of one of the races is also available for
sponsors.  Bill Donaldson, President of IMS Properties, said "by
grouping all the races together into one sponsor package we
create a cooperative group of partners motivated to promote the
whole series."  Donaldson also said the sponsors exclusivity
helps defend against ambush marketing (Clarion).
     PPG CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE:   PPG, the Pittsburgh-based
automotive paint company and one of the largest sponsors of the
IndyCar World Series, is "caught in the crossfire of a fued
between the fledgling Indy Racing League and the established
IndyCar circuit."  In the past, PPG has paid $100,000 to the Indy
500 Pole Winner, but the company also supports the IndyCar World
Series with a $1M payoff to the champ and other prize money to
the top 19 other drivers.  PPG has separate contracts with each
organization and hopes to have both signed within the next couple
of weeks.  The company "will continue as IndyCar series sponsor
and will pay points at Indianapolis" (MIAMI HERALD, 6/17).

     The Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) is looking for
marketers to sign on their sponsorship program for the Indy
Racing League (IRL) '96 Series, which will consist of five races,
including the Indy 500 and the inaugural Indy 200 at Disney
World.  Clarion Performance Properties, the marketing agency for
IMS, will help develop and implement marketing programs.  Each
IRL sponsor will purchase a one-year package which includes ABC-
TV advertising, on-site signage, hospitality, program ads, radio,
international TV, and other features for each of the five races.
Title sponsorship of one of the races is also available for
sponsors.  Bill Donaldson, President of IMS Properties, said "by
grouping all the races together into one sponsor package we
create a cooperative group of partners motivated to promote the
whole series."  Donaldson also said the sponsors exclusivity
helps defend against ambush marketing (Clarion).
     PPG CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE:   PPG, the Pittsburgh-based
automotive paint company and one of the largest sponsors of the
IndyCar World Series, is "caught in the crossfire of a fued
between the fledgling Indy Racing League and the established
IndyCar circuit."  In the past, PPG has paid $100,000 to the Indy
500 Pole Winner, but the company also supports the IndyCar World
Series with a $1M payoff to the champ and other prize money to
the top 19 other drivers.  PPG has separate contracts with each
organization and hopes to have both signed within the next couple
of weeks.  The company "will continue as IndyCar series sponsor
and will pay points at Indianapolis" (MIAMI HERALD, 6/17).

     Slazenger, the manufacturer of Wimbledon tennis balls since
1902, has worked on producing a slower ball for this year's
tournament.  Slazenger "refuses to provide any technical
information about the precise changes in the balls, saying only
that nothing but the pressure has been changed" (FINANCIAL TIMES,
6/19)....Jim Ferguson, the "advertising whiz" who created the
"Nothing But Net" McDonald's commercial and the "Little Giants,"
is profiled in the DALLAS MORNING NEWS.  Ferguson is now Chief
Creative Officer of DDB Needham in Dallas (DALLAS MORNING NEWS,
6/18)....The sale of hot dogs, peanuts, beer and soda are all off
50% or more at MLB ballparks, according to the current issue of
BUSINESS WEEK.  One factor is the "post strike crowd mix," as the
fans who are going to the games may be more "resistant to pricey
stadium fare."  BUSINESS WEEK:  "Why not try temporary discounts,
as some teams have done with tickets?  Few concessionaires even
considered this" (BUSINESS WEEK, 6/26 issue).

     Slazenger, the manufacturer of Wimbledon tennis balls since
1902, has worked on producing a slower ball for this year's
tournament.  Slazenger "refuses to provide any technical
information about the precise changes in the balls, saying only
that nothing but the pressure has been changed" (FINANCIAL TIMES,
6/19)....Jim Ferguson, the "advertising whiz" who created the
"Nothing But Net" McDonald's commercial and the "Little Giants,"
is profiled in the DALLAS MORNING NEWS.  Ferguson is now Chief
Creative Officer of DDB Needham in Dallas (DALLAS MORNING NEWS,
6/18)....The sale of hot dogs, peanuts, beer and soda are all off
50% or more at MLB ballparks, according to the current issue of
BUSINESS WEEK.  One factor is the "post strike crowd mix," as the
fans who are going to the games may be more "resistant to pricey
stadium fare."  BUSINESS WEEK:  "Why not try temporary discounts,
as some teams have done with tickets?  Few concessionaires even
considered this" (BUSINESS WEEK, 6/26 issue).

     Reebok International Ltd. announced that Harry de Boer,
President of Reebok's Avia Group International has resigned to
"pursue other interests."  Reebok named Robert Slattery, who was
Chair & CEO of Reebok subsidiary Rockport Co., as the new
President of Avia.  In May, Reebok's Chief Marketing Officer
Roberto Muller resigned, and company President John Duerden
resigned in April.  De Boer joined Avia in '90 and was named CEO
in '92.  Avia's first quarter sales in '95 were $32.2M, a 24%
decline from the same quarter a year ago (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/17).

     Reebok International Ltd. announced that Harry de Boer,
President of Reebok's Avia Group International has resigned to
"pursue other interests."  Reebok named Robert Slattery, who was
Chair & CEO of Reebok subsidiary Rockport Co., as the new
President of Avia.  In May, Reebok's Chief Marketing Officer
Roberto Muller resigned, and company President John Duerden
resigned in April.  De Boer joined Avia in '90 and was named CEO
in '92.  Avia's first quarter sales in '95 were $32.2M, a 24%
decline from the same quarter a year ago (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/17).