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Volume 24 No. 160

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

      Taco Bell Corp. "made a big splash with its adoption of
Shaquille O'Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon, but the real changes in the
marketer's game plan are yet to come," report Jensen & Whalen in
the current AD AGE.  A new campaign, "When the Border Calls,"
will hit next month "focusing on core menu items but weaving in
the reduced-fat Border Lights menu."  O'Neal and Olajuwon, both
signed by Taco Bell for two years, will "play a key role" in
holding the chain's core audience of young men.  Olajuwon will
appear in future ads by himself, and talks are "underway with
sister brand Pepsi-Cola."  O'Neal will perform a rap song in an
upcoming radio ad for the Bell, which is created by the Richards
Group, Dallas (Whalen & Jensen, AD AGE, 7/10 issue).

     NBA Entertainment and CBS/Fox will release nationally on
July 18 "Double Clutch -- The Houston Rockets Second Championship
Season."  The video will be available in Houston on July 14 (NBA
Entertainment)....Sears, Roebuck & Co. will team with Reebok and
Adidas in a promotion in support of the Special Olympics.  Sears
will offer consumers a 20% discount on all Adidas and Reebok
cross training and basketball shoes and will donate $1 to Special
Olympics for each purchase.  The donation will be matched by each
shoe company.  Sears will offer the discount in ads sent to 44
million households; the promotion runs through July 23 (AD AGE
ONLINE, 7/11)....The National In-Line Hockey Association has
signed a sponsorship agreement with Roll-On Floor Products, a CA-
based company that provides floor coating to amateur and pro in-
line teams and organizations (NIHA)...The IHL Kansas City Blades
has signed Hy-Vee Food Stores as the "Official Food Store." The
agreement includes a variety of media and promotions at Kemper
Arena (Blades)....At U/Nebraska, athletic officials have taken
the "Corn" out of the team's "Cornhuskers" nickname, removing it
from printed materials and logos.  Nebraska AD Bill Byrne:
"We've found that Cornhuskers and Herbie, the mascot, just don't
sell outside of Nebraska" (AP/N.Y. TIMES, 7/11)....Penn Racquet
Sports, Ping, Reebok, and Titleist will be among the
participating sponsors of the second annual Black
Enterprise/Pepsi Golf & Tennis Challenge, August 31-September 4
in Palm Beach Gardens, FL (Black Enterprise).

     Head Sportswear President & CEO Jack Dougherty has denied
rumors the "upscale tennis and golfwear manufacturer is for sale
by parent company Austria Tabakwerke."  Dougherty said that
Austria recently invested $90M into Head, and "clothing is an
important part of that."  Head has moved their production and
design facilities to Princeton, NJ, while warehousing and
administration remain in Columbia, MD.  Thom Hamacher, VP/Tennis
Apparel, said Head "will protect its specialty line sold through
specialty outlets and select department stores."  Head's new
Sabatini collection hits stores November 1 (Sandy Dolbow, TENNIS
BUYER'S GUIDE, 7/95 issue).  Head Golf is shipping all of its
clubs out of their Boulder, CO, headquarters, according to GOLF
WORLD.  The company's Fort Worth, TX, facility closed last month
and sources say Head Sports, parent of Head Golf, "has been
talking with several potential buyers for its golf equipment
division" (GOLF WORLD, 7/7 issue).

     SFM Media Corp, which was recently terminated as Nike's
media buyer when Nike consolidated its media operations at Wieden
& Kennedy, is looking to "hold" Nike to a long-term contract that
could "cost it millions," according to AD AGE.  While "ad
industry practice" does not usually call for terminated agencies
getting compensation for work performed prior to being "fired,"
as AD AGE states, SFM claims to have specifically worded its
contract to deal with this kind of situation.  As a result, SFM
is negotiating with Nike to pay commissions on more than $100M in
media buys SFM claims to have placed through '98, including buys
on NBC's NBA coverage, CBS coverage of the NCAA basketball
tournament, and CBS coverage of the '98 Olympics.  AD AGE's
Mandese & Jensen note that an executive close to the dispute
estimates more than $1M in commissions are at stake.  According
to Loeb and Loeb Partner David Carlin, no court ruling has ever
tested the trade practice, though several disputes have been
settled out of court (AD AGE, 7/10).

     The USTA will sell its licensed U.S. Open logo apparel
through Feron's Events, Inc., a NY-based company that handles all
the Open's on-site merchandise vending.  The Open Collection
includes shirts, sweats, hats, and other items.  To "hype the in-
store line," Feron's is conducting a sweepstakes giveaway.
Feron's President Robert Kaye said there is "a real need for
licensed products at the industry level; most everything sold for
tennis is now branded."  Kaye said they are just beginning a
licensing program and that a fall collection of practice-type
apparel will be introduced in November.  Other Open sponsors are
also running promotions.  Wilson, the official ball, will run a
sweepstakes in 3 million cans of its Open and Championship balls.
The sweepstakes also offers trips to the U.S. Open, Super Bowl,
or PGA Championships.  Wilson Business Dir Jill Mehrberg said
they will also "tailor custom Open promotional events for
individual accounts."  Mehrberg: "We can provide tickets for
retailers to send the winners of those events to the Open."  K-
Swiss will include an "in-store sweepstakes" where consumers are
eligible for free courtside tickets (Stuart Chirls, TENNIS
BUYER'S GUIDE, 7/95 issue).