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Volume 24 No. 116

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

     The "mighty marketing machine" that is the NBA is "grinding
to a halt because of an all-too-familiar monkey wrench:  a labor
dispute with its players," writes Jeff Jensen in this week's AD
AGE.  "Worse, the threat of a prolonged imbroglio between NBA
owners and players is jeopardizing the already shaky health of
the $11 billion sports licensing industry, just as it was
beginning to appear that all four leagues... were regaining the
synergy that's required for the industry to thrive."  According
to Jensen, "many licensees say retailers are preparing for the
worst by ordering less NBA merchandise than usual, and those
retailers that have yet to place orders, like the influential
national chain Pro Image, say they are taking a wait-and-see
posture."  Jensen also says "a major licensing deal" with Reebok
is "on hold" pending resolution of the NBA dispute.  Tom Shine, a
Pacers' Board member and President & CEO of Logo 7:  "I'm very
concerned.  The track record has been set by baseball.  The map
they've drawn has shown retailers the way the game has to be
played."  Jensen reports that Logo 7 has "seen orders for NBA
merchandise drop 25% from this time a year ago."  According to
Jensen, "analysts say the NBA enjoyed a strong spring, propelled
by an integrated marketing campaign created by Berlin Cameron
Doly, (now Fallon McElligott Berlin), New York, that was
unprecedented among pro sports leagues" -- even though numbers
for the '94-95 season are not in yet (AD AGE, 7/17).

     L.A. Gear reported a fiscal second-quarter loss of $5.9M or
$.34 cents a share, compared with an $11.8M, or $.59 cents a
share, loss over the same period on '94.  L.A. Gear "warned that
full-year sales may be affected after Wal-Mart Stores failed to
adhere to a minimum annual-purchase agreement."  Wal-Mart will
buy only $45M in L.A. Gear footwear, not the expected $80M (WALL
STREET JOURNAL, 7/18). ....Converse's acquisition of Apex One
will result in Converse-manufactured uniforms for the upcoming
college basketball season at the Univ.'s of Georgia, Nebraska,
Minnesota, South Carolina, and New Mexico (BRANDWEEK, 7/17).
....Advantage Int'l has a signed golfer Mark McCumber to a
management contract (GOLF WEEK, 7/15 issue)....20th Century Fox
has bought the rights to the screenplay for "The Curse of the
Bambino," a comedy about a Red Sox fan trying to break the curse
to help his dying father.  Casting will begin soon, and shooting
will is scheduled for April (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/16)....Easton Sports
of Burlington, CA, has signed the Yankees' Paul O'Neil and the
Astros' Jeff Bagwell to endorsement contracts.  They will both
use and endorse Easton batting gloves and wristbands (NSGA RETAIL
FOCUS, 7/95 issue).... Baseball FanFest will make its first
appearance outside North America when it goes to London next
month for three days (MLB)....Kraft, who has re-upped their NFL
sponsorship deal for a reported $3M, will run a national
promotion with Kraft cheese, Oscar Meyer, and Louis Rich tying in
21 NFL teams (BRANDWEEK, 7/17 issue)....The ESPN Chilton Sports
Poll announced the addition of Toyota as a Charter Sponsor of its
sports marketing research.  Toyota is the first auto company to
purchase ESPN Chilton's research (ESPN Chilton)....PF Sports
Ventures, a subsidiary of Photo File, will run their annual
promotion offering fans a chance to win the title of "National
Baseball Trivia Champion."  A scaled-down promo will be
introduced this month in USA Today's BASEBALL WEEKLY, with the
full program launched in '96 (Photo File)....The NFL's "Air It
Out" four-on-four flag football tournament, presented by
Budweiser, Gatorade, and Ocean Spray, will be in Detroit from
August 12-13 (Lions).

     The '95-96 selling season for NFL-licensed merchandise is
examined by Dana Parker of NSGA's RETAIL FOCUS.  Parker surveyed
retailers and manufacturers on the coming season, and "although
the market is becoming increasingly regionalized ... overall
bookings are up and prospects look bright."  The Cowboys and
49ers remain on top in popularity and most agree they are the
only teams with national appeal.  But "almost everyone agrees"
that 1995's "number three team appears to be the Patriots."  Rich
Heller at Champion Products said Drew Bledsoe is "the hottest
single player in replicas."  Of the rookies, Bengals' KiJana
Carter is "creating the most excitement."  Among new and
relocated teams, the expansion Panthers and Jaguars are creating
little interest except "in their home markets," and sales of St.
Louis Rams gear "are being hampered by a late start plus the fact
they haven't changed colors."  Some retailers predict a new trend
away from authentic, to "a gradual shift of interest to the
fashion side."  Industry experts also cite the work stoppages in
baseball and hockey as well as Reebok's entry into the NFL-
licensed market as a boost to the NFL.  Steve Diamond of Gaylan's
Trading Co. in Indiana said Reebok brings "some different looks
... They have the potential to do real well" (RETAIL FOCUS,
7/95).
     NINERS THROW AWAY "THROWBACKS": The 49ers have shelved plans
to wear a special jersey during the upcoming season, replacing
their '55-replica "throwback" jersey with their standard gold and
red look.  49ers President Carmen Policy said they had discussed
a special uniform, but were talked out of the idea by the league.
Policy said that team will "put together a 50th anniversary
uniform for 1996 and will gain help in designing it from NFL
Properties, players and TV networks" (Clark Judge, SAN JOSE
MERCURY NEWS, 7/18).
     LOGO MADNESS: USA TODAY's "In Focus" scrutinizes new  logos
for pro teams.  Logo changes won't happen next season in
baseball, since the strike has put a "hold" on all new looks.
MLB Properties VP/Design Services Anne Occi:  "The owners felt
very strongly about not causing either our licensees, retailers
or fans to have more additional costs or be stuck with
inventory."  The Astros logo change in '94 is profiled as the
team has moved into the top 10 in MLB-licensed merchandise sales.
Occi said that alternative uniforms and second and third caps
"are where the tide in baseball is going" (Gary Mihoces, USA
TODAY, 7/18).

     Nike plans to begin its first campaign in October to
leverage the company's "unofficial ties to the U.S. Women's
Olympic Basketball Team," according to Steve Gelsi in BRANDWEEK.
The Air Swoopes effort, linked to the show named after U.S.
Women's team star Sheryl Swoopes, is the focal point of "an
intensive pitch towards women."  The campaign features six
Olympic team players -- Swoopes, Dawn Staley, Lisa Leslie, Teresa
Edwards, and Ruthie Bolton-Holifield, all Nike sponsors -- and is
expected to run through the '96 Olympics.  The first round of ads
will be produced by Wieden & Kennedy, Portland.  Nike anticipates
the campaign will run on ESPN and other nets, during women's
college basketball, and U.S. women's team games.  According to
Gelsi, the ads thematically follow earlier Nike spot on women's
soccer and volleyball.  Nike Sports Marketing Manager Sue Levin
"said positive feedback on the soccer ad compelled Nike to
continue its emphasis on team and sport rather than individual
stars" (BRANDWEEK, 7/17 issue).

     This morning's CHICAGO TRIBUNE looks at the "boom" in Roller
Hockey.  A study released yesterday at the NSGA World Sports Expo
in Chicago showed that in-line hockey is now played by 2.2
million U.S. children and adults.  NSGA Assoc Dir of Research and
Information Thomas Doyle:  "The only question I have is whether
it will eventually overtake basketball.  I'm not sure it will,
but I expect it to be close."  There are more than 400 in-line
booths at the NSGA show, up from 250 last year.  The TRIBUNE's
Bob Condor writes that most industry observes expect Nike, owner
of manufacturer Canstar, to "fully glide into roller and street
hockey apparel in the near future" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 7/18).
     WHAT'S HOT:  This week's NEWSWEEK looks at "The Good, the
Bad, and the Ugly" at the NSGA show.  Among the highlights:
"Sock-et," which enables runners to hold on to keys and cash in
hidden pockets, and the "Walkvest," where 16 pounds of weights
can added into pockets for true walking exercise enjoyment
(NEWSWEEK, 7/24 issue).

     The Fiesta Bowl is searching for a title sponsor for their
game pitting the two top-ranked teams in the Bowl Alliance on
January 2.  CBS will air the game.  Raycom in Charlotte, NC is
handling. Call (212) 302-4072 if interested....The U.S. Women's
National Team Gymnastics Training Center in Colorado Springs is
looking to align with five additional corporate sponsors at costs
ranging from $10,000 to $215,000. Call (719) 260-1893 (AD AGE,
7/17 issue)....Killington Ski Resort in Vermont is seeking
sponsors for its '95-96 skiing events program and snowboard
program.  Sponsorships include on-site presence, corporate
display, regional and national media coverage with exposure to
over 1 million people.  Title sponsorships are $150,000 with
event deals ranging from $2,000-15,000. If interested, contact
Bret Smith at (802)-422-6735 (Killington).