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Volume 24 No. 156

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

     St. Louis has mascot mania.  Jeff Gordon of the ST. LOUIS
POST-DISPATCH writes, "In an otherwise bleak season, one long-
maligned Cardinals performer finally has come into his own" --
Fredbird, the Cardinals mascot.  Fredbird, once "pretty lame,"
now is finding more success and fan acclaim. Cardinals President
Mark Lamping:  "As long as what he does is well received by fans,
he can do it."  Gordon writes the "real key ... is that
management lets Fredbird be Fredbird."  Billy the Marlin is
rooting for his colleague:  "We try to get people in that make
believe world.  I mean Billy the Marlin is really a walking fish.
Sometimes you do crazy things" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 8/24).
     BEHAVE YOURSELF, PHANATIC-SAN:  The Phillies received a
notice from the league office to remind the Phanatic "not to
perform any stunts that might be offensive" to Hideo Nomo or the
"large number of Asian-Americans" expected to attended tonight's
Dodger/Phillies game (L.A. TIMES, 8/25).
     JAY'S WAY:  In Seattle on Wednesday, Buhner's Buzz Night saw
over 611 fans, including at least two women, get their heads
shaved in honor of rightfielder Jay Buhner.  The newly bald fans
received free tickets to sit in right field. Buhner called it
"the perfect opportunity to get in on the grunge look.  It's
pretty flattering that someone would actually want to have my
bald look."  Despite their hero going 0-4, Buhner's fans were
heard to be screaming:   "We've got bald heads, yes we do.  We've
got bald heads, how 'bout you!" (Gary Brooks, TACOMA NEWS
TRIBUNE, 8/24).

     Kmart Corp. announced yesterday it will sell its remaining
29% stake in The Sports Authority Inc.  The company's 6 million
shares in the sporting goods chain will be offered to the public
and Kmart will take the proceeds from the sale.  During TSA's
November IPO, Kmart reduced its holdings from 100% to about 29%
(Mult., 8/25).

     Coca-Cola has signed on as the fourth major sponsor of the
College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend.  Coke joins Alka-
Seltzer, the U.S. Postal Service and Burger King.  Each paid
between $250,000-600,000 (AD AGE ONLINE, 8/25).... Advantage
Int'l is seeking sponsors for the '95 Int'l Open of Golf held at
the Sports Frances Club in Santiago, Chile, from November 9-12.
Current sponsors include Nissan, Philips, Texaco and United
Airlines (Advantage)....Orlando columnist Brian Schmitz on the
Taco Bell "War on the Floor" between Hakeem Olajuwon and
Shaquille O'Neal:  "Refried schemes" (ORLANDO SENTINEL,
8/25)....FROM GOLFWEEK EXTRA: Lee Janzen has left Golden Bear
Sports Management and signed with Leader Enterprises, which
represents Payne Stewart and Paul Azinger. ... McDermott Int'l
Inc. has joined Freeport-McMoRan as co-sponsor of the annual PGA
Tour event in New Orleans. It will now be called the Freeport
McDermott Classic (GOLFWEEK EXTRA, 8/24)....The AHL's Carolina
Monarchs unveiled their new logo and colors.  The change was part
of the Florida  Panthers affiliation with the team and was
designed by Sean Michael Edwards Design.  The colors will be
Pantheresque red, navy, yellow, and gold (Monarchs).

     Monica Seles has shown that she has not changed much on-the-
court following her return to tennis, but one thing is different
-- Seles now wears Nike shoes and apparel.  Seles had been
outfitted by Fila, but that relationship fell into a legal
dispute during her lay-off.  According to Nike PR Manager Judy
Campbell, it is Nike's intention "to build a long-term lasting
relationship."  As is company policy, Campbell declined to
dislcose terms of the deal.  Campbell said Nike will start
shooting a commercial with Seles today that will air during the
U.S. Open over Labor Day weekend.  Fila USA Sponsorship
Consultant Martin Mulligan declined to comment on the pending
legal matters (THE DAILY).

     Marketers turning up the ad-blitz to sell Raiders tickets in
Oakland unveiled their newest ad campaign.  It "juxtaposes the
Raiders' bad-boy image with the luxuries offered to fans who buy
club seats, including waiter-service and free close-in parking."
The ads, aimed at "upscale corporate fans," encourage them to "be
a corporate Raider" and "watch extreme carnage in extreme
comfort."  The ads focus on seats that won't be available until
after the '96 stadium renovation, but Marketing Dir Max Muhleman
said the intention is to send the message that "the entire
Coliseum would be new and improved in 1996" (OAKLAND TRIBUNE,

     Nike is forced to change their marketing plans in the wake
of KiJana Carter's season-ending knee injury.  Carter had signed
on with Nike Sports Management and figured prominently in the
company's portfolio, including filming him for Nike's
"centerpiece commercial for the NFL season."  But Carter's injury
forced Nike officials to cancel the shoot.  Colts running back
Marshall Faulk will participate in Carter's place (Vancouver
PROVINCE, 8/25).

     Michael Rubin, the 23-year old founder of KPR Sports, which
recently purchased Ryka, is interviewed in the current SPORTING
GOODS BUSINESS.  Rubin speaks of his plans for the women's
footwear company and why the "cash-strapped" show-maker appealed
to him.  Rubin says he believes "the equity in the Ryka brand
name far outweighs the volume of the brand currently."  An
immediate goal is to get Ryka "under financial control," with
Steven Wolf of Ellesse having been hired as the company's CFO.
On plans for the Ryka line:  "We discontinued the outdoor
category immediately.  I don't think it's a category that is
really what Ryka's image and heritage is all about. ... We are
going to enter the running business for spring '97, which we
believe fits very well into Ryka's philosophy."  Within six
months to a year, Rubin predicts the signing of a "strong
licensee which we can have a lot of control over or we'll start
to do apparel slowly."  Rubin expressed the hope that Ryka will
be able to show the growth "that an Avia had five years ago"
(SGB, 8/95 issue).