Sales of Jaguars merchandise are so "phenomenal" in the
Jacksonville area that JCPenney has had to fly in new product,
according to Earl Daniels of the FLORIDA TIMES- UNION. During
the three weeks after the Hall of Fame Game on July 29, the
"combined four area stores racked up Jaguars sales that were 90
percent above last year's," according to NFL Properties Senior
Marketing Manager Jack Fitzgibbons. Fitzgibbons: "They are
improving from a pretty good number, not zero revenue." JCPenney
officials say that sales of Jaguars merchandise in area stores is
"double the amount of Panther garb sold in JCPenney stores in the
Charlotte area." A recent JCPenney sweepstakes resulted in a 23%
increase in Jags sales (FLORIDA TIMES UNION, 9/9).
ON THE PATH OF FAKE MERCHANDISE: Investigators with NFL
Properties were in St. Louis this weekend to put the kibosh on
the sale of unauthorized or counterfeit merchandise. NFL
Propoerties spokesperson Brian McCarthy said the Rams have jumped
from the bottom third in merchandise sales to the top 12, based
on figures through June. A full-page ad ran in Friday's ST.
LOUIS POST-DISPATCH warning of "fake" merchandise (Lorraine Kee,
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/10).
Your eyes weren't deceiving you if you though you saw Juan
Valdez sitting at the U.S. Open. Valdez, the fictional
spokesperson for Columbian Coffee is known "to turn up in
unexpected places," and one of those was the U.S. Open. Carlos
Sanchez, the actor who portrays Valdez in ads, was at the
tournament as part of a promotion by DDB Needham Worldwide
Marketing/New York for the National Federation of Coffee Growers
of Colombia. The federation was a sponsor of the Open, and
offered free coffee to fans. Peter le Comte, President of DDB
Needham Worldwide Marketing: "It's our first foray into sports
marketing and we wanted to maximize the exposure." Valdez was
seated where he would be visible during CBS' coverage of the
event (N.Y. TIMES, 9/11).
SIGNAGE REPORT: The following is a list of some of the
companies that had signage at the 1995 U.S. Open. STADIUM
PORTALS: Infiniti, FujiFilm, Redbook Magazine, Prudential
Securities, Chase, Mass Mutual; STADIUM COURTSIDE: Heineken,
Cafe de Colombia, FujiFilm, Redbook, Mass Mutual, USTA, Infiniti;
TIME CLOCKS: Citizen; SPEED INDICATORS: IBM; STADIUM BANNERS:
Mass Mutual, WTA Tour, USTA, Chase; BALL PERSON KNEE MATS: K-
Swiss; BLIMP: Fuji. The linesmen and ballpersons were outfitted
by Fila (THE DAILY).
In L.A., Bill Plaschke writes on the "bandanna issue" in the
NFL. Although the league considered last spring to ban bandannas
after complaints from high school coaches and community leaders
citing gang influences, NFL Properties has "had a change of
heart" -- they licensed a retailer to sell the bandannas (L.A.
TIMES, 9/10)....USA TODAY's "Ad Track" is for Taco Bell's "Double
Decker" ads featuring Shaquille O'Neal and Hakeem Olajuwon.
Their "effectiveness -- 42% of those who knew the ads said they
were very effective -- attests to the power of using sports stars
to sell fast food." Taco Bell's Jerry Gramaglia said the company
sold more than $50M worth of Double Deckers in July when the ads
were running (USA TODAY, 9/11)....The latest in snowboards,
skateboards, surfboards, and swimwear attracted 16,693 people to
the Action Sports Retailer Trade Expo in San Diego (Action
Sports)....Hakeem Olajuwon's business venture, Pure Tejano Water,
is profiled by Lisa Rodriguez of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE. The
product is positioned to the Hispanic market (HOUSTON CHRONICLE,
9/11)....Sergei Fedorov reported to Red Wings camp with a new
three-year deal with Nike. He will wear Nike skates this year,
and will help the company develop its hockey equipment line
(DETROIT NEWS, 9/11).
Stock in Cobra Golf jumped 4 3/8 on Friday to 36 7/8 as
rumors hit that "the premium golf club maker" would be acquired
by American Brands Inc. for about $480M, according to the N.Y.
POST. CNBC financial correspondent Dan Dorfman reported that "an
American Brands-Cobra deal is near. It's a good fit. ... Cobra
insiders, who own about 40 percent of the stock are willing
sellers." Analysts say an offer would likely range from $40-46 a
share. A combination "does make sense," according to the N.Y.
POST. An acquisition of Cobra would build on American Brands'
"already strong" Titleist and FootJoy brands (N.Y. POST, 9/9).
The sale of merchandise involving Cal Ripken and his
consecutive game streak has been overwhelming according to the
Orioles VP/Business & Finance Joe Foss. Foss: "It's gone beyond
everybody's wildest expectations." The team sold all 80,000
souvenir books at $10 each and 3,000 baseballs at $20 each on
Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. An additional 50,000 souvenir
books have been ordered (WASHINGTON POST, 9/9). Sales of Ripken-
related merchandise could hit $100M over the next 90 days, writes
Bruce Horovitz of USA TODAY. Among the "hottest" limited-edition
items include Louisville Slugger autographed bats and baseball
jerseys. Ken Goldin of Score Board says 75% of 2,131 bats are
sold, while Ad Magic's Marty Goodman has sold 800 of 1,000
jerseys. Many of Ripken's licensing companies will donate some
proceeds to charity (USA TODAY, 9/11). The Baltimore SUN sold
about 387,000 additional copies of Wednesday's and Thursday's
papers (Baltimore SUN, 9/9).
The Intel World Chess Championships, which begin today atop
the World Trade Center, was featured in a front-page piece in
yesterday's N.Y. TIMES. "Virtually everything about the
championship match -- its dramatic setting; its sponsorship by a
multinational giant ... its television coverage, its relatively
cheap admission ($15) --is testimony to [World Champion Gary]
Kasporav's desire to make the game more exciting, more
democratic, more of a permanent fixture in sports and
entertainment. And, perhaps most pertinently, more commercial."
The match will be played under the guise of the "upstart"
Professional Chess Association, which Kasporav helped form in '93
in "an angry split" from the International Chess Federation
(Bruce Weber, N.Y. TIMES, 9/10). Peter Truell of the N.Y. TIMES
looks at the "tussle" between IBM and Intel for title sponsorship
of the event. Truell writes, "As chess becomes more commercial,
its promoters are adopting the high-pressure tactics common to
popular spectator sports." Intel's '95 sponsorship of the PCA
was between $3-4M, with the bulk toward prize money and the
"balance used to stage events." The event will also have
widespread TV coverage on ESPN and Eurosport, the European Sports
Network (N.Y. TIMES, 9/10).