Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 112
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.


     The NFL has signed Nike to a five-year licensing deal
estimated at $200M, only one month after the league took aim at
Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones' signing of Nike as sponsor of Texas
Stadium.  According to Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES, the
NFL has been trying to make a deal with Nike "for several
months," but was "derailed" by Jones.  Sandomir reports,
"Although NFL Properties got Nike back to the negotiating table,
its deal with Nike might have been larger if not for Jones."
Nike now becomes an NFL Pro Line licensee allowing them to supply
uniforms and apparel for coaches and sideline personnel, as well
as to sell Pro Line apparel in retail outlets.  Nike will also
buy air time on NFL network broadcasts and work with the league
on developing youth programs.  NFL Properties President Sara
Levinson said the Nike deal does not change their legal position
and that their $300M lawsuit against Jones over his Nike and
Pepsi deals will continue (N.Y. TIMES, 10/9).  On NBC's pregame
show, Will McDonough reported that the NFL-Nike deal could have
been announced three months ago and for more money, "but Jerry
screwed it up" ("NFL on NBC," 10/8).  An NFL release refers to
the Nike agreement as "the largest deal in the history of team
sports licensing" (NFL).
     TIRED OF TALKING:  In his Sunday BOSTON GLOBE column,
McDonough reports that Jones will file an antitrust lawsuit
against the league.  Jones:  "I've had my fill of talking and
getting nothing resolved."  Jones said after making his arguments
before the NFL owners' special committee, "they know now, and
acknowledge, that I did not break any rules."  Jones added --
with the Jaguars' Wayne Weaver in mind -- "I hope that some of
the owners who took this action against me weren't doing the same
things that I have done.  Wayne was one of the guys that voted to
sue.  He may be more guilty of [violating NFL Properties
agreements] than anything I have ever done.  He might have a hard
time trying to explain his actions in court.  Our suit will get
to the core of the issue.  It will be antitrust" (BOSTON GLOBE,
     WARRING PARTNERS:  Jones joins Raiders Owner Al Davis with a
lawsuit pending against the league.  49ers President Carmen
Policy:  "Let's get on with it.  Let's get to court once and for
all and find out what the deal is.  These guys only care about
themselves."  Bills Owner Ralph Wilson:  "These owners are going
to tear our league apart.  We get a great labor agreement.  We
get a great television deal.  Everything should be great, and our
own partners are suing us.  Well, before they know it, these $200
million franchises will be worth $50 million in a hurry because
of their actions" (Will McDonough, BOSTON GLOBE, 10/9). Patriots
CEO Bob Kraft, interviewed during halftime of TNT's coverage of
the Patriots/Broncos:  "Jerry is one of the smartest marketing
and sales people I know, but sometimes his style can be something
that is abrasive to other people.  But his ideas are great.  This
is 1995, the year of the internet, we're coming into the
millennium, and I think we have to look at different ways of
marketing our product."  Kraft on a possible Jones countersuit:
"I really hope that we can settle this in the family -- and I
believe that we will do that. ... We have the best
sports/entertainment product in America, TNT knows that, and we
have to make sure we don't do anything to damage that" ("NFL on
TNT," 10/8).
     AMEX DEAL:  As expected, Jones announced another deal
outside of NFL Properties, making AmEx "the official charge and
credit card" of Texas Stadium and the only card accepted for
Cowboys season-ticket purchases (Greg Clarkin, N.Y. POST, 10/7).
Visa is the official credit card of the NFL.