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Volume 24 No. 155

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

     Bob Gutkowski, former President of MSG, will reportedly form
a new company called The Marquee Group that will specialize in
sports and entertainment event management.  A source told this
morning's N.Y. POST, "They're aiming to do what Mike Ovitz did
with CAA.  That is, to provide a one-stop shop for everything
from arranging, promoting and staging events to selling it to
sponsors and the networks."  Gutkowski will reportedly be joined
by "several companies already active in marketing, agenting and
producing."  The venture is expected to be announced Wednesday at
Manhattan's Reebok Sports Club (Neal Travis, N.Y. POST, 12/15).

     Topps reported a 13% decline in net income for the third
quarter (ended November 25).  Net income totaled $1.3M, down from
$1.5M last year.  Topps, which closed at $4.688, up 6.25 cents,
cited the decline in card sales (WALL STREET JOURNAL,
12/15)....The CBA has retained Advantage Int'l to create a series
of exhibition games overseas next summer.  The CBA will give its
players the opportunity to participate, while allowing Advantage
to market the events (CBA)....Easton has combined four of its
separate operations into a new Team Sports Division.  The
division will combine sales, marketing and promotion functions
with development, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution
(Easton)....In Chicago, Barry Temkin notes recent recommendations
by an NCAA committee that included treating manufacturers who
have contracts with schools like boosters.  For example, Nike
would not be allowed to talk to prospects of schools with which
it has contracts.  That recommendation received "a mixed
reception" among certain "NCAA constituencies" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE,
12/15)....Oscar De La Hoya, who will fight Jesse James Leija
tonight at Madison Square Garden, is being well marketed in
Manhattan, according to this morning's L.A. TIMES.  Steve
Springer writes De La Hoya's image "is everywhere" in New Yrok --
 billboards, newspaper racks, and TV screens.   Ticket sales for
tonight have been strong, with 14,000 already sold (L.A. TIMES,
12/15)....Reebok is offering customers who visit its new Planet
Reebok store in King of Prussia, PA, a free T-shirt upon mention
of its ad in today's papers (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 12/15)....In
Boston, where BayBanks and Bank of Boston have merged, the
HERALD's Steff Gelson notes it is still unclear whether hockey
legend Bobby Orr will continue to pitch for BayBanks (BOSTON
HERALD, 12/14)....The D.C. United of the MLS has selected Arnold
Advertising of Washington as its agency of record.  Billings are
estimated to be $2.5M over the next three years (ADWEEK, 12/11
issue)....Picabo Street, whose signing with Nike Sports
Management was announced yesterday, is profiled in this week's
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.  Street, who declined appearances on
Letterman and Leno after her medal winning performance in '94,
appeared on Sesame Street instead.  Street's father, Stubby:  "We
said to hell with Letterman and Leno.  We don't need any late-
night, white, yuppie humor.  By the 2002 Olympics, people
watching Leno will be in rest homes.  Picabo talked to the kids.
They'll be in the mainstream" (SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, 12/18 issue).

     Snowboarding is gaining in popularity and acceptance, but
even as the sport gains Olympic medal status in '98, many resorts
continue to ban it.  The N.Y. TIMES reports that even though the
number of major board manufacturers has increased to nearly 20
and snowboarding visits at ski areas rose 17% last season,
resorts such as Park City and Keystone continue their bans,
claiming boarders are too reckless.  Eric Blehm, Managing Editor
of Transworld Snowboarding:  "Resorts like theirs will have to
change because financially, they'll have to.  Families who go on
vacation want to go to mountains that allow both snowboarding and
skiing."  NSGA reports the number of U.S. snowboarders grew from
1.5 million in '90 to 2.1 million in '94, while the alpine skiers
dropped from 11.4 million to 10.6 million during the same period
(Barbara Lloyd, N.Y. TIMES, 12/14).
     ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF GROWTH:  Marker International of Salt
Lake City and DNR Sportsystem of Switzerland will begin
construction on a new 45,000-square-foot snowboard manufacturing
facility in UT.  Production capabilities after the completion of
the first phase of construction will be 200,000 snowboards
annually (Marker International).
Japan is planning to design and develop ski areas owned by local
governments and corporations in Japan.  The company will
concentrate on marketing, advertising and retailing while
designing ski areas.  Mizuno will develop three areas within the
next two years, including one in Nagano (KYODO NEWS SERVICE,