Anheuser-Busch will launch a broad basketball-themed
campaign that will include on-premise merchandise and game
components as the company moves toward "edgier themes" this year
trying to "strike a chord" with younger consumers and get the Bud
brand growing again, according to BRANDWEEK.
The "Talk the Talk" campaign kicks off next month. Timed to
coincide with the NCAA Final Four and the NBA Playoffs, the
campaign will offer "stark, hooded sweatshirts and other logoed
apparel." "Talk the Talk" gear will have such sayings as "Get
out your umbrella...it's gonna rain 3's." "Talk the Talk"
specifically supports the Bud and Bud Light brands. On-premise,
A-B will have two promos behind Bud Light -- "Get in the Game,"
which taps into the popular "quarterbouncers" table-top game; and
"March to the Championship," a merchandise promo tied to the
Final Four. Sources say the programs reflect more input from A-
B's Brand Management VP August Busch IV and "portends more
radical things to come" (Gerry Khermouch, BRANDWEEK, 2/19 issue).
MORE BUD NEWS: A-B plans to put images of Olympic
activities on cans of Bud this summer, marking the first time the
beer's label has been significantly altered. The effort is part
of A-B's $100M promotional campaign for its Olympic sponsorship
(ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 2/21).
Coca-Cola Co. will use the themeline "For the Fans" to
reinforce the relationship between Coca-Cola, Olympic athletes
and the fans in advertising supporting its sponsorship of the '96
Summer Games, according to ADWEEK. A major component of Coke's
Olympic-related advertising is a TV campaign called "Fan-
Athlete," which celebrates fans and their role in inspiring
athletes to excel. Portland, OR-based Wieden & Kennedy is
producing the five different spots, which sources say cost nearly
$1M to produce. The campaign will run up to the Games, and Coke
will run traditional brand advertising during the Games. Coke
has two other Olympic related campaigns: "Journey," which
highlights non-athletes' involvement in the Games; and a TV
campaign showcasing black-and-white archival Olympic photos of
fans and athletes drinking Coke (ADWEEK, 2/12 issue).
OTHER OLYMPIC NEWS: Chicago-based Bayer Bess, which has
Motorola's corporate ad account, and J. Walter Thompson USA
Chicago, the agency for Motorola's Cellular operations, are
competing for the company's Olympic ad work (George Lazarus,
CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/19)....General Mills will launch a special
limited-edition "Team USA Cheerios" as part of its sponsorship of
the U.S. Olympic Team. The company said the new product will
result in higher promotional spending for the fiscal 4th quarter
While some breweries have cut back and even stopped sports
sponsorships, Labatt's British arm "appears to have reversed the
trend," turning high-profile sports sponsorships into sales
gains, according to the GLOBE & MAIL. Since launching its first
British product in '88, the Toronto-based Labatt has acquired
more than 3% of the total British beer market, putting its
product "on equal footing" with such brands as Budweiser, Coors
and Guinness. Labatt Marketing Manager David Radford says much
of the success is due to their relationship with the Nottingham
Forest football club. Rather than the approach of saturation
advertising, Radford says Labatt used its experience with the
Blue Jays to set up team-oriented bars and promotions, subsidize
bus trips for out-of-town games and host pub nights for live
broadcasts. According to Radford, sales have gone "through the
roof" in the team's home region, and the brewery dominates
international sales there. This is in contrast to other foreign
brewers who prefer to simply use sponsored teams as "walk-on"
stars in national ad campaigns (Michael McCormack, Toronto GLOBE
& MAIL, 2/21).
Coors has teamed up with the Amateur Softball Association to
create the Coors Light Presents USA Softball World Series, the
first comprehensive, nationwide, slow-pitch softball championship
(Coors)....The Jackson, MS-based Godwin Group was recently named
agency of record for Russell Corp.'s license products division.
In addition to creating advertising for Russell's Chalk Line
brand, an account it won in September, '94, the agency will
handle advertising, marketing, PR, and research for The Game, PGA
Tours Apparel and Russell Athletic Licensed goods (ADWEEK, 2/12
issue).... Nike has consolidated its national track club
affiliates into one club, now named "Nike." The only exception
is Kermit Foster's Nike Atlantic Coast Club (USAT&F)....Cliff
Brady, agent to Bryan Cox, before Cox signed with the Bears: "I
think (Chicago) is worth more in endorsements, but that's all a
side issue. I'm not going to figure on half a million in
endorsements and take half a million less on the contract.
Absolutely not" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/20).... Denny's has signed on
as the largest national sponsor for the Harlem Globetrotter's
70th Anniversary "Bring You the World" tour, and as such will
provide 200 tickets to deserving children from local Save the
Children programs (Denny's)....During the Kentucky-Alabama game
last night, ESPN's Dick Vitale and Brad Nessler showed off the
new Kentucky Cons-Blue uniforms, featuring a more denim-like look
as opposed to their traditional blue (ESPN, 2/20).
Cobra Golf has agreed to be presenting sponsor of the '96
PGA Club Professional Championship and the '96 PGA Senior Club
Professional Championship. This is the third consecutive year
Cobra Golf has sponsored these events. The Club Professional
Championship is September 26-29, hosted by the PGA West Resort in
La Quinta, CA. The Senior PGA Club Professional Championship
will be September, 17-20 at the Ibis Golf and Country Club in
West Palm Beach, Fla (Cobra).
MORE GOLF NEWS: In a move to consolidate resources, Golf
Enterprises Inc. has agreed to sell nearly half its courses to
National Golf Properties Inc. and merge with a new corporation to
be affiliated with American Golf Corp. (Adam Barr, GOLFWEEK, 2/17
DISNEY: Wilson Sporting Goods announced a licensing
agreement with The Walt Disney Co. for the rights to license the
Mickey & Co. Sports Club and Mickey Unlimited brands. These
brands will join the Wilson brand ID on football, baseball,
basketball and street hockey products in both mass market and
sporting goods outlets and soccer products in mass market chains.
Cubs 1B Mark Grace will launch the program by wearing a glove
featuring Mickey Mouse and Wilson markings this season. The
complete line of co-branded Wilson-Mickey & Co. products come out
this month (Wilson).
BULA: Wilson's golf division also reached an agreement in
principle with CO-based Bula, Inc., to manufacture Wilson-branded
golf apparel. Bula began selling Wilson Logo headwear at the PGA
Merchandising Show in Orlando, and, through a sister company,
will start producing apparel in the spring. Ron Addison,
Wilson's Business Manager for Golf Gloves and Support Products,
said Bula's "ability to design and produce small quantities with
individualized point-of-purchase materials in as little as 72
hours will greatly benefit Wilson Golf's merchandising efforts."
Addison said fabrics such as CoolMax AkwaTek, found in Bula's
headwear, will help establish new standards for golf-wear