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Volume 24 No. 156

Olympics

     Olympic stadium designers filed a $4M lawsuit Wednesday
against ACOG, claiming they spent 47,600 unpaid overtime hours
drawing the "ever-changing" facility, according to the ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION.  The suit, the first by a major ACOG contractor,
portrays designers as laboring under "chaotic conditions" and
alleges organizers "know they will have no assets left to
compensate" them after the Games.  The design team is made up of
four firms:  Ellerbe Becket, Heery International, Rosser
International, and Williams, Russell & Johnson (Michelle Hiskey,
ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/14).

     Coca-Cola unveiled its plans for its Olympic-City theme park
in Atlanta, including interactive games allowing fans to compete
against U.S. stars including Grant Hill and Shannon Miller.  The
park, scheduled to open May 23, will also include video screens
showing Olympic highlights.  In addition, members of U.S. and
other Olympic teams will make appearances throughout the Games.
Coke expects more than 800,000 visitors.  With construction
costing $20M, officials said it would be "difficult" to say
whether they would break even (Chris Roush, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
3/14).

     A survey by Georgia State Univ. shows, while 300,000 Atlanta
residents are willing to rent their homes, only about 10,000 will
find takers (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/13). ....Seats are still
available for 143 sessions in 10 Olympic sports, but events such
as swimming, diving, gymnastics, boxing, men's basketball, and
track are sold out (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/12)...."Jeopardy!"
and "Wheel of Fortune" are profiled for their role as ACOG
sponsors (ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, 3/18 issue)....Delta is offering
discounted tickets during the Games to entice customers to leave
the Atlanta area ("NBC Nightly News," 3/13)....The National
Weather Service is predicting "hotter-than-normal" temperatures
in Atlanta in July (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/12).

     ACOG has called off talks with Conde Nast's Vanity Fair on a
possible affiliation with the magazine after officials from
Sports Illustrated objected, according to AD AGE.  Keith Kelly
reports Vanity Fair's May issue will still feature Olympic
photography by Annie Leibovitz, but with no official connection.
Officials at SI were apparently "rankled" when Vanity Fair
Publisher Mitch Fox sent a letter to potential advertisers
claiming the May issue was "officially sanctioned."  Time Inc.
paid $40M for SI to be Official Publication of the Games
(ADVERTISING AGE, 3/11).

     Sony Corp. is running its "Summer Games 5-Minute Phone Card"
promo from July through September, according to BRANDWEEK.  This
"Olympic ambush" will offer a series of phone cards featuring
former U.S. Olympic champs on packages of blank floppy disks,
cassette and video tapes, and Walkman batteries.  The promo will
carry a $10 "bounce-back offer" of 30 minutes of domestic long
distance and is intended to "undercut" Panasonic's official
Olympic sponsorship.  There will be 20 Sony-branded phone cards,
supplied by Patco, featuring photos of such Olympic athletes as
Matt Biondi, Frank Shorter, Julianne MacNamara, Bruce Jenner, and
Karch Kiraly (Steve Gelsi, BRANDWEEK, 3/11).