ADVERTISERS LOOK FOR SLAM DUNK WITH NCAA MARCH MADNESS
CNN's "Moneyline" examined the NCAA men's basketball
tournament -- a "blue chip event" for advertisers -- and noted
when it comes to commercials during the games, the "best pitchmen
are often on the sidelines." Steiner Sports Marketing President
Brandon Steiner said a lot of the coaches "have great
personalities, they're fun and they have tremendous longevity at
these universities." The piece featured two spots: the Taco Bell
ad starring Bobby Knight, Rick Pitino, and John Thompson; and a
Degree ad with John Calipari, Tubby Smith, and Jim Harrick. DDB
Needham Worldwide Account Supervisor Tracy Zirin: "John Calipari
said that people stop him on the street and yell, 'Hey, coach,
you got your Degree on?' ... So we know it's having some impact
out there in the marketplace." CNN noted advertisers are paying
up to $600,000 for a 30-second spot in this year's finals and
that, overall, network profitability is a "slam dunk"
("Moneyline," CNN, 3/20).
HOOPS MADNESS: In the academic year from July '94-June '95,
UConn men's and women's basketball licensed products generated
$12M in retail sales (Patricia Seremet, HARTFORD COURANT, 3/21).
UMass officials want to add 14 luxury boxes to the Mullin Center
and add $8,000 signs to the front of the press table. UMass
currently generates $323,637 from its 17 sponsors. UConn, which
plays in the "more lucrative" Big East, has seen sponsorship
revenue rise from $250,000 to $3M since '89 (David Halbfinger,
BOSTON GLOBE, 3/21).