Former UMass head coach John Calipari is taking his
trademarked "Refuse To Lose" slogan with him to the Nets,
according to the BOSTON HERALD. Nets spokesperson Gary Sussman
said while the Nets won't officially adopt the slogan, the coach
will allow it to be used in "some merchandising" (Fee & Raposa,
BOSTON HERALD, 6/11).
Mark Westerman, Fila USA's Dir of Advertising and
Communications, says showing a "creative difference" and being an
"alternative to mass distribution" will key the company's new
soccer division -- Soccer Calcio. Angelo Anastasio has been
named Dir of Soccer for Fila, and U.S. National Team star Claudio
Reyna has signed as the company's first soccer spokesperson.
Fila's first soccer products, a small collection of apparel, will
be available at retail on October 25, primarily in soccer
specialty stores and catalogs. Footwear and uniforms will be
added next year. The uniforms will be marketed with a grass-
roots approach toward colleges and high schools. Westerman notes
TV spots will hit this summer on cable and broadcast (THE DAILY).
DETAILS: Anastasio's responsibilities include product
development and merchandising, as well as marketing and
promotion. He was a player for the NASL Cosmos, a marketing exec
with both adidas and Diadora, and a World Cup USA VP for
Promotional Events. Fila's multi-year agreement with Reyna will
cover soccer apparel and footwear (Fila).
GRASS-ROOTS: As part of Fila's commitment to support youth
athletics at the grass-roots level, the company yesterday
announced plans to refurbish a youth soccer field in Washington,
DC. Other grass-roots programs include a Backboard Replacement
Program with co-sponsor Foot Locker, and a planned project to
resurface tennis courts (Fila).
ELIGIBILITY QUESTION: A FIFA rule regarding under-age
international tournaments has "jeopardized" the Olympic
eligibility of Reyna, an expected starter on the U.S. team,
according to the L.A. TIMES. According to FIFA rules, no player
can participate in the same international under-age tournament
twice. This includes the Olympics, an event designated for those
under 23. Reyna played for the U.S. in '92, and because he was
still under 23 as of January 1, FIFA Secretary-General Sepp
Blatter told the USSF that Reyna is not eligible for '96. USSF
officials, however, maintain Reyna would compete as one of the
team's three "over-age" players. He turns 23 on July 20 -- the
date of the U. S. opener against Argentina (Mike Penner, L.A.
Fox Sports will use its NFL property to make a "big splash"
at retail this Fall, according to BRANDWEEK. The network will
line up sponsors that include Wal-Mart, 7-Eleven, Miller Brewing,
Foot Locker, Champs Sports and General Mills. Last week, Fox
showed its affiliates a "comprehensive" sports promo package,
starting with a self-advertising program for its MLB schedule.
Wal-Mart is set to display Fox Sports kiosks, though it is
unclear if it would merchandise licensed apparel from Fox's
league partners. 7-Eleven, which is partnering with Fox on a MLB
promo this summer, will team with Miller Brewing to create an in-
store display "pegged" to home football parties. It will also
distribute Fox NFL schedules, as will Foot Locker and Champs.
General Mills has signed to create a watch-and-win sweeps with
Fox, "flagged" by a 50 million-circulation free-standing insert
drop and "anchored" by end-aisle displays at retail (T.L.
Stanley, BRANDWEEK, 6/10 issue).
A Seagrams ad promoting its Crown Royal label has begun
airing on NBC affiliate KRIS-TV in Corpus Christi, TX, but all
three networks say they will continue to refuse liquor ads,
according to the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The networks "quickly
pointed out," however, they can't control the practices of
affiliates they don't own. The liquor industry was "sharply
split" over the Seagrams ad. Execs are concerned Seagram moved
before the industry had time to reach a coordinated stand on the
sensitive issue of TV ads. One media exec, on where the liquor
spots might run: "The brandies are looking at A&E Networks,
Crown Royal and the mass brown goods are looking at ESPN, all the
scotches are looking at golf on broadcast and cable. And premium
white spirits, gins and vodkas will look at tennis and the
Academy Awards" (Beatty & Ono, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/12).
The NBA, as part of its 50th anniversary celebration, will
link with TNT and Sports Illustrated for a 16-week series of
advertorials featuring NBA "legends" writing about current stars.
... Converse is "nearing" a licensing deal with Lucasfilm to
distribute a line of kids' footwear in tandem with the re-release
of "Star Wars" next Spring. Converse may also get permission to
market a "Star Wars"-themed men's basketball shoe as an adult
component of the program. ... Cleveland Golf's "Great Big Deal,"
running June 15-July 31, offers buyers of new graphite shafted
VAS+ irons a free titanium driver (or two additional free irons)
and buyers of new steel-shafted irons a free metalwood driver (or
two additional irons) (BRANDWEEK, 6/10 issue)....After Tom Watson
used the Odyssey Dual Force 990 putter during his win last
weekend at The Memorial, the company is planning an ad campaign
for the putter (THE DAILY)....Reebok Dir of Public Relations Dave
Fogelson said of their deal with Allen Iverson: "It's multi-year
and it's in the seven-figure range" (WASHINGTON TIMES,
6/12)....NASCAR Winston Cup driver Mark Martin is planning to
open a racing-themed restaurant in the Daytona, FL, area. Martin
wants to launch before February's Daytona 500 (ORLANDO SENTINEL,
New Balance Athletic Shoes Inc. said yesterday it has signed
a consent agreement with the FTC to stop entering deals with
retailers that might be seen as price fixing, according to the
BOSTON GLOBE. New Balance said the agreement did not represent
any admission of wrongdoing on the shoe company's part. New
Balance was "swept up" in an FTC investigation of the shoe
industry that began five years ago and resulted in Reebok Int'l
and Stride Rite also signing consent decrees, according to New
Balance Attorney Paul Gauron. In the Reebok case, Reebok paid
$9.5M last year to settle federal and state antitrust allegations
that the company had threatened to cut off retailers that sold
shoes priced below company-mandated levels. Gauron said a
monetary settlement was not part of New Balance's deal with the
FTC, and he was unaware of any antitrust investigations against
New Balance (Chris Reidy, BOSTON GLOBE, 6/12).
FUND-RAISING: German shoe group Puma has said it raised
$45.2M in fresh capital by selling 1.39 million shares of stock
in a public offering (FINANCIAL TIMES, 6/12).
Should the Bulls clinch their fourth NBA Championship
tonight, NBA apparel licensee Starter will have a presence in the
post-game celebration with their "Locker Room" championship t-
shirts. Starter plans to print "hundreds of thousands" of the
shirts for fans at 20 different printing facilities in IL, and
five printers outside the state. Starter has set up a temporary
80,000-square-foot warehouse in Chicago to distribute the product
(Starter). In Chicago, the Sportmart locations at Ontario and La
Salle will stay open until 1:30am CDT to sell the Starter Locker
Room shirts -- if the Bulls win. The retailer will close at its
regular time, then re-open immediately after the game should the
Bulls be champions (Fred Mitchell, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/12).