First USA is now offering the PGA and Senior PGA Tour
non-annual-fee MasterCard credit cards, which are available
this week at the Senior PGA Tour's Royal Caribbean Classic
in Key Biscayne, FL. Proceeds from card use will benefit
tournament charities (First USA).
BOSS-MAN: Hugo Boss will make its debut into the golf
apparel market with the first collection of "Hugo Boss Golf"
apparel hitting stores in Spring/Summer '98. As part of the
launch, the company has signed Phil Mickelson to a long-term
endorsement deal, joining Seve Ballesteros and Bernhard
Langer (Hugo Boss).
Ford Motor Co. and its local dealerships will be the
title sponsors of the Motor City Bowl on December 26, at the
Silverdome. Although financial figures were not disclosed,
George Perles, the game's Exec Dir, said, "Ford is playing a
large role financially. Very large" (DETROIT FREE PRESS,
1/31)....A survey conducted 24-hours after Super Bowl XXXI
reveals that PepsiCo was the "most-recalled" advertiser.
Ferndale, MI-based Saa/Research conducted a nationwide phone
poll of 306 consumers: 52% recalled PepsiCo ads; 36%,
Budweiser; 18%, Nissan; 10%, Oscar Mayer; and 8%, Coca-Cola
(N.Y. TIMES, 1/31)....With its IPO in February, Vail Resorts
Inc.'s estimates it will make $90M and will use the money to
pay off debt and finance growth (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS,
1/30)....CORRECTION: Ping has ended its sponsorship of the
LPGA event in Canton, MA, not OH, as noted yesterday.
Olympic Gold Medalist Michael Johnson has agreed to a
six-year contract extension with Nike "conservatively"
valued at $12M. Brad Hunt, President of CO-based Golf Medal
Management, Johnson's management company, said terms of the
deal include a Johnson line of Nike training shoes and
performance incentives that are "potentially worth
additional millions." Johnson: "I have been with Nike all
my career, and I am delighted that they have made such a
significant commitment to both me and to track & field,
giving me every reason to stay with them for the remainder
of my competitive career" (Gold Medal Management).
CT-based Marment Group has been appointed as the
exclusive TV, research and marketing agency for the All-
American Football League (AAFL), the new pro spring/summer
football league that will debut in 12 of the top 25 TV
markets in March '98. Also, Boston-based Game Plan, Inc. is
assisting the AAFL in its start-up phase and on-going
strategic planning, expansion and media development (AAFL).
Upwards of 35,000 fans attended the Pinnacle/NHL
FANtasy during All-Star Weekend in San Jose compared to
30,000 in Boston for the '95-96 event, according to NHL
Manager/Corporate Communications Tracey Cohen. Pinnacle's
title sponsorship for the NHL FANtasy runs through next
season's All-Star game in Vancouver and then is up for
renewal. Pinnacle Brands Manager/Marketing Promotions Kevin
Picone: "San Jose was a great city. They did the best they
could do. ... Overall, it was a success" (THE DAILY).
Reebok Int'l stock "surged" another 3 1/2 to 49
yesterday, placing its two-day profit at 6/share, according
to Bailey & Syre of the BOSTON GLOBE. Although fourth-
quarter earnings were down 43% on lower shoe sales, Reebok
noted that footwear orders were up 6% for the first half of
'97. Reebok's net income dropped to $20.1M, or $.35/share,
from profits from operations of $35M, or $.46/share, a year
earlier. But Bailey & Syre note that what Wall Street
"wanted was a turnaround in future orders, and it was not
disappointed." After pushing new products, launching a new
advertising campaign and mending "fences" with retailers,
Reebok's stock has been moving up since a low of 25 3/8 last
January. And in the last two days, investors began betting
on the backlog numbers expected in yesterday's earnings
report and "several big blocks of stock changed hands in the
last two days, mostly through Salomon Bros." Looking ahead,
Roland Whitridge, who manages the Babson Value Fund, which
holds a half-millions shares of Reebok, said there "is a
good chance they [Reebok] are going to win back a lot of
that market share they lost to Nike" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/31).
CHANGE THE PRICE: Fila Holding SpA cut prices of the
"Stack Mid," its new shoe that was seen as the "centerpiece"
of its '97 line, by 15% as sales of its other shoes
decreased. "Stack Mid" was cut from $99 to $85 after demand
for Fila's Grant Hill shoe slowed (Baltimore SUN, 1/31).