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Volume 24 No. 160

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

          Spalding Sports Worldwide is "boosting its TV ad
     spending as part of a brand-building campaign under new
     owner Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.," according to Jeff
     Jensen of AD AGE.  TV spots from MA-based Winstanley
     Associates star Hakeem Olajuwon with the tag, "Spalding:
     Official ball of the NBA: What are you playing?"  The "boost
     in TV spending is part of a renewed sponsorship pact" with
     the NBA that runs through 2001.  Spalding is also a charter
     sponsor of the WNBA.  The company plans to spend "more than"
     $1M in the next month on TV ads during the NBA playoffs on
     NBC and Turner, and sports programming on CNN, ESPN and
     RSNs.  Print ads are also planned.  Spalding also plans to
     create TV ads to run during the WNBA's inaugural season on
     NBC, ESPN and Lifetime telecasts.  Joe Baltronis, Dir of
     Marketing for Spalding's sporting goods group: "KKR is very
     much into brand building. ... We felt we needed to move into
     TV advertising as we begin to emphasize and build the
     Spalding brand in basketball" (AD AGE, 4/28).
          NBA BLOCKS REEBOK? Reebok wanted to include NBA game
     footage in its new ads featuring Shaquille O'Neal riding in
     an SUV with MTV's Bill Bellamy.  But AD AGE's Bradley
     Johnson notes the NBA "didn't like the ads and refused to
     lend footage."  Reebok had to use imitation jerseys and
     films actors for the spot.  Neither the NBA nor Reebok had
     any comment for the report (AD AGE, 4/28).        
          DIALING FOR A DEFENSE: Bill Parcells will be a
     spokesperson for Sprint's personal communication services. 
     This "deal plays into the broad promo deal that Sprint has
     as the NFL's biggest sponsor" (AD AGE, 4/28).

          The U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider a challenge
     to a city of Baltimore ordinance that bans billboards
     advertising cigarettes or beer.  The ruling "is likely to
     encourage other cities" to ban public ads for tobacco (L.A.
     TIMES, 4/29).  In the Baltimore ordinance, the Camden Yards
     area was exempt (USA TODAY, 4/29)....Coca-Cola unveiled 16
     new TV spots under its "Always Coca-Cola" campaign.  Of the
     16 spots, 15 come from Hollywood agency, Edge Creative and
     one from Leo Burnett (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/29)....Shell
     "has taken a lead sponsorship position" in the 240-acre
     World Golf Village being built in St. Augustine, FL.  Shell
     will receive signage throughout the complex and a client
     hospitality venue when the complex opens next year.
     ...Champion is "expected to ship" its first round of WNBA
     apparel to retail in June.  A TV ad with Lady Footlocker is
     under development (BRANDWEEK, 4/28)....U.S. soccer player
     Julie Foudy traveled to Pakistan to tour factory production
     before becoming a Reebok spokesperson.  Foudy: "I know
     there's still other social issues there to be dealt with,
     but as far as what Reebok was doing, I left feeling good
     about it" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 4/26)....Investment manager
     Financorp Group International Corp. and an affiliate
     acquired 5.33% of common shares outstanding in The Sports
     Authority.  The NY-based group paid $30.825M for the 1.68
     million shares, an average of $18.37 a share (N.Y. POST,
     4/29)....Nike shares fell 2 3/4 to $53.37 1/2 yesterday
     after a Hambrecht & Quist analyst lowered fiscal '98 U.S.
     sales growth estimates to 4-5% from 10% and downgraded Nike
     to a hold from a buy (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/28).

          Pinnacle is packing its trading cards inside vacuum-
     packed cans in an effort to reduce retail theft and spur
     sales, according to Terry Lefton of BRANDWEEK.  A player's
     photo is printed directly on the can which sells for $2.99. 
     The initial shipments will hit stores in June and 5,000
     stores that "had stopped selling cards of any brand have
     planned orders for the can."  Lefton notes that Pinnacle is
     "using the opportunity to create a whole new brand: Inside
     Baseball."  Since each of the 24 different cans features a
     different MLB player, Pinnacle "is counting on the cans
     themselves to be collectible."  Pinnacle CEO Jerry Meyer:
     "We're hoping that by having an answer to the theft problem,
     which is real, but may be more perception than reality, this
     will get us back into some different retail accounts and
     promote impulse purchases by casual fans" (BRANDWEEK, 4/28).
          THE DEAL: Pinnacle's All-Star FanFest during MLB's All-
     Star game in Cleveland is profiled by Ed Meyer in the AKRON
     BEACON JOURNAL.  Meyer: "More than 150 of the nation's top
     baseball card vendors and exhibitors will be on hand, and
     anyone who attends will be able to buy, trade or sell cards
     and other collector's gems" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 4/29).

          Wilson Golf announced it will not continue its
     relationship with PGA Tour golfer John Daly.  In a statement
     released yesterday, Wilson Golf Dir of Marketing Jeff Harmet
     said, "Through all of his trials and tribulations, Wilson
     has always stood behind John.  This was by no means an easy
     decision.  But after reassessing our relationship, we have
     decided to bring our relationship to a close.  All of us at
     Wilson are pulling for John."   Wilson President Jim Baugh:
     "John has been a good ambassador for Wilson, but eight
     months ago we embarked on a new strategy for Wilson Golf and
     this move fits that strategy" (Wilson).  The decision to
     drop Daly comes one month after he was admitted to the Betty
     Ford Center for treatment of alcohol abuse, according to Ron
     Sirak of the AP.  Daly had signed a $10M endorsement deal
     with Wilson after he won the PGA Championship in 1991 which
     reportedly earned him between $1-3M a year, "depending on
     incentive clauses."  Daly first entered an alcohol
     rehabilitation program in '93 before checking into the Betty
     Ford Center last month.  Daly's agent, John Mascatello, was
     not available for comment (AP/DETROIT NEWS, 4/29).

          Wilson Sporting Goods is hoping its basketball business
     gets a boost from Michael Jordan's playoff performance,
     according to George Lazarus of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE.  Chris
     Considine, VP/GM Wilson Team Division, noting Jordan's 55-
     point performance on Sunday: "With that performance, our
     Jordan basketball business ought to get a big lift."  In
     Wilson's relationship with Jordan, the basketballs are the
     "core business" and Wilson is introducing new models of the
     Jordan ball, bringing its total to ten.  General Mills ran a
     FSI newspaper insert on Sunday in the Chicago market as part
     of a Wilson Jordan basketball giveaway.  The 20 Jordan
     autographed balls will be given away in certificates
     enclosed in specially marked Wheaties boxes with Jordan on
     the front.  Odds of winning are 237,500 to 1.  Another
     Jordan ball will be available to those mailing in a Wheaties
     proof-of-purchase (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/29).