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Volume 24 No. 137
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          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).