DREAM OF A SPALDING AD PUSH? DID NBA REJECT REEBOK REQUEST?
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).