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Volume 24 No. 112

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

          Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines (RCCL) is "close" to
     signing a $5M contract to sponsor NBC's Super Bowl XXXII
     halftime show on January 25 in San Diego, according to Terry
     Lefton of BRANDWEEK.  RCCL President Jack Williams said that
     the deal "was not yet inked but that he expected to complete
     it within several weeks."  Williams added that RCCL's recent
     acquisition of Celebrity Classic Cruise Lines gave it a
     "broad enough sales base" to "justify the expenditure." 
     RCCL also sponsors the PGA and Senior PGA Tours.  McKinney &
     Silver, Raleigh, handles RCCL advertising (BRANDWEEK, 9/15).
          DETAILS: As part of the deal, RCCL will get two 30-
     second spots worth $1.3M -- one in the first quarter and one
     after the Halftime Show; two 5-second sponsor billboards
     before and after the Halftime Show; and five 10-second
     "teaser" spots, two during the first half of the Super Bowl,
     two during NBC's AFC Championship game and one during an
     undetermined playoff game.  RCCL also gets title sponsorship
     of NBC's "Behind the Scenes at the Super Bowl" show, two in-
     stadium video screen spots, scoreboard mentions, inclusion
     in "the usual seat giveaways with other NFL sponsors," a
     one-page ad in the Super Bowl program, 100 Super Bowl
     tickets, and additional hospitality (BRANDWEEK, 9/15).

          Despite having a "six-figure" shoe contract with
     adidas, Cowboys QB Troy Aikman has worn Nike shoes for the
     first two games of the season, according to Terry Lefton of
     BRANDWEEK.  While "there has been some buzz" that Aikman is
     "unhappy" with adidas, an NFL source said that the "real
     reason" is that Aikman doesn't like to wear shoes that are
     taped up, and as part of Nike and Reebok's Pro Line deal
     with the NFL, any shoes worn by players that are not Nike or
     Reebok must have their logos taped over (BRANDWEEK, 9/15). 
          PARTY MAN: Sony "has replaced" Sega as sponsor of the
     "three-day long NFL players meet-and-greet bash" held during
     Super Bowl week.  Sony "hopes to leverage" the "six-figure"
     sponsorship of "The Playstation NFL Players Party" with a
     sweepstakes offer and retail appearances by NFL players
     during the holiday sales period (BRANDWEEK, 9/15 issue).

          Michael Jordan is interviewed by Allison Samuels in the
     current NEWSWEEK to discuss the launch of his new Nike brand
     last week, among other topics.  Jordan, on his relationship
     with Nike: "It's not rare for my Nike (design team) to come
     out to my house and just kick it with me for a while. ...
     [J]ust to get a better definition of who I am, so they can
     transfer that to the product."  While Jordan said the high
     cost of Air Jordan shoes "bothered me," he added that
     consumers can now chose from "a variety of Jordan shoes at
     different prices" with the new Jordan line.  Starting this
     year, Jordan will also donate a percentage of Air Jordan
     revenues to youth charities.  Regarding the rising salary
     demands by young NBA players, Jordan said, "I am always pro-
     player when it comes to money."  On Kevin Garnett asking for
     $22M a year, Jordan said: "I think they're paying him for
     his potential.  If he lives up to it, great.  If he doesn't,
     well, I still support him, because they wouldn't give it to
     him if they couldn't (afford) it" (NEWSWEEK, 9/22 issue).
     MJ's Nike brand is No. 13 on ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY's "Hot
     Sheet" for the week: "Nike is producing his line of
     clothing.  But would you buy a tie with a pump?" (EW, 9/19).
     

          AGENCY NEWS: CT-based Phoenix Home Life Mutual
     Insurance Co. has retained Cronin & Co., Hartford, to
     develop and execute a regional publicity campaign to promote
     the Phoenix/ATP Tour World Doubles Championships (Cronin &
     Co.)....AD AGE reports that the NY-based Nat'l Thoroughbred
     Racing Association will hear presentations from BBDO South,
     Atlanta; D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, L.A.; Merkley Newman
     Harty, N.Y.; and the Richards Group, Dallas, for a $15M
     awareness campaign....In other agency news, FootLocker has
     "contacted" agencies about its $25M account "and is setting
     up meetings."  The retailer was to split the business, "but
     has now decided" to name one firm (AD AGE, 9/15).
          SPONSORSHIPS: The A-10 and Asics Tiger have signed a
     one-year deal for Asics Tiger to be title sponsor of the A-
     10's men's and women's cross country championships (A-
     10)....Franklin Sports has signed a two-year deal as a
     Silver-Level Official Sponsor and Supplier for USA Hockey's
     grassroots, national and int'l programs (USA Hockey).
          MERCHANDISE: Foxboro Stadium's Pro Shop sold 400 "Can
     the Tuna" t-shirts at $14.95 during the first ten days they
     were available (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/14)....ABL Reign GM Jim
     Weyermann, on the team's merchandise partnership with the
     Sonics' Full House Sports and Entertainment: "This gives us
     an instant statewide distribution network.  Last year, we
     didn't even have the capital to invest in the inventory to
     put on the shelves" (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 9/12).