The All American Football League (AAFL) has signed the
NY-based Marquee Group to provide a variety of services.
The Marquee Group will serve as the AAFL's network TV
negotiator; provide production crews for AAFL telecasts; and
handle the sales, marketing and licensing responsibilities
for the league. Marquee Group CEO Bob Gutkowski: "After our
reviewing a variety of options, we have advised the AAFL to
point to the spring of 1999 to launch the new league." Both
groups said that additional details on the progress of the
league will be announced shortly (The Marquee Group).
The NBA retail market is examined by Dana Parker in
NSGA RETAIL FOCUS. Since winning their fifth championship,
Bulls merchandise "has been outselling other teams' at a
rate not seen after their earlier successes." All other
teams are a "distant second, though there's some scattered
support" for Lakers, Knicks, Jazz and T'Wolves merchandise.
Pro Image's Dave Riley: "[O]verall the league has lost
steam; it's slowed way down in the past six months. MLB is
doing better. ... For us, it's just the Bulls and the
Lakers. Kevin Garnett and [Allen] Iverson have hurt
themselves with the lunch-pail crowd. We need more people
like Grant Hill." Champion replica jerseys "continue to be
the single most important item in apparel," but most
retailers say that their "current level of sales 'ain't what
it used to be.'" Parker adds the NBA "seems to understand
the current situation" and "has plans to help diversify the
product on a local level" (RETAIL FOCUS, 9/97).
In a strategy "aimed at forging brand loyalty by
tapping regional preferences," CA-based Dreyer's Grand Ice
Cream Inc. is teaming with the NFL to produce a series of
"football flavors" featuring team colors and logos,
according to Douglas Robson of the S.F. BUSINESS TIMES.
Bolstered by its "successful launch" of Pittsburgh Crunch
last season, Dreyer's will "unveil" a total of five NFL
flavors in '97, including Buffalo Blitz, Carolina Panthers
Chip and Frozen Tundra Chip for the Packers. Dreyer's uses
the Edy's brand name in markets east of the Mississippi
River. Robson writes that while Dreyer's "gains positive
exposure with football enthusiasts ... the NFL becomes
associated with a product predominantly purchased by women
and enjoyed by all ages." Robson adds that the alliance
could account for "up to" 10% of Dreyer's sales in a given
market (S.F. BUSINESS TIMES, 9/15 issue).