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Volume 24 No. 156

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

          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).