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Volume 24 No. 117

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

          Fila Holding signed Grant Hill to "one of the richest
     sports endorsement contracts ever" with a pact for "at
     least" $80M over seven years, according to Stefan Fatsis of
     the WALL STREET JOURNAL.  The deal, expected to be announced
     today, "catapults" Hill into "the sneaker-riches realm" of
     Nike's Michael Jordan, and gives him "a sweeping role in the
     company's operations."  While Fila's stock "has plummeted to
     around $28 a share ... from $105 a share a year ago," Fatsis
     reports that the company "is counting on" Hill to "revive a
     brand he helped create" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/23).
          GRANT'S SHOW: Hill will receive "a base salary and
     minimum royalty guarantees on his signature products, plus
     royalties on sales of other Fila products, performance
     bonuses and stock options," and will "head a committee to
     advise Fila about marketing initiatives and other athletes
     the company should enlist."  The company "renegotiated the
     last two years" of Hill's existing Fila deal which paid him
     "around" $6M a year.  Under the new deal, Hill will be
     "asked to boost the company's profile outside the U.S." 
     Fila Senior VP/Sports Marketing Howe Burch: "We think Grant
     is more than a guy who just sells shoes.  We think he is a
     brand influencer, not just here but around the world." 
     Hill, on his new advisory role with the company: "It makes
     me feel vested in all the decisions I make."  Asked what he
     would tell NBA players who tried to use an on-court
     relationship to ink a Fila deal: "Give me 10 good reasons
     why we should take you on" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/23).

          SPONSORSHIPS: ProServ has secured more than $2M in
     sponsorship for the Rose Bowl's new scoreboard. Sponsors
     include GTE, Honda, the L.A. Times, Glendale Federal Bank
     and McKesson Water (ProServ)....Ericsson will leverage its
     title sponsorship of the NFL Panthers' stadium with a new
     spot to air September 29, during ABC's 49ers-Panthers
     "Monday Night Football" telecast.  But since it is not an
     official NFL sponsor, Ericsson will not be able to use team
     marks or uniforms (AD AGE, 9/22)....The Coyotes' Jeremy
     Roenick has "terminated his endorsement deal" with Nike
     (HOCKEY NEWS, 9/26)....USA Baseball inked MA-based Franklin
     Sports to become the exclusive batting glove and wristband
     supplier of the USA Baseball National Teams (USA Baseball). 
          GENERAL: NJ-based Score Board Inc., was profiled by
     Ewart Rouse of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER.  The collectible
     company "expects a big boost" from a contract with Frontier
     Comm., which is paying $20M over five years for the rights
     to sell phone cards with the likenesses of the 300 or so
     athletes who are under contract with Score Board.  Similar
     deals have also been made with Hallmark Cards, Coca-Cola and
     McDonald's (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/22)....MA-based Perfect
     Curve Inc., a two-year-old company that makes a small,
     plastic device that curves the visor of a baseball cap, is
     profiled in the BOSTON BUSINESS JOURNAL.  Founder Greg Levin
     "expects to pass" the $1M in sales mark by the end of the
     year, and plans "on doubling and possibly tripling sales
     next year" (BOSTON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/22 issue)....In U.S.
     markets only, Omega will roll out its limited-edition CART
     Speedmaster timepieces (ROBB REPORT, 9/97 issue).

          Nike announced it has "severed" relationships with
     "several" Indonesian-based contractors "to maintain
     compliance with its Code of Conduct requirements for wage
     levels and working conditions."  In a statement released
     during its annual shareholders meeting, Nike said it has
     suspended production at the factories until they comply with
     its Code of Conduct and improvements are made (Nike).  The
     WALL STREET JOURNAL reports that Nike cut ties with "four
     factories in Indonesia where pay is below the government-set
     minimum wage."  In the last three months, Nike has also
     "scrutinized its operations in China, Vietnam and Indonesia
     to ensure compliance" with the code (WALL STREET JOURNAL,
     9/23). In the CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, Brad Knickerbocker
     writes on reports of working conditions at some Nike-
     contracted facilities in China under the header, "Nike
     Fights Full-Court Press on Labor Issue" (CSM, 9/23).

          Pro Player next week will launch "a regional ad effort
     with Foot Locker targeting the urban market," according to
     Jeff Jensen of ADVERTISING AGE.  The media plan "is
     consistent" with Pro Player's "strategy of spending where
     popular pro teams play," as the company is "setting itself
     apart" by marketing a "more contemporary style."  Jensen
     adds that Pro Player "eschews low-end pricing and retail
     outlets while supporting its retail accounts with exclusives
     and multiple styles of key products."  Pro Player President
     Doug Kelly said that event-oriented products, like the
     company's "Can the Tuna" T-shirts during Bill Parcells'
     recent return to New England, "account for 15% of sales ...
     a figure that's expected to grow" (ADVERTISING AGE, 9/22).
          HALFTIME SHOW LOCKOUT: BRANDWEEK's Terry Lefton reports
     that agency sources say Pro Player, in tandem with Foot
     Locker, was "bidding hard" for the Super Bowl XXXII halftime
     show, but "bad blood" from past dealings between Foot Locker
     and NBC "killed the deal."  Lefton adds that Pro Player "is
     expected to go all out" for rights to the Super Bowl XXXIII
     halftime show, "pending completion of a new TV deal and
     subsequent network assignment" (BRANDWEEK, 9/22).