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Volume 24 No. 157

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

          SPONSORSHIP: NC-based Sports Media Challenge issued its
     '97 Sports Sponsorship Survey, which showed less than half,
     47%, of sponsors who responded had moral clauses in their
     contracts with endorsers.  In addition, 40% had no clauses,
     and 13% weren't sure.  The study also concluded there isn't
     an "overwhelming preference" for pro athletes as endorsers,
     as 52% of sponsors favored pros, but 47% liked Olympic and
     college athletes and minor leaguers (Sports Media).
          THE CARS: IL-based Racing Champions Corp. announced the
     addition of Terry Labonte as a company spokesperson, joining
     Bill Elliott (Racing Champions)....Roush Racing announced
     that Primestar Partners will be returning as the primary
     sponsor on its No. 16 Ford Taurus, driven by Ted Musgrave,
     in '98 NASCAR Winston Cup Series competition (NASCAR).
     ...AZ-based Action Performance Companies has extended its
     licensing deal with Hendrick Motorsports for the
     merchandising rights to the NASCAR teams and cars driven by
     Terry Labonte and Ricky Craven (Action Performance).
          NOTES: Natalie Williams, of the ABL's Portland Power,
     has signed on as a spokesperson for CA-based MET-Rx
     Engineered Nutrition, makers of nutritionally engineered
     foods (MET-Rx)....Nike, PepsiCo and Sega have signed on as
     sponsors of the MTV Sports and Music Festival that will air
     on MTV November 7-9 (CABLE WORLD, 10/20 issue).

          "Looking to boost slowing sportswear sales," the NFL
     and licensed apparel companies are seeking to transform NFL
     coaches "into tasteful arbiters of a more subdued line of
     jock chic," according to Chris Reidy of the BOSTON GLOBE. 
     Reidy reports that the NFL and apparel marketers "have
     latched on to golf-inspired casual wear as a way to reach
     new customers," and that NFL coaches on today's sidelines
     "are looking like golf pros, wearing shirts with a team logo
     not much bigger than an Izod alligator."  Reebok Apparel
     Marketing Dir Andrea Hoff said Reebok "has taken an
     inspiration" from its golf lines "and extended it into
     football," meaning better fabrics and "smaller logo
     treatment."  Sporting Goods Intelligence Editor Bob McGee
     added that better fabrics "also mean higher prices and
     higher profit margins for retailers" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/23).

          U.S. Soccer and Nike officially announced a ten-year
     marketing partnership which calls for Nike to be the
     exclusive supplier and sponsor of products to U.S. Soccer
     and its national teams.  Nike will also supply and sponsor
     all soccer balls to the Federation (U.S. Soccer).  Nike COO
     Tom Clarke: "In the end the reason why this is a partnership
     and will be a partnership over the next 10 years is because
     we truly share the same goal, and that is to grow the sport
     of soccer in the United States" ("The Edge," CNBC, 10/22).  
          THROW INS: CNBC's Terry Keenan noted that Nike
     currently has 12% of the U.S. soccer shoe market compared to
     adidas' 42% ("The Edge," 10/22).  CNN's Susan Lisovicz:
     "Soccer officials say the saturation of the Swoosh will
     increase corporate sponsorship."  U.S. Soccer President Alan
     Rothenberg: "The Federation's signed some terrific sponsors
     -- the MasterCards, the Snickers, the Pepsis of the world --
      but obviously the bar has been raised" ("Moneyline,"
     10/22).  USA TODAY's Jerry Langdon reports that Nike, which
     sponsored the U.S. Women's team tour this year, has "agreed
     to sponsor" additional U.S. team tours leading up to the '99
     Women's World Cup and the 2000 Olympics (USA TODAY, 10/23). 
     But Richard Sandomir reports that unlike its ten-year, $200M
     deal with the Brazilian National team, Nike "does not have
     the right to stage exhibitions" for the U.S. teams.  U.S.
     Soccer President Alan Rothenberg: "They put it on the table,
     but it was never a sticking point" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/23).
          BRAZIL IN DC? RFK Stadium and Nike officials will meet
     next week in an effort to bring the Brazilian National team
     to Washington, DC, to play Ireland in the second game of a
     soccer doubleheader in late April (WASHINGTON POST, 10/23).