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Volume 24 No. 155

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

          Cal Ripken will represent VA-based Crestar Financial
     Corp. in "an aggressive marketing campaign," according to
     Mary Beausoleil of the RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH.  Crestar
     Exec VP Craig Kelly said that Ripken was chosen "because of
     his reputation for integrity and steadiness."  Kelly: "When
     you ask people how to describe him, they use words like
     'dependable, honest, hard-working.'  Things that are
     important for banks."  Ripken signed a two-year deal with
     Crestar.  Terms were not released (TIMES-DISPATCH, 10/29).

          Spike Lee has "composed a series of irreverent
     promotion spots" for the Lakers to be shown on Fox Sports
     West, according to Ray Richmond in DAILY VARIETY.  Lee, a
     Knicks fan, said the spots won't change his team allegiance. 
     Lee: "I have no qualms about offering my services to other
     teams in the NBA besides the Knicks.  I'm even going to
     shoot a couple of promos for the Miami Heat."  Lee said that
     he hopes the "tongue-in-cheek" spots help "humanize" the
     players: "The public isn't happy when they see someone
     batting .220 earning $10 million, and that's really unfair
     to the athletes.  If anything, people should be mad at the
     owners.  The athletes are just people, guys who like to fool
     around like you and me" (DAILY VARIETY, 10/28).

          NIKE NEWS: Wizards F Chris Webber, on his former
     relationship with Nike: "I don't want to just downgrade
     Nike, they are a great company.  They did a lot for me. ...
     Fila's a great company, they gave me a great shoe, and they
     helped me do it my way" ("Up Close," ESPN, 10/28)....In
     BRANDWEEK, Benezra & Stanley write that former Nike ad chief
     Scott Bedbury thinks the company might be "courting
     disaster" unless it deals with questions over conditions in
     its manufacturing plants overseas (BRANDWEEK, 10/27 issue).
          GENERAL: USA Baseball extended its exclusive license
     with CA-based Fotoball Sports through the 2000 Olympic Games
     in Sydney, Australia.  The license will include souvenir
     novelty baseballs and lapel pins (USA Baseball)....Merkley
     Newman Harty, NY, part of Omnicom Group, will be the first
     agency to develop national marketing and advertising
     strategy for the Nat'l Thoroughbred Racing Assn.  Billings
     were "estimated" at $12-15M (N.Y. TIMES, 10/28)....Charles
     Schwab & Co., Inc. named Steve Elkington to its "Team
     Schwab" of pro athletes (Charles Schwab)....Gold Medal
     Management extended its representation agreement with Dan
     O'Brien through 2001 (Gold Medal Management)....Despite
     resigning a month ago, former ASU Basketball Coach Bill
     Frieder "will continue to star" in TV ads for Bank One with
     Univ. of AZ Coach Lute Olson (AZ REPUBLIC, 10/29).

          FL retailers say the "hottest" selling Marlins
     merchandise items are World Series pins and the official
     clubhouse T-shirt made by Starter Corp. which was worn by
     team members during their Series victory celebration,
     according to Schuster & Huriash of the Ft. Lauderdale SUN-
     SENTINEL.  Starter has also printed Spanish-language World
     Series T-shirts "for the first time" which proclaim the
     "Marlins Campiones Mundiales."  Starter PR Manager Robin
     Wexler said the company took pre-orders from Miami-area
     stores, but didn't start printing shirts for the public
     until after the Series concluded.  But Schuster & Huriash
     added that "other manufactures did mass produce merchandise
     ahead of time," including NH-based Pro Player.  The company
     officials said it expect to make $6M "in profits on Marlins'
     merchandise alone" (Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 10/28).

          Reebok Int'l is expected to award Lowe Howard-Spinks,
     London, its soccer assignment following a pitch that
     included Boston's Heater Advertising, according to sources
     of ADWEEK's Sarah Jones.  Reebok's newly appointed Dir of
     Worldwide Advertising, and former Coca-Cola exec, John
     Wardley said "his first goal is to determine the company's
     immediate business needs."  Wardley: "It might be that we
     need to look at other resources.  I only recently started a
     relationship with Heater and don't want to send a signal
     that we're not satisfied."  While different shops "may end
     up contributing to the creation of Reebok's new image,"
     Wardley "stressed" the importance of "conveying a single,
     consistent message."  Wardley: "We've got a really strong
     product story to tell, and I don't know that we've been
     doing that as well as we could."  Wardley added that part of
     Reebok's strategy will be "highlighting its new technology,"
     which will be included in future ads for basketball shoes,
     Reignman II and The Answer, which is the first to use DMX
     technology (ADWEEK, 10/27).  AD AGE's Jeff Jensen adds that
     Reebok will continue to "market aggressively to African-
     American teens and the urban marketplace" in '98, but that
     Wardley "would like to reach a broader audience as well." 
     Wardley "wouldn't say" if Reebok will increase or decrease
     spending, "estimated" at $92.5M last year (AD AGE, 10/27). 

          Michael Jordan's relationship with both Nike and Oakley
     is examined in SI's "Scorecard."  Nike and Oakley are
     currently involved in a legal dispute over the manufacturing
     and patent of its sunglasses and Oakley will soon launch its
     own footwear division to compete with Nike.  While Jordan is
     an endorser of Oakley sunglasses and a company board member,
     he won't sit on its separate footwear division board.  
     Jordan's reps say the dual marketing agreements "do not
     represent a conflict of interest."  SI: "But Oakley
     spokesperson Renee Law says the original board will have an
     input on footwear issues.  Add to this the fact that Nike
     now includes sunglasses in its merchandise line, and it's
     clear that somewhere along the way, Jordan might be sleeping
     with the enemy" (SI, 11/3 issue).  Oakley has released its
     new eyewear line called Mars, and the company stated that
     Jordan was "significantly involved in the design" (Oakley).