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Volume 24 No. 113

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

          An "extensive" campaign by Arnell Group, NY, for Fila's
     newest basketball shoe, the Grant Hill IV, "seeks to
     concentrate more on the performance aspects of the product
     than its fashionability," according to Stuart Elliott of the
     N.Y. TIMES.  The goal "is to counter perceptions that Fila
     shoes are more likely to be glimpsed in GQ than Sports
     Illustrated."  The new TV campaign, which begins tonight,
     portrays Hill "either playing basketball or thinking about
     playing basketball so single-mindedly that at one point he
     even challenges his reflection in a mirror in an effort to
     demonstrate" that, as the campaign asserts, "the only
     competition is yourself."  The decision by Fila "to overhaul
     how Hill is hawked" is central to a strategy to improve sales
     in its footwear category.  Fila Senior VP/Advertising Howe
     Burch: "Frankly, this has been a difficult year.  The company
     is really trying in many respects to re-engineer itself by
     enhancing our performance capabilities, and we see Grant as
     the cornerstone."  The campaign is the first from the Arnell
     Group for Fila's Hill line and Fila's total annual ad budget
     is $20-25M (Stuart Elliot, N.Y. TIMES, 10/31).

          Continuing an NFLP initiative, Sport Specialties will
     debut its new cap, "The Dome," on Cowboys players during
     their game against the 49ers this weekend.  Four Cowboys
     players not sporting the new look have headwear deals with
     other Pro Line companies: QB Troy Aikman (Logo Athletic); RB
     Emmitt Smith (Starter); FB Daryl Johnston (Reebok); and WR
     Michael Irvin (Logo Athletic).  49ers QB Steve Young will
     also wear "The Dome" during the game.  Other players wearing 
     "The Dome" this weekend are Patriots QB Drew Bledsoe, Packers
     QB Brett Favre, Steelers QB Kordell Stewart, Lions QB Scott
     Mitchell and Jaguars QB Mark Brunell.  The hats will be
     available at retail next week (THE DAILY).

          NFLPA's Players Inc will assist Pop Warner's kick-off
     efforts to expand football involvement by young people. 
     Players Inc will grant two, $5,000 scholarships for academic
     excellence each year and launch the "Pros for Pop Warner"
     Campaign, a program that will see active NFL players assist
     the Pop Warner program and expand its reach (Players Inc).
     ....The NHL has established the A.S.S.I.S.T. program --
     Assist Skaters & Shooters In Succeeding Together -- to
     benefit under-funded youth hockey programs worldwide.  NHL
     A.S.S.I.S.T. will annually award a total of $100,000 to needy
     youth programs (NHL)....Tennis Canada announced that
     Mercedes-Benz Canada will donate $7,500 from a fundraising
     initiative at the '97 du Maurier Open tennis championship to
     the Junior Nationals tennis program (Tennis Canada)....NC-
     based Sports Marketing Enterprises announced that CA-based
     Viking Cue has joined the Camel Pro Billiards Series as
     sponsor of the $2,500 Viking Sportsmanship Award (Sports
     Marketing Ent.)....In a special report on the state of the
     golf industry, the L.A. TIMES' John Weyler reported that the
     number of golfers in the U.S. "has hovered" between 24-25
     million, but that sales of golf clubs "were up 11.4%" from
     June '96 to June '97, according to Golf Retailers Magazine. 
     Sales of rainwear increased 21.7%, golf gloves 12.8%, and
     golf socks were up 13.2%.  Accessories were up 33.7%, with
     "high-priced belts" a "driving force" (L.A. TIMES, 10,31).

          Former UNC basketball Coach Dean Smith "plans to meet
     Friday with a student group that opposes the school's" $7.1M
     contract with Nike, according to USA TODAY.  In a letter sent
     last week to the student-run Nike Awareness Campaign, Smith
     said he wanted to hear more about "alleged sweatshop
     conditions" in overseas factories.  The group originally
     approached new UNC basketball Coach Bill Guthridge "about
     getting involved," but Smith "was the one who responded to
     the group's request."  Smith had a personal contract with
     Nike before retiring earlier this month.  Todd Pugatch, a
     member of the campaign, said the purpose of the meeting was
     not to persuade Smith to join their cause, but "just to speak
     with him and present him with our point of view."   Students
     have also asked that some of the money from the school's nine
     Nike contracts be donated to Amnesty International, the
     world's largest human rights organization (USA TODAY, 10/31).

          Reebok Int'l announced the appointment of London-based
     Lowe Howard-Spink as its worldwide advertising agency for
     soccer (Reebok).  AD AGE reports that Lowe's initial task
     will be to develop TV and print campaigns to support Reebok's
     "on-field" presence at next year's World Cup in France.  The
     account is worth "an estimated" $15-20M (AD AGE, 10/31).