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Volume 24 No. 113

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

          The NBA has joined with eight Broadway shows and the
     League of American Theaters and Producers to promote the
     48th annual All-Star Game at MSG on February 8 and to
     feature Broadway stars in the NBA's "I Love This Game"
     promotional campaign.  Broadway shows Bring in 'Da Noise,
     Bring in 'Da Funk; The Capeman; Chicago; Jekyll & Hyde; The
     King and I; The Phantom of the Opera; Smokey Joe's Cafe; and
     Titanic all will be featured in All-Star Weekend and All-
     Star Game promos.  The joint venture includes the shows'
     cast members appearing in TV spots singing Broadway-style "I
     Love This Game" lyrics, which will begin airing nationally
     in mid-December on NBA-affiliated networks.  The All-Star
     Game halftime show will feature a Broadway medley theme, co-
     produced by NBA Entertainment and the league in conjunction
     with Dodger Productions, the producers of Titanic and The
     King and I.  In addition, cast members of Paul Simon's The
     Capeman will perform the U.S. and Canadian national anthems
     before the game.  The NBA will also purchase 5,000 tickets
     for a special Broadway matinee on February 8.  As part of
     the agreement, the eight Broadway shows will move their
     matinee times to 1:00pm ET to accommodate NBA guests who
     will be attending the All-Star Game at 6:00pm ET.  Proceeds
     from the shows' ticket sales will go to New York Cares, a
     non-profit organization (NBA).  
          MAGIC IN THE AIR: In N.Y., Glenn Collins reported that
     the four-commercial NBA/Broadway ad campaign will be worth
     about $2M in air time.  The NBA will provide the air time
     and the cost of producing the spots.  Jed Bernstein, Exec
     Dir of the League of American Theaters and Producers, said
     the agreement helps live theater "to reach a younger
     audience, and it associates Broadway with the cool and the
     style personified by the N.B.A." (N.Y. TIMES, 11/19).  NBA
     Entertainment President Adam Silver: "We were looking for
     something that said New York, and to us that was Broadway. 
     It was also an opportunity to reach an audience that wasn't
     composed of hard-core basketball fans.  We think by
     connecting the music to the game, it'll give people a taste
     of basketball" (Su Avasthi, N.Y. POST, 11/20).

          The ECHL announced three new corporate partnerships for
     the '97-98 season.  The league signed TX-based Entertainment
     Specialty Insurance Services, Inc., as the official
     insurance carrier of the league, and named LA-based Pro Team
     Sports as its official Pager and Pager Service.  The league
     also announced that NY-based Jersey Express will provide
     jerseys for 12 of the 25 ECHL teams and will be a sponsor of
     the '98 All-Star Game to be held in Lafayette, LA (ECHL).

          OH-based Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. yesterday "decided
     to pull out of Formula One racing" after the '98 season,
     according to David Adams of the AKRON BEACON JOURNAL.  The
     decision, which ends Goodyear's 33-year history with the
     sport, is a "sharp break from the company's strategy to use
     Formula One racing as a marketing vehicle to reach millions
     of consumers overseas."  Goodyear spokesperson Chris Aked
     said that circuit rule changes will mean higher tire
     development costs and that overall the "return on the
     investment was no longer worth it."  Adams reports that
     Goodyear's decision to pull out of Formula One "comes after
     this year's success by competitor Bridgestone Corp."  Adams:
     "Until Bridgestone entered Formula One this season ...
     Goodyear had dominated the sport."  Adams adds that Goodyear
     will continue to be a main sponsor of the NASCAR circuit, as
     in April, the company signed a three-year deal to be the
     sole tire supplier to NASCAR drivers (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL,
     11/20).  The FINANCIAL TIMES reports that Groupe Michelin of
     France and Italy's Pirelli tires "are known to have been
     studying the possibility of rejoining" Formula One, even
     before Goodyear's decision (FINANCIAL TIMES, 11/20). 

          ADVERTISING: Chicago-based DiMeo Doroba has produced
     two new 30-second spots for the Bulls with an ongoing theme
     of the "Most Valuable Ticket in Town."  As the Bulls
     approach their 500th consecutive sellout, DiMeo Doroba
     President/CEO Bernie DiMeo said the team will keep
     advertising, further "enhancing the value of the ticket." 
     In Chicago, George Lazarus called the spots "funny, but we
     like the spot showing a tough Chicago cop coaxing a
     potential jumper from a rooftop with a pair of Bulls
     tickets" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/19)....The spot for Wendy's,
     featuring members of the Blackhawks, "gets pulled off the
     air once the Olympics begin because you can't participate in
     the Games and be in a commercial at the same time."  Other
     NHL players in the Wendy's campaign include Mike Richter,
     John Vanbiesbrouck, Kevin Hatcher and Joel Otto.  Ex-player
     Cam Neely will be used in spots that run during the Olympic
     Games (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/19)....Evel Knievel will film a
     spot for ESPN's Winter X Games.  The 15- and 30-second spots
     will air on ESPN's three nets (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 11/19). 
          NOTES: Tommy Hilfiger U.S.A. signed an agreement with
     the William Morris Agency to be represented for multimedia
     projects in areas of films, music, TV, publishing and
     electronic media (N.Y. TIMES, 11/19)....CA-based Hill &
     Knowlton Sports Marketing will manage PR and marketing
     communications for the '98 L.A. Marathon (Hill & Knowlton).
     ....CA-based SurroundVision Advanced Imaging will produce
     limited-edition "I Was There" photo souvenirs to be sold at
     the opening of the MCI Center (SurroundVision)....MasterCard
     congratulated Ernie Els on his MasterCard PGA Grand Slam win
     in a half-page ad in the Wall Street Journal (11/20).

          Nike Chair Phil Knight "defended his company's labor
     practices" yesterday in a letter to congressional critics,
     and "extended an invitation for members of Congress to tour
     the facilities to see for themselves," according to Scott
     Sonner of the AP.  One of the members who spearheaded the
     letter to Nike, U.S. Rep. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), said, "If
     Nike will give us freedom of access and let us talk to those
     workers we want to and go where we want to, it might be an
     interesting idea."  Responding to the letter written by
     Sanders and U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, and signed by 50
     colleagues, Knight said the lawmakers should "become more
     familiar with Nike's operations," and added that Nike's
     commitment to the protection of its workers "is unparalleled
     in the footwear and apparel industry."  Knight: "You should
     know that we have created and currently directly support
     nearly 15,000 jobs in the U.S."  But Sanders responded to
     Knight's letter by adding, "This means that in a company
     which spends hundreds of millions of dollars a year in
     advertising in this country and which controls the lion's
     share of the sneaker market here, only 3 percent of your
     workers are employed in the United States" (AP, 11/20).  
          MORE FALLOUT: An editorial in the HARTFORD COURANT,
     entitled, "Nike's Dirty Business In Vietnam," said that Nike
     "can no longer claim ignorance" against charges of poor
     working conditions abroad.  From the editorial: "Could some
     of [Nike's] millions be used, instead, to provide better
     work conditions in Nike plants?  And might not these
     athletes ask a few tough questions about the labor practices
     of the company?" (HARTFORD COURANT, 11/19).
          TAR HEALED? In Raleigh, editorial writer Jim Jenkins
     comments on UNC-Chapel Hill students criticizing Nike's
     marketing partnership with the university: "[Y]ou can't
     blame a bizillion-dollar shoe company for trying to sell
     stuff and making deals toward that end. ... So that
     shouldn't make anyone mad at Nike.  Instead, let's direct
     the attention where it belongs -- squarely with the
     university's leaders" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 11/20).