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Volume 24 No. 112

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

          Ameritech on Friday dropped its sponsorship of the WTA
     Tour's Chicago event, according to Len Ziehm of the CHICAGO
     SUN-TIMES.  Ameritech informed tournament owner IMG that it
     would not renew its three-year agreement to sponsor the
     tournament known most recently as the Ameritech Cup.  Though
     a new sponsorship agreement was not announced, IMG Senior
     VP/Tournament Manager Gary Swain said the tournament "will
     continue on an annual basis."  Swain: "Everything is going
     to be fine.  We will sign a new sponsor.  Several companies
     are very interested" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 11/22).

          IBM has returned as sole sponsor of the NFL's site on the World Wide Web in a $1M rights
     deal "believed to be the largest in the short history" of
     the Web, according to Terry Lefton of BRANDWEEK.  The deal,
     which was "sold through" NBC "requires considerably more
     support" from IBM than in past years.  Sources said that
     agency Ogilvy & Mather, NY, will produce ads leveraging the
     site "as a platform to push its Web commerce business."  IBM
     will produce the site, which was handled by Starwave last
     year.  NBC will back with on-air promos.  Last year's Super
     Bowl site generated more than 8 million hits, making it one
     of the Web's most visited sites.  Lefton adds that NFLP "has
     been pursuing IBM for years as a corporate sponsor and its
     execs consider getting the computer giant aboard and active,
     even at a smaller level, a potential stepping stone to a
     broader and more official relationship" (BRANDWEEK, 11/24).

          NIKE: Under the headline "This is 'The Right Thing,"
     NEWSDAY's Steve Jacobson called on Nike's top athletes "to
     take Magic Johnson's lead in community investment and break
     away" from Nike and start a shoe company that would employ
     U.S. workers.  Jacobson: "[Michael] Jordan is the Pied Piper
     leading kids to sneakers at $140 and more.  His nod to
     conscience is to announce that his next model will come out
     on Saturday so kids don't skip school" (NEWSDAY, 11/23). 
     Also in N.Y., Harvey Araton examined criticism aimed at Nike
     at the collegiate/university level and added that Jordan
     seems to be "looking into" allegations of Nike's labor
     abuses "the way Dennis Rodman is looking into having his
     tattoos removed.  Whenever the heat is put on the marketing
     tandem of Jordan and Nike, they usually rush to the studio
     and make another commercial" (N.Y. TIMES, 11/22).
          GEARING UP: In the initial hours after the NHL Columbus
     Blue Jackets debuted their new name and logo, JCPenney
     stores showed a 128% increase in sales in its "Simply for
     Sports" department.   After one week, the store's sales were
     up 32%, the highest total for JCPenney throughout the U.S.
     during this period (NHL).  NHL Enterprises President Rick
     Dudley: "We see these same strong merchandise sales figures
     during the Stanley Cup playoffs" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 11/22).
          NOTES: The T-Wolves Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury
     have shot a commercial for ESPN Magazine.  The two "gush
     about the new publication but ask ESPN to resist publishing
     a swimsuit issue."  Garnett then looks into the camera and
     says, "Totally nude" (STAR TRIBUNE, 11/24)....European Union
     Health Commissioner Padraig Flynn said Britain's insistence
     on exempting Formula One racing from any ban on tobacco
     sponsorship in sports "was impossible," strengthening the
     possibility that some European races "could be dropped from
     the Grand Prix circuit" (AP/INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS, 11/21).

          Foot Locker has divided its $25M ad account, according
     to AD AGE.  The Foot Locker account will be divided among
     Deutsch, which gets the flagship Foot Locker brand;
     Kirshenbaum, Bond & Partners, which takes Lady Foot Locker;
     and Griffin Bacal, which gets Kids Foot Locker.  Foot
     Locker's Champs business remains unassigned.  Foot Locker
     and the agencies declined comment (AD AGE, 11/24). 

          Pizza Hut officials in MD "altered their pizza giveaway
     promotion" around the Ravens because they were "nervous"
     about the Cardinals offensive line, according to Steve
     Schoenfeld of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC.  After customers
     received $9 off a large pizza after nine sacks by the Ravens
     last week, Pizza Hut said it wouldn't pay for more than five
     sacks on Sunday because the Cardinals have allowed an NFL-
     leading 54 sacks on the season.  The Cardinals' "much-
     maligned line" gave up only two sacks in their 16-13 victory
     over the Ravens.  Cards OT Lomas Brown: "They thought they
     were going to have a field day with us.  At least the Pizza
     people are happy with us" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 11/24).