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Volume 24 No. 157
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          CT-based Phoenix Home Mutual Life is "close" to signing
     as the NCAA's first sponsor in the insurance category,
     according to Terry Lefton of BRANDWEEK.  The five-year deal,
     worth "around" $9M, will give Phoenix media on NCAA
     highlights shows, the NCAA radio network and in the various
     game programs at NCAA championship events.  Phoenix will
     also have access to Host Communications' Hoop City fan fest
     at the men's and women's Final Four (BRANDWEEK, 11/24).
          DEALS: Lefton reports that healthcare unit Cigna has
     signed a "letter of intent" to become the first "Founding
     Partner" sponsor of the Women's Global Challenge, set for
     Spring '99 in Washington, DC.  The $5M deal would grant
     Cigna media, event signage, tickets, hospitality and an
     affiliation with the Women's Sports Foundation and its
     grass-roots programs....Lefton also reports that Champion
     will supply uniforms to the U.S. basketball teams at the
     World Championship in Europe next summer.  Lefton adds that
     new uniforms, and "a bigger retail and marketing push aren't
     expected until" '99, leading up to the 2000 Summer Olympic
     Games in Sydney....BRANDWEEK adds that Sunkist's two-year
     sponsorship deal with the AVP, announced last week, is
     "estimated" at $2M (BRANDWEEK, 11/24 issue).