Management Plus' Leonard Armato, agent for Shaquille
O'Neal, described a published report that Reebok might be
dropping O'Neal as, "funny, considering he's one of the most
well-known icons in the world," according to Greg Johnson of
the L.A. TIMES. Reebok Dir of PR Dave Fogelson "maintained
that O'Neal is a 'very important' element" in Reebok's
future advertising and marketing." CA-based Taco Bell
"stopped using" O'Neal in its spots earlier this year, and
he "won't appear" in Reebok TV ads slated to run early in
'98. Johnson: "O'Neal's temporary absence from the two
high-profile TV campaigns underscores how companies ... that
foot the bill for lucrative endorsement contracts are trying
to make more effective -- and, they hope, cost-effective --
use of highly paid pitchmen and women." Reebok's Fogelson
"tied O'Neal's on-air absence for the first half of 1998 to
the fact that Reebok products will be pitched on TV by other
basketball stars, including Allen Iverson and Shawn Kemp --
along with WNBA and ABL stars," but Fogelson said that
O'Neal will appear in print ads (L.A. TIMES, 12/18).
Deloitte & Touche's L.A. office will sponsor one of its
staff accountants, Mariel Devesa, as she competes for the
'97 Windsurfing World Championships in Australia beginning
December 24. D&T will provide Devesa, the '97 U.S. Women's
National Windsurfing Champion, with her competition expenses
including transportation and lodging. Devesa's sails will
display the Deloitte & Touche logo (Deloitte & Touche).
HONDA BACKS L.A. MARATHON: For the third year in a row,
American Honda Motor Company will be the presenting sponsor
for the L.A. Marathon. Other sponsors for the March 29
marathon include PacifiCare/Secure Horizons, which will
stage its Senior Walk, and the Southern CA Gas Co., which
sponsors the Carbo Load Dinner, Finish Line Festival and
Entertainment Centers (L.A. Marathon).
ROPE WARRIORS: ME-based Yale Cordage, a manufacturer of
braided rope, has signed a multi-year sponsor deal with
"Young America," the N.Y. Yacht Club America's Cup
Challenge. The deal makes Yale Cordage an Official Sponsor
of the Cup Challenge and is the America's Cup team's
Official Supplier of Cordage (Young America).
RANSOM FOR STUDENT ATHLETES: The National Christian
College Athletic Association (NCCAA) announced El Cajon, CA-
based sports apparel company Ransom Athletic has become a
sponsor of the NCCAA Student Athlete of the Week Award.
Award Winners will now receive a T-shirt from Ransom as well
as a certificate from the NCCAA (NCCAA).
DEALS: Raptors F Walt Williams has signed a one-year
shoe deal with Fila Canada. Williams, who will wear the
Board Breaker sneaker, is Fila Canada's first NBA endorser.
He was wearing Nike (THE DAILY)....Jackie Stewart will
announce today that MCI has joined his team as a major
sponsor of its Stewart-Ford cars (N.Y. TIMES, 12/18)....NY-
based arena supplier IcePro has been named the tile sponsor
of the '98 IcePro AHL All-Star Skills Competition (AHL).
...The financial woes of Nobody Beats the Wiz, which filed
for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, is examined
by Richard Wilner of the N.Y. POST. Wilner writes that "an
expansive and aggressive expansion plan two years ago"
helped cause its financial problems. The chain also "spent
about" $6M a year in ads at MSG (N.Y. POST, 12/18).
ADVERTISING: In AD AGE, Bradley Johnson reports that
the NFL will hold a contest next month to pick the best spot
featuring NFL players or images produced over the past four
decades. Fans will vote over the Internet for a final five;
a panel of players, ad execs and media picks the winner
January 16 (AD AGE, 12/15 issue)....Goodyear Chair & CEO
Samir Gibara said the company will add two blimps in Europe
and one in Latin America "early next year," with plans for
another to serve Asia and Australia "shortly after that,"
bringing Goodyear's total to eight blimps (AKRON BEACON
JOURNAL, 12/18)....Nike "is considering advertising through
skywriting," and asked FL-based Aerial Sign to show what the
swoosh "looks like at 10,000 feet" (SUN-SENTINEL, 12/18).
PRODUCT: NY-based Alphabet City latest CD, "Go Blue!
The Ultimate Michigan Sports CD," is now available in Metro
Detroit for $9.99. Alphabet City is expected to do more
than $10M in sales in '97 (DETROIT NEWS, 12/17)....The NHL
has granted a license to CT-based Spotlight for a "Double-J
Reversible" outerwear garment that has a jersey look on one
side and a nylon pullover feel on the other. The item is in
JCPenney's catalog with distribution set to expand during
the NHL playoffs. Spotlight is led by former Starter exec
Kyle Sanborn (SPORTING GOODS BUSINESS, 12/15 issue).
The AVP announced that FL-based Ocean Waves Sunglasses
has signed an exclusive five-year, seven-figure deal that
will tie up the sunglasses category through 2002. Ocean
Waves' sponsorship will involve network and cable TV
commercials, center court promotions, on-site sales rights,
rotational signage at center court and promos surrounding
its new AVP line of sunglasses, which will include the AVP
name and logo. Ocean Waves will also create a "Stokey" line
of eyewear, named after AVP tour pro Randy Stoklos. Ocean
Waves will also sponsor a player incentive program,
providing cash and product bonuses to players who wear the
brand during events and televised matches (AVP).