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Volume 24 No. 116

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

          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).