Carquest Corp. "has ended its relationship with Raycom
Sports as the title sponsor" of the Carquest Bowl at Pro
Player Stadium, according to Craig Barnes of the Ft.
Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL. Carquest, which became the bowl's
title sponsor in '94, "plans to pursue other sports
sponsorship opportunities." Turner Sports recently signed a
three-year extension to televise the game, which has a total
guaranteed payout of $1.5M. The bowl has an agreement at
Pro Player through 2001. Barnes adds that Raycom "is
dedicated to maintaining the game" (SUN-SENTINEL, 1/23).
Classic Sports Network by ESPN has chosen Wieden &
Kennedy, N.Y., to develop its national branding campaign.
Billings were not disclosed (Classic Sports). AD AGE
reports that the campaign, slated to break in March, will
consist of TV, print and out-of-home media (AD AGE, 1/22).
RICK TO STICK: "The Rick," a grassroots trade campaign
created to promote ESPNEWS, has led to a national campaign
that will run on ESPN and ESPN2 beginning later this month.
"The Rick" spots, about a sports enthusiast who craves
ESPNEWS, will also run on the ESPN Radio Network (ESPN).
The NBA and Gatorade announced an all-encompassing
partnership renewal that adds Gatorade support to its
existing sponsorship agreement. The new pact, which runs
through 2002, gains Gatorade participatory rights to the NBA
Jam Van and NBA 2ball. Gatorade will also be the title
sponsor of Virtual GM, the NBA's on-line fantasy game. In
Canada, Gatorade will sponsor Future Hoops, supporting
basketball programs across Canada, and Canada Hoop-it-Up.
Gatorade will also advertise on NBA telecasts and will
sponsor the Gatorade Court of Dreams and "Jam With a Legend"
at the NBA Jam Session during NBA All-Star weekend (NBA).
DEAL: Mattel has been officially granted the licenses
for the exclusive rights to produce basketball-themed toys
bearing the marks of the NBA, WNBA and USA Basketball (NBA).
N.C. State has "temporarily ditched" adidas sneakers
for Nike following three foot injuries to Wolfpack players,
according to Caulton Tudor of the Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER.
Coach Herb Sendek, who "has a lucrative contract with
adidas," did not blame the injuries on the shoes, but said
that N.C. State is likely to wear Nikes until mid-February,
when adidas "is scheduled to ship a new model." Sendek:
"[W]e couldn't find any pattern to the injuries ... but this
[changing to Nike] is something we want to try at least for
a while. We contacted adidas, and they want to do what's
best for the players." adidas Dir of Sports Promotions
Sonny Vaccaro said that Sendek's salary will not be affected
as a result of the switch. Tudor: "Players at some schools
that wear Nike -- Duke, Kansas, Georgetown -- have suffered
similar injuries" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 1/21).
In N.Y., Phil Mushnick reports that MSG is negotiating
with Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner to become the
exclusive sales rep of commercial signage in Yankee Stadium.
Such a deal "would enhance the value of advertising packages
sold by MSG Network while excluding non-MSG advertisers from
appearing on MSG's Yankees telecasts via the made-for-TV
rotating billboard at the backstop" (N.Y. POST, 1/23).
....In addition to his Premier Management Group, Former IMS
President Bill Donaldson has started his own firm called DBM
that will do work related to licensing or distribution of
merchandise (INDY STAR-NEWS, 1/23)....Among the 10 boards
that President Clinton aide Vernon Jordan sits on are Sara
Lee, AmEx, JCPenney and Callaway Golf ("Moneyline," 1/22).
The NHLPA will be an associate sponsor for McCormack
Motorsports during the IRL '98 season. The NHLPA's logo
will be featured on McCormack's Oldsmobile Aurora at the
Disney World Speedway for the Indy 200 this weekend. This is
NHLPA's first foray into auto racing (NHLPA).
DEAR MR. FANTASY: The NHL announced that more than
55,000 fans visited the NHL's Pinnacle/NHL FANtasy theme
park in Vancouver, from January 14-18 (NHL).
According to MD-based Eisner & Associates Advertising's
annual study, 7% of U.S. adults will watch the Super Bowl
"just" to see the ads. That has jumped from 4% in '97 and
means over 10,000,000 people watch the Super Bowl solely to
see the commercials. The study also found that those paying
more attention to the ads, even if the contest is decided
early, have increased from 51% in '97 to 55% in '98. Of the
expected viewers, 22% will watch many (36-58) of the 58
Super Bowl ads; 23% will watch some (16-35); 22% will not
watch many (1-15); and 33% will not watch any of the 58 ads
or not watch the game at all. The study was conducted among
1,000 households nationwide after the Super Bowl teams were
determined and has a 3.5% margin of error (Eisner & Assoc).
SUPER SUNDAY: The 30-plus Super Bowl advertisers will
pay $43,333 for each second of ad time during Sunday's
broadcast, according to Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES.
Elliott reports that "mainstays" like automakers, fast food
and sneaker companies, "are giving way to an unconventional
combination of advertisers high and low," including computer
chips and software, telecom products and services, Internet
shopping and satellite TV equipment (N.Y. TIMES, 1/23). In
Boston, Chris Reidy writes "there seems to be no overarching
theme" to this year's ads (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/23). MSNBC's
Keith Olbermann, juxtaposing the Super Bowl to the events
involving President Clinton: "Hello, good evening, and
welcome from San Diego, site of a decreasingly relevant
Super Bowl XXXII come this Sunday" ("The Big Show," 1/22).
THE PLAYERS: In Orlando, Jim Abbott reports some of
this year's "most anticipated spots" are A-B's Louie the
Lizard plotting to rid the world of the Budweiser frogs;
Pepsi's Gen-X body-piercing spot and a gnat doing a Mick
Jagger impersonation for Pepsi's Lipton Brisk iced tea; and
Nike's "The Evolution of Skin" featuring "seemingly naked
images of" Lisa Leslie, David Robinson and Michael Johnson
(ORLANDO SENTINEL, 1/23)....CA-based Pocket Pump owners Rob
Lange and Chuck Davey will show off their invention, via a
30-second spot, courtesy of Mail Boxes Etc.'s "See Your
Small Business on the Super Bowl Search" contest. The
Pocket Pump is an air pump designed to inflate sports balls
(THE DAILY)....In Atlanta, Mickey Gramig reports that Coca-
Cola is "spreading its Super Bowl ad dollars across the
globe through sponsorship of MTV's 'Rock-N-Jock' Super Bowl
weekend programming." The MTV event, "designed to reach
teenagers not tuned in to the game, will feature more than"
30 spots featuring Coca-Cola products (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
1/23)....CA-based Auto-By-Tel returns after running a spot
last year. Auto-By-Tel CEO Pete Ellis: "Our business
increased by about 50% and that never dropped below that
number. We had a big bump in business" (CNBC, 1/22).
Some former NFL players and coaches "rake in more than
$100,000 attending corporate cocktails and celebrity golf
outings during Super Bowl week," according to Stefan Fatsis
of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. George Seifert was paid $10,000
by Visa USA to attend the company's party at the San Diego
Zoo, while Deacon Jones is working for Champion, Sprint and
Miller Lite. Visa Marketing Exec Michael Lynch: "They add
cachet to our events. It affiliates our brand with these
all-time heroes and winners." Fatsis reports that "even
lesser lights turn a decent buck at the biggest, brashest,
most excessive corporate shindig in America," adding that
Archie Manning "pulled in around $75,000" at last year's
Super Bowl in New Orleans. Fatsis reports that more than 50
current and former players will make around 600 appearances
this week arranged by NFLP (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/23).
WHO TO WATCH: ISI CEO Frank Vuono said if Packers QB
Brett Favre wins his second Super Bowl, it "will help him
get to another level" from an endorsement standpoint. But
Vuono added, "Brett's kind of an any-man. It's questionable
whether he wants to transcend the sport and take his place
at the top." Vuono said that if the Broncos win, QB John
Elway could "capitalize incredibly." Vuono: "I think the
public is ready to accept him with open arms as a real
superstar." Asked what he would sell about Elway: "His
personality, his leadership ability and his comeback
ability. ... John is certainly national -- if not
international. I think he can be a real goodwill
ambassador for the sport." Vuono said that he would
position Favre "with classic All-American-type companies.
Mom, apple pie and Chevrolet." Vuono said once you get past
Favre, Elway and Reggie White, "I don't think there will be
this huge windfall for anyone else" (THE DAILY).
SUPER SUNDAY NOTES: Brett Favre's younger brother Jeff
has launched a line of premium cigars. The Favre Family
brand plans to expand into other areas including clothing,
sporting goods and food (Favre Cigar).....San Diego Youth
and Community Services is getting a $1M grant from the NFL
to launch a new youth education program. The funds are
intended to increase educational opportunities for inner-
city youth (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 1/23)....Chef Emeril
Lagasse gave Super Bowl party recipes this morning on ABC's
"GMA." The cooking segment was taped in the parking lot of
Qualcomm Stadium. Also, ABC's Rex Hudler reported live from
the NFL Experience in San Diego ("GMA," ABC, 1/23).
WHAT YOU'LL SEE: Nike has the on-field uniform,
sideline apparel and headwear designation for both the
Packers and Broncos. Sports Specialties will provide the
sideline caps (THE DAILY). After the game, Logo Athletic
will supply the official Super Bowl locker room coaches cap.
Logo sold more than 650,000 Super Bowl XXXI hats last year.
Starter has the official locker room T-shirt and fleece top
for the Super Bowl (TEAM LICENSING BUSINESS, 1/98 issue).
...In the most recent report of the top selling teams by
NFLP, the Packers remain at No. 1, but the Broncos have
moved from 14th place into sixth place in '97 sales (NFL).