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Volume 24 No. 117

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

          AMF Bowling has announced plans to build "an elaborate
     bowling center" in Chicago, according to Fred Mitchell of
     the CHICAGO TRIBUNE.  AMF President Doug Stanard "hinted the
     yet-unnamed new facility will be called the Michael Jordan
     Lanes."  Jordan became an AMF spokesperson in October after
     AMF acquired Michael Jordan Golf (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/28).
          PIN NEWS: Strike Ten named Budweiser and Bud Light the
     Official Beers of Bowling.  The multi-year deal includes a
     new consumer promo, "Budweiser/Bud Light Bowling Night,"
     which will offer POS materials and various promo concepts
     through '98.  Strike Ten also signed with Party Express, a
     division of Hallmark, to enhance the in-center birthday
     party experience.  Party Express will offer six themed
     packages, sold by bowling center proprietors, including
     invitations, cups, plates, napkins and hats (Strike Ten).

          The OR Arena Corp. and the Blazers announced a five-
     year sponsorship deal with Coors, through the unveiling of
     the new "Coors Rocks Portland" media totem located on the
     main concourse of the Rose Garden.  In addition to the media
     totem advertising, plans call for the "Coors Rocks Portland"
     message to be featured in print, radio and outdoor ads. 
     Coors joins Coca-Cola, Panasonic and Visa as totem sponsors. 
     Terms were not disclosed (Blazers).  Coca-Cola and Panasonic
     paid a reported $395,000 per-year for ad rights, while Visa
     USA is believed to pay somewhat less up-front (THE DAILY). 
     

          The marketing of Jeff Gordon is examined by USA TODAY's
     Liz Clarke.  Bob Brannan, JG Motorsports VP and Gordon's
     personal business manager: "Our goal is to hook Jeff up with
     the right companies to help him transcend our sport.  And in
     doing so, bring the sport to a new audience that might not
     currently follow our sport."  New ventures for Gordon
     include a shoe deal -- Brannan says Nike "is among the
     suitors" -- and an appearance on the CBS sitcom "Everybody
     Loves Raymond."  Gordon is also seeking deals in the apparel
     and telecom category, as well as a financial provider. 
     Clarke reports that signing Gordon as a spokesperson is a
     seven-figure proposition, or more, "depending what rights go
     with the deal."  Action Performance CEO Fred Wagenhals said
     "women are probably buying 50% of" Gordon's product.  Gordon
     is also the first NASCAR driver to be represented by the
     William Morris agency.  William Morris' Raul Mateo: "Every
     day the worlds of sport and entertainment are becoming
     closer.  They're becoming one" (USA TODAY, 1/29).
          FIRST CALL: TX-based Firstplus Financial has signed a
     pact with ESPN for '98 Winston Cup Racing which includes a
     multi-million dollar ad buy for 17 Winston Cup events. 
     Firstplus will sponsor in-car camera positions on ESPN's
     Winston coverage and its ads will also be seen on ESPN/ESPN2
     coverage of other sporting events (Firstplus Financial).

          IL-based Intersport has been named the official
     sponsorship sales and TV production arm of the Arena
     Football League and will work to secure national sponsorship
     and advertising opportunities as well as create and produce
     specialized programming.  The AFL is set to announce a 21-
     game TV schedule on ESPN/ESPN2 with the league's title game,
     Arena Bowl XII, shown live on ABC on August 23 (Intersport).


          The LPGA signed a three-year deal with Mercury for
     title sponsorship of the Mercury Titleholders Championship,
     April 30-May 3 in Daytona Beach, FL.  CBS will televise the
     competition live on May 2-3 (LPGA).  In Orlando, Jeff
     Babineua reports that in addition to Mercury, FL-based
     Budget Rent A Car signed as a secondary sponsor, "providing
     the tournament an important presence from the Daytona Beach
     community."  The event lacked a title sponsor since Sprint,
     which paid an "estimated" $4M for title rights in '97, opted 
     not to renew its deal, ending its eight-year involvement
     with the event.  LPGA Commissioner Jim Ritts said he was
     "not going to make a short-term decision" to find a title
     sponsor, adding, "If I had to sit out 1998, I would have
     done that."  Ritts said that there was "ample interest in
     the event," but the timing was such that several potential
     sponsors already planned their '98 budgets and could sign on
     no sooner than '99 (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 1/29).
          BILLY JACKED: Southern Company, a GA-based energy
     company, has signed an endorsement deal with PGA Tour golfer
     Billy Andrade.  Andrade will display a Southern Company logo
     on his cap and shirt sleeve during all PGA Tour events and
     related appearances, and will make several personal
     appearances on behalf of the company (Southern Company).

          The L.A. TIMES' Business section runs a special on last
     weekend's Super Bowl ads today, which includes interviews
     with  creative directors, marketing experts, and the general
     public on their opinions of the ads (L.A. TIMES, 1/29)....NV
     sports books took in a record $77.2M in Super Bowl bets "but
     barely managed to make money."  The 133 legal books won
     $472,033, 0.6% of the total wagered (USA TODAY, 1/29).
     ...Jelena Dokic, a 14-year-old Australian tennis player, was
     featured in the MELBOURNE AGE.  Dokic already has
     sponsorship deals with Nike and Prince, while IMG and
     Advantage Int'l are negotiating with her father, Damire,
     about her future management (AGE, 1/29)....UNC-Charlotte
     men's basketball coach Melvin Watkins signed a multi-year
     contract with NC-based Hawk Sports Management (Hawk).

          McDonald's will "let its relationship with the NFL
     lapse" following the Pro Bowl and end its affiliation as an
     official league sponsor, according to the WALL STREET
     JOURNAL.  McDonald's Dir of World-Wide Sports Alliances
     Jackie Woodward said the company is taking "a more global
     perspective" and cited its "strategic alliances" with the
     World Cup, Olympics and the NBA.  Woodward said the NFL is
     "very specific to the U.S.."  She added that cost was not a
     factor in the decision.  An NFLP spokesperson said the two
     sides "mutually decided some time ago" to part ways.  No
     replacement sponsor was named (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/29).
          DOMINO EFFECT? Domino's Pizza "is in talks" with CBS to
     sponsor the net's NFL halftime show beginning next season. 
     Domino's is the exclusive pizza chain sponsor of CBS'
     broadcasts of next month's Winter Olympics (AD AGE, 1/28).

          Super Bowl MVP Terrell Davis has attracted "interest
     from at least two drug companies that want him to be a
     spokesman for their migraine medications," according to an
     AP reports in the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER.  Davis' agent Neil
     Schwartz wouldn't say whether any companies called him, but
     Novartis Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Meyers Squibb "said
     they're interested" (AP/CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 1/29).  ISI Exec
     VP Steve Rosner, on Davis' endorsement potential: "The
     challenge of Davis' representatives is to get his name out
     there more and not let it dry up at this point.  He can go
     regional and he can go national. ... This is his opportunity
     to break out.  It may not be immediate.  It might take six
     months.  It might take a year" (AP/DETROIT NEWS, 1/29).