Comcast-Spectacor will sell ad space on the steps of
every staircase inside the lower bowl of the CoreStates
Center, according to Edward Moran of the PHILADELPHIA DAILY
NEWS. CoreStates Complex President Peter Luukko said the
new sponsor, who he would not identify, will have its logo
on the steps by mid-March. Luukko added that advertising
"has sold so well" at the CoreStates Center that all of the
concourse ad areas, "and all but a few spots inside the
arena, have sold out" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 2/24).
Gatorade will introduce "its splashiest promo ever," an
under-the-cap, NBA instant win promo which includes a chance
to play H-O-R-S-E with Michael Jordan, according to Lefton &
Khermouch of BRANDWEEK. Backed by $12M in TV, radio and
print media, the promo may also include "unannounced
appearances by NBA pros on high-traffic playground courts in
six to eight NBA markets, with Jordan included." Aimed for
a mid-April launch, before the NBA Playoffs, the promo will
offer other prizes including autographed Jordan merchandise,
getting signed by an NBA team for a day, season tickets to
your favorite NBA team or a private-jet flight with five
friends to the '99 NBA All-Star Game (BRANDWEEK, 2/23).
NOTES: IMG has signed Kawasaki, Air Jamaica, Jamaica
Tourism, Raymond Weil watches, Naya, Met-Rx and Gold's Gym
as corporate sponsors for the revival of "The Superstars"
competition, according to Terry Lefton of BRANDWEEK. Still
unsold is the $500,000 title sponsorship. The made-for-TV,
two hour event, airs April 19 on ABC....Logo Athletic sold
out its official Broncos Super Bowl locker room hats. Logo
sold "more than" 480,000 caps, "which didn't quite match
last year's total"....adidas signed Raiders RB Napoleon
Kaufman to an endorsement deal. Kaufman, who had been with
Nike since being drafted in '95, will "initially be used for
regional marketing efforts" (BRANDWEEK, 2/23 issue).
NOTES: BUSINESS WEEK reports that spending on sports
sponsorship is projected to reach over $4.5B in '98
(BUSINESS WEEK, 3/2)....Ryan Leaf signed NJ-based ISI to
become his exclusive marketing rep. ISI Exec VP Steve
Rosner: "From matching Ryan with the top companies to
fulfilling some of his civic and charitable goals, our
objective is to build relationships that will continue long
after his playing days are over" (ISI)....Former Giants WR
Phil McConkey signed with MGP Crisis Sports PR, a division
of NY-based MGP & Associates, for PR counseling (MGP).
MORE NEWS: FORBES' Daniel Roth "sizes up" the shoe/
sunglasses dispute between Nike's Phil Knight and Oakley's
Jim Jannard. Roth: "Nike had defined the sports shoe market
and has bloodied its big competitors. Ego aside, Jannard
might be better off hunting elsewhere" (FORBES, 3/9 issue).
...TIME's "Tech Watch" features Reebok's new, $100 Lightning
sneaker, calling it "one smart shoe." The DMX-enhanced
sneaker adapts to pressure by distributing it through six
chambers, creating "extra cushioning" (TIME, 3/2 issue).
...Nike will feature a 16-page insert -- "Life Above the
Ankles/Evolution of Skin" -- in the March and April issues
of GQ, Details, SI, ESPN, Rolling Stone, Vibe and Men's
Journal, while its 12-page insert will appear in Glamour,
Conde Nast Sports For Women and Sharpe (THE DAILY).
Casey Martin is "fielding an avalanche of offers that
are extraordinary for a golfer who has not reached the top
level" of the PGA Tour, according to Thomas Heath of the
WASHINGTON POST. In addition to his Nike apparel deal,
worth between $50,000-$75,000 a year with additional income
if he earns his PGA Tour card, Martin has deals pending with
a national insurance group and a golf equipment
manufacturer. The two new sponsor deals will be announced
March 3, with a third new deal "imminent." Martin has also
received more than 20 requests to appear in corporate-
sponsored golf outings and PGA Tour tournaments across the
country. Martin: "If someone's willing to pay me to
represent them, I'm not going to turn them down. I'm a
little uncomfortable with the fact that it's done ...
because of my leg." NBC's "Dateline" will also feature
Martin shortly (WASHINGTON POST, 2/24). In GA, Witsil &
Cline reported that officials at E-Z-GO Textron, the
nation's largest golf cart maker, have held discussions with
Signature Sports Group, Martin's agency, about a possible
golf cart endorsement deal. An agreement could be "rendered
moot," however, if the PGA Tour decides Martin should ride
in a single person scooter (Augusta CHRONICLE, 2/22).
EXEMPTIONS: Martin writes in GOLF WORLD: "I have no
intention of pursuing any sponsors' exemptions on the PGA
Tour, at least not now" (GOLF WORLD, 2/2O). CNN/SI's Jaime
Diaz: "Until he knows his game can handle the pressure, it's
probably not worth the risk" ("Pro Golf Weekly," CNN, 2/21).
MORE CASEY: Jack Nicklaus, on the Martin ruling: "I'm
really worried about the long-term effects on the game of
golf. ... When you really get down to playing serious
tournament golf it's a whole different ballgame, and I know
the average person just doesn't understand it" ("Up Close,"
ESPN, 2/20). AD AGE's Rance Crain credits the PGA Tour for
"ignoring the obvious bonanza for itself and its corporate
sponsors that will come its way now that" Martin is allowed
to use a cart. The Tour, in "protecting the integrity of
the game, is determined to keep the likable" Martin out of
events "even though his presence will draw huge support for
golf." Crain: "Instead of deriding the PGA Tour for trying
to de-ride Mr. Martin, let's be thankful that there is one
group willing to spurn all the good feeling -- not to
mention corporate opportunity -- that will flow to golf
because of Mr. Martin's brave determination" (AD AGE, 2/23).
The marketing of Dale Earnhardt after his Daytona 500
win was examined by Gerald Martin of the Raleigh NEWS &
OBSERVER. Earnhardt's company now has 109 Earnhardt
registered trademarks in 19 countries and the U.S. Dale
Earnhardt Inc. President Don Hawk said Earnhardt's deals are
moving into the "millions": "That's where we're headed, and
the question is whether it goes from single-digit millions
to doubles, and how far beyond that." Sporting Goods
Business Editor Andy Bernstein said, however, that Earnhardt
probably left "millions of dollars on the table" following
his Daytona 500 victory. Bernstein: "The hot-market
business (the day or two after the event), is gone. ...
That's where NASCAR has struggled." Hawk said that no
merchandise was ready following Earnhardt's Daytona win
because "he's superstitious, and he doesn't want anything
done in advance" (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 2/22). In
Charlotte, Clifford Glickman reported that Hawk had 30-40
offers for Earnhardt the day he won at Daytona, including a
Burger King commemorative cup and possible commercial, and
"some ideas" from Coca-Cola (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 2/23).
LICENSE TO DRIVE: Martin also reported that NASCAR is
in the process of streamlining its licensing, and although
it does not coordinate or have control of the marketing or
licensing of its teams, "it is working closer with them to
make what's good for one ... good for all." Team marketing
execs are working with NASCAR, especially to wipe out
counterfeits. NASCAR VP Brian France: "Our look at licensing
is a lot different than how we looked at it a few years ago.
We really weren't complementing our core business." France
added that because of fragmentation, NASCAR is still "way
short of where we need to be" (NEWS & OBSERVER, 2/22).
"Shock waves are reverberating" in Australia following
last week's launch of Mojo Partners' TV, print and billboard
spots for the '98 Australian Ladies Masters championship,
which uses a "mini-skirted dominatrix wielding a golf club"
while driving a ball off of a man's nose, according to AD
AGE. Mojo Art & Creative Dir Lachlan McPherson: "We wanted
to change the way the sport is seen by most women and that
requires provocation" (AD AGE, 2/24).