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Volume 24 No. 156

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

          General Mills is launching a multi-brand sports-themed
     promotion in "one of the biggest" MLB-linked packaged-goods
     programs, according to Lefton & Thompson of BRANDWEEK.  In
     April, General Mills will launch a "limited-time" kids
     cereal, Grand Slams, and promos around 12 kids cereals and
     other brands hitting 50 million packages in all.  The promo
     uses MLB and MLBPA rights, along with "more than 25 of the
     game's biggest stars."  The Grand Slams cereal will launch
     in mid-April and feature Frank Thomas, Mark McGwire, Mike
     Piazza on the front panels, and other players, including
     Larry Walker, Andres Galarraga and Tino Martinez on back
     panels.  Lefton & Thompson note that the combination of
     player and team rights "is a rare showing of cooperation"
     between MLB and the MLBPA.  Grand Slams boxes "will tout an
     offer for cereal bowl/batting helmets with MLB logos." 
     General Mills' three Wheaties brands will feature Piazza,
     Ken Griffey and Cal Ripken (BRANDWEEK, 3/9 issue).
          IRON MAN ENDORSEMENT: Nabisco has signed Cal Ripken to
     support its involvement in its MLB's All-Star themed FSI. 
     Nabisco will use life-sized standees of Ripken in a
     "massive" POP effort (Terry Lefton, BRANDWEEK, 3/9). 

          DEALS: WI-based Huffy Sports Co. has renewed its
     licensing agreement with the NCAA, extending its product
     licensing partnership through 2000.  Huffy manufactures and
     markets a variety of basketball system brands, including
     Huffy Sports, Sure Shot and Hydra-RIB (Huffy Sports).  Huffy
     was profiled in the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL.  Hydra-RIB
     backboards will be used in both the men's and women's Final
     Fours this year (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 3/8)....Fuzzy
     Zoeller is developing his own line of BBQ and steak sauces
     with assistance from Mark's Feed Store, a small restaurant
     chain in KY and IN (GOLFWEEK, 3/7 issue)....After an absence
     of "more than five years," Honda is returning to F-1 racing. 
     Honda will own its own engine, chassis and management teams,
     but has yet to decide the "structure of the racing team and
     actual timing" of the return (FINANCIAL TIMES, 3/10).
          NOTES: In N.Y., Constance Hays examines soft-drink
     sponsorships in America's high schools, calling it the
     "latest battleground in the cola wars" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/10).
     ...Chevrolet presented Tara Lipinski with a '98 Cavalier Z24
     Convertible in honor of her winning the Olympic gold medal. 
     Chevrolet also announced a two-month arrangement to become
     the official automotive sponsor of the Detroit Skating Club
     (DSC), including signage and a Cavalier put on display at
     the club.  Lipinski is a member at the DSC (Chevrolet).
     Lipinski will not defend her title later this month at the
     world championships in Minneapolis due to illness (DETROIT
     FREE PRESS, 3/10)....In a decision "that virtually insures
     the continued flourishing of the multibillion-dollar 'gray
     market' in unauthorized imports," the Supreme Court ruled
     that U.S. manufacturers "cannot invoke the protection of
     copyright law to block the domestic sale of products they
     originally sold at a discount overseas."  Once a product is
     sold in an authorized manner, the copyright owner has "no
     further control" over the product's fate (N.Y. TIMES, 3/10).

          The latest figures from the SnowSports Industries
     America trade show indicate that 50,000 pairs of snowshoes
     were sold in stores in December '97, according to Penny
     Parker of the DENVER POST.  The 50,000 are "five times the
     number" from December '96.  For August-December '97, 75,678
     pairs of snowshoes were sold.  By comparison, ski equipment
     sales dropped 18.8% from August through December '97, and
     snowboard sales dropped 16.7% during the same period.  Gart
     Sports CEO Doug Morton: "Snowshoeing almost looks like the
     snowboard business four years ago" (DENVER POST, 3/8).  
          LODGE MEETINGS: In Denver, Andrew Hood reported that
     ski resorts throughout CO "are pushing" the state's "wide-
     open vistas and perennial good weather" as the "perfect
     venue for corporations to entertain key clients, hold
     meetings and conduct conferences."  Companies such as
     Johnson & Johnson, CBS and NationsBank "regularly shuttle in
     guests for a few days skiing" in addition to "talking
     business."  AmEx, which for the second straight year is
     flying 45 clients and their families to Beaver Creek, CO, is
     also flying in former Olympians Billy Kidd and Tamara
     McKinney to ski with the guests (DENVER POST, 3/8).  

          Officials at Jordan Brand, Michael Jordan's Nike
     division, say that the original Air Jordan sneakers which
     Jordan wore on Sunday may be released again, according to
     USA TODAY.  Erin Patton, Dir of the Jordan Brand: "While the
     future growth of the Jordan Brand will be fueled by new
     product introductions, we will seek opportunities to
     supplement our core product offerings with retro footwear
     and apparel to satisfy the tremendous global appeal for
     Michael's vintage products."  Patton said that no timetable
     is set for the re-release (USA TODAY, 3/10).  
          SILENT KNIGHT? In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal details a
     scene in the upcoming film, "The Big One," by Michael Moore. 
     Moore sits down and asks Nike Chair Phil Knight about the
     "12-year old workers" in Nike's overseas plants.  Rosenthal
     notes that Knight "corrects him pointedly" by replying,
     "Fourteen."  Rosenthal: "It's a proud moment for everyone"
     (Phil Rosenthal, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/10).

          SportsChannel Florida (SCFL) will launch its "Baseball
     Night in Florida" campaign, featuring 134 regular season
     games of the Marlins (70) and Devil Rays (64).  The season-
     long promotional campaign in excess of $1M -- the biggest
     financial commitment in SCFL history -- will be supported
     through print, radio, TV and outdoor advertising and
     affiliate marketing programs that will run throughout the
     '98 MLB season.  SCFL will integrate all of its resources,
     including Internet, cross-channel promotion, affiliate
     marketing and media advertising, to support the promo.  The
     "Baseball Night in Florida" theme is branded into all facets
     of the campaign, including a new logo, which incorporates
     the SCFL logo and the logos of both teams (SCFL).