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Volume 24 No. 159

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

          Valparaiso Univ., heading to this weekend's NCAA men's
     Sweet 16, "has locals going bananas," according to George
     Lazarus of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE.  On Monday, the school's
     Book Center had "sold or received orders for more than
     $21,000 in merchandise, ranging from T-shirts to car flags. 
     That is ten times as much as the store does on a "normal
     day."  Elegan Sportswear, Inc., a Valparaiso wholesaler of
     embroidered merchandise and screen printing, "expects to
     sell an additional 2,000 T-shirts beyond those that were
     shipped to retailers Monday" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/18).
          HUSKY FEVER: The Univ. of WA's NCAA Tournament run "has
     spurred brisk sales of UW hoops paraphernalia."  Shawna
     Gibson, Manager of the DawgHouse, a University District
     sporting goods store, said that sales "picked up" following
     the Huskies' first win, but after the second win, "people
     have been asking about Sweet 16 T's" (SEATTLE TIMES, 3/17).
          NEW PROMO: For the first time ever, a retail promotion
     geared to drive sales of NCAA Women's Final Four merchandise
     has been launched.  Ocean Spray is the presenter of the
     promo, and Goody's Family Clothing is the host retailer at
     45 of its TN store locations.  Each store will display
     Women's Final Four merchandise throughout March.  Shoppers
     at the participating stores can enter a contest, with the
     Grand Prize winner receiving an all-expense paid trip for
     two to the Women's Final Four in Kansas City (NCAA).

          ESPN announced that six new sponsors will join eight
     returning sponsors for the '98 ESPN X Games.  The first-time
     associate sponsors include Touchstone Pictures' Armageddon,
     AC Delco, Lee Jeans, Sony Corp., Sony Electronics and Speed
     Stick Ultimate.  Among the returning gold sponsors are
     Mountain Dew, Taco Bell, AT&T and Chevy S-10 Pickup/Pontiac
     Sunfire.  Snickers/Starburst Fruit Chews have moved from
     associate sponsor to gold.  Pringles, Visa and the U.S.
     Marines will return as associate sponsors.  Sponsor benefits
     include a comprehensive package on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Radio,
     ESPN SportsZone, a 10-market "Xperience" show and complete
     on-site hospitality opportunity.  Sponsors will also receive
     exposure through a "Guide to the X-Games," which will be
     distributed through Rolling Stone and ESPN Magazine (ESPN).
          SWAMI: Sprint and ESPN are combining for a "Beat the
     Swami" promo in which entrants pick the top 10 selections in
     the NFL Draft against ESPN's Chris Berman.  Top prospects
     Ryan Leaf and Peyton Manning will appear with Berman in a
     four-page SI spread promoting the contest.  ESPN may also
     tag on-air promos for its NFL Draft coverage (ESPN).
          TOURNEY NEWS: ESPN Senior VP/Ad Sales Jeffrey Mahl said
     that Chrysler, State Farm, Lee Jeans, Nike, Bristol Myers
     and Phoenix Home Life all have "significant positions" on
     the NCAA women's Tournament (CABLE WORLD, 3/9 issue)....ESPN
     SportsZone has signed up 19 sponsors and advertisers for the
     NCAA basketball tournaments this month.  Sponsors include
     Ford Motor Co., Hewlett-Packard and Dr. Pepper/Seven Up. 
     Advertisers include Carter-Wallace, Mazda Motor, Mercedes-
     Benz of N.A. and Sony PlayStation (AD AGE, 3/17).

          MLB and Toys "R" Us have partnered in a national
     promotion sponsored by Pepsi Cola.  The sweepstakes, titled
     "Be Our Reporter," will run between March 15 and April 30
     and is open to kids ages 7-15.  With every purchase of a
     baseball glove, bat or batting glove at Toys "R" Us,
     consumers will receive a free baseball cap in a Pepsi can
     bank.  Kids "R" Us will offer the free bank with the
     purchase of any licensed MLB product.  The Grand Prize for
     the promo is a trip for four to Coors Field for the '98 MLB
     All-Star Game and $1,000 in spending money.  The winner will
     also have a chance to meet and interview players.  The
     interview will be edited into an episode of "This Week in
     Baseball."  Participating MLB licensees include Wilson
     Sporting Goods, Franklin Sports and Louisville Slugger. 
     Support will include Toys "R" Us circulars, print ads, on-
     air promo spots during "This Week in Baseball," feature
     space in Toys "R" Us stores and in-store handouts (MLB).

          AUTO RACING: The NASCAR collectibles market was
     examined by Marc Benjamin in the BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN. 
     Popular items include die-cast metal cars, mini helmets, T-
     shirts and caps.  Larry Collins, VP of Mesa Marin Raceway:
     "Race teams make more money from souvenir sales than from
     prize money [or] sponsorships" (CALIFORNIAN, 3/17).   
     ...Action Performance Cos. Inc., which designs, markets and
     distributes licensed motorsports merchandise, announced
     plans to settle two pending lawsuits.  The company will take
     a one-time charge of approximately $900,000, or about $0.03
     per share (Action Performance).
          FROM THE BREWERIES: Miller Brewing "is restaging one-
     time flagship beer" Miller High Life with new ads breaking
     in April.  The spots are created by OR-based Wieden &
     Kennedy, and will air on MLB broadcasts, the NBA Finals and
     on primetime TV.  An under-the-cap summer promo from MO-
     based Zipatoni will offer consumers a chance to visit four
     famous ballparks via a match-and-win tie-in to Fox baseball
     (BRANDWEEK, 3/16 issue)....Rheingold beer, an original
     sponsor of the Mets, will use Mets old-timers Ed Kranepool
     and Tommy Agee as pitchmen for the relaunch of the brand. 
     Also "in the works" is a million-dollar pitch promo at Shea
     Stadium in August, which "may include a celebrated Met
     pitcher as spokesman" (Terry Lefton, BRANDWEEK, 3/16).
          NOTES: VT-based Burton Snowboards is using a Lotus
     Domino Internet application that allows Burton and their
     design team, JDK, to post designs, images and additional
     product information where riders anywhere in the world can
     view them and provide feedback in real-time (Burton)....
     National Car Rental has inked with Fox to be the presenting
     sponsor of next month's Santa Anita Derby.  National will
     have "category-exclusivity and five 30 second spots" for the
     April 4 event (MEDIAWEEK, 3/16)....Since the end of his
     holdout, sales of Red Wings F Sergei Fedorov's merchandise
     "have dropped off at Metro Detroit sporting goods shops"
     (DETROIT NEWS, 3/17)....ASICS Corp. announced a two-year
     Platinum Sponsorship of the Idaho Women's Fitness
     Celebration 5K, September 19 in Boise, ID (ASICS).     

          MLS Clash F Eric Wynalda "has joined the All Star Cafe"
     as its latest sports celebrity spokesperson and stockholder,
     according to Steve Carp of the LAS VEGAS SUN.  Wynalda, a
     "huge" Wayne Gretzky fan, "was thrilled to hear" that the
     soccer items he was donating to the Las Vegas Strip
     restaurant, including a game-worn U.S. national jersey, were
     going to be displayed next to Gretzky's memorabilia. 
     Wynalda: "I think to have a soccer player represented here
     (at the All Star Cafe) is awesome" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 3/17).