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).