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Volume 24 No. 156

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

          Anheuser-Busch is putting the "finishing touches" on a
     deal that will see it pay $20M for "exclusivity in the beer
     category and 10 Super Bowl spots" -- $2M for each 30-second
     commercial, according to Arndorfer & Ross of AD AGE.  The A-
     B spots on Fox's broadcast of Super Bowl XXXIII represent a
     54% increase from the $1.3M which most advertisers paid last
     year.  The increase is 74% more than the $1.15M NBC
     "insiders" said A-B paid for exclusive spots during Super
     Bowl XXXII.  A-B and Fox declined comment on the report, but
     Arndorfer & Ross note a source close to the deal said that
     A-B was "forced to the mat" by NFL sponsor Miller Brewing. 
     In the past, Miller has run pre-and-post game ads, but this
     year, through its media-buying Starcom Media Services, the
     source said that Miller decided on a "very smart strategy:
     that it would either get on the [Super Bowl] or make it
     very, very expensive" for A-B.  Miller last year inked a
     four-year, $300M partnership with Fox.  But while Fox "would
     love" to use the $2M as a "benchmark" for what it can charge
     for a 30-second Super Bowl spot, most media execs said such
     a plan would be "problematic" (AD AGE, 4/13 issue). 

          Avalanche D Adam Deadmarsh will promote Deadmarsh Deli
     Dills, a halfkosher dill pickle new to the Denver market,
     according to Penny Parker of the DENVER POST.  Neither the
     word Avalanche nor the initials of the NHL will be on the
     jar.  Melissa Heher, Dir of Marketing of Public Label Brand
     Sports (PLB), the PA-based company that signed Deadmarsh to
     the deal: "We chose Adam because he's a cruncher player, a
     tough guy."  Heher said her company has also signed Steelers
     RB Jerome Bettis to move mustard, salsa and BBQ sauce, and
     Indians C Sandy Alomar to sell steak sauce.  Parker added
     that PLB "is also talking to Denver football and baseball
     players about condiment connections" (DENVER POST, 4/10).
     

          Athlete representative Brian Lawton, who handles about
     50 clients, "is entertaining an offer from Advantage
     International to buy his business," according to Sid Hartman
     of the Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE.  If sold, Lawton would
     continue to run the firm (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 4/10).
          OTHER NOTES: Nets F Jayson Williams has hired NJ-based
     Integrated Sports International (ISI) to manage his off-the-
     court activities.  ISI will target companies both regionally
     and nationwide (ISI)....IMG "appears to have an eye on
     superstar-in-waiting Marisa Baena," a junior golfer at the
     Univ. of AZ.  Baena said she will finish college before
     turning pro (GOLFWEEK, 3/11)....Woolf Associates signed
     former ODU women's basketball player Ticha Penicheiro. 
     Woolf VP Andrew Brandt will manage Penicheiro, who is being
     recruited by the ABL and WNBA (Woolf Associates).

          Shaquille O'Neal's newest Pepsi spot, "Bench," will
     begin airing during the NBA playoffs.  O'Neal said that for
     his next Pepsi commercial, he would like a chance to direct
     it: "This summer I'm going to film school because I've been
     involved in a lot of commercials" (Pepsi).  
          HEAT TV: In Miami, Spike Lee yesterday filmed a 30-
     second TV spot for the Heat that will begin airing in April. 
     The $100,000 spot urges fans to buy season tickets: "You can
     Get On Now, Or Get On Later" (MIAMI HERALD, 4/16).

          Under its new Sega Sports Brand, Sega will branch out
     to clothing, sports equipment and watches, "aiming to hold
     onto consumers as they age beyond the core game-playing
     demo."  Sega also plans basketballs, snowboards and
     rollerblades, along with a line of jackets, fleeces,
     sweatshirts and hats (ADWEEK, 4/13 issue)....Derek Jeter
     appeared at a N.Y.-area Macy's yesterday to promote his new
     Fila line, "Can You Jeter?"  The store offered a special
     Fila gift signed by Jeter with all Fila men's sportswear
     purchases of $75 or more (N.Y. TIMES, 4/12).

          MLB has expanded its All-Star Game fan balloting
     program while adding a retail partner "on every marketer's
     hit list: Wal-Mart," according to Terry Lefton of BRANDWEEK. 
     Also included in the program are Pizza Hut and CompUSA.  MLB
     will distribute a record 70 million ballots (up from 60
     million last year) between May 2 and June 21. Wal-Mart will
     distribute 20 million at 2,200 of its locations; CompUSA
     will handle 30 million inside MLB parks and 2 million in its
     156 stores; and Pepsi will distribute 18 million at Pizza
     Hut's 4,500 units.  Lefton reports that Wal-Mart, "which
     sells around 10% of MLB's domestic licensed merchandise,
     will buttress its balloting with front-of-store displays for
     licensed apparel, trading cards, videogames and Pepsi
     products."  MLB VP/Corporate Sponsorships Tom Worcester:
     "Everyone wants Wal-Mart.  But, in the first year, anything
     is a test and operational details are important to anyone
     with that many locations" (BRANDWEEK, 4/13 issue).
          VIDEO: BRANDWEEK's T.L. Stanley reports that Polygram
     plans a $5M "overhaul" of marketing, packaging and promos
     for the MLB video line after acquiring it earlier this year. 
     The relaunch will begin in May with two new releases, "and
     will develop new music-driven titles" targeting younger
     demos (T.L. Stanley, BRANDWEEK, 4/13 issue). 

          MLB "is expected to announce" a new licensing agreement
     with adidas in the next several days, according to Jeff
     Manning of the Portland OREGONIAN.  adidas Dir of Sports
     Marketing Robert Erb said "some issues remain unresolved"
     between adidas and MLB, with the fundamental question, "How
     much autonomy do the local owners have to market their own
     teams?"  Erb confirmed that as part of the pending deal,
     adidas and the Yankees will drop their lawsuit against MLB. 
     Manning also reported that while Russell Corp. and Wilson
     Sporting Goods have "both abandoned" their NFL licensing
     agreements in recent months, adidas has gained on-field
     status and will outfit the Bucs.  Erb also "confirmed" that
     talks are also taking place regarding a possible apparel
     deal with the Redskins.  Manning added that adidas does not
     appear "to be headed for an on-court deal with the NBA, at
     least anytime soon."  Erb confirmed reports that in recent
     talks with the league, NBA officials "raised the
     possibility" of adidas "taking some or all of financially
     strapped Starter's nine NBA teams."  But adidas decided
     against pursuing the deal "in part because many of Starter's
     teams have losing records or play in small markets." 
     Starter and NBA officials "denied there is any change
     pending in their relationship" (Portland OREGONIAN, 4/10).