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).