LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: BRANDWEEK's Terry Lefton reports
that both Peyton Manning and his father, Archie, were signed
last week by adidas. The company "will pump up" the
family's Manning Passing Academy camps as part of the deal.
Lefton adds that adidas has also signed "a quartet" of Bucs
players, the first NFL team it will provide with uniforms
and sideline wear....Kordell Stewart has signed a two-year,
"low six-figure" deal for Midway's "NFL Blitz" video game.
Stewart will appear in spots for Midway, part of a $5.5M
marketing push behind the fall launch of Blitz....CA-based
Management Plus is now representing Oscar de La Hoya for
marketing deals (Terry Lefton, BRANDWEEK, 5/11 issue).
NOTES: The Boston Lager billboard on the outfield wall
of a little league facility in Newton, MA, which has been up
for five years, "will now stay down for good." The sign was
removed from the field last week due to parental protest
(ADWEEK, 5/11 issue)....MLBP announced that CO-based Zephyr
Graf-X has joined the Minor League licensing program to
produce fitted adjustable replica and non-replica caps for
158 Minor League teams. The deal runs from '98-2000 (MLBP).
....Columbia Sportswear opened its first retail store in
Nagoya, Japan. The 1,152-square-foot shop opened March 14
(Columbia)....Hibbett Sporting Goods opened 15 new stores in
the first quarter of '98 -- with initial stores in TX and IN
-- bringing its total to 135 stores in 16 states (Hibbett).
The new Reebok ad campaign "looks like something out of
Cecil B. DeMille," according to Chris Reidy of the BOSTON
GLOBE. Partly filmed at an abandoned Soviet army base in
Prague, Reebok's "epic ads have an epic job to do." The new
ad opens with a marathon run by clones, before one
individual breaks lose from the pack "to reveal a free
spirit." The spot closes as "a Reebok-shod foot crushes a
mask" of one of the clones. The TV ads will break Monday,
May 25, during the NBA playoffs, and will later run in about
one-third of U.S. movie theaters (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/12).
GLOVES ARE OFF: Reidy reports that "at first glance,"
the message of the ad seems similar to Nike's "I can" theme,
but the imagery and mood are "very different." Throughout
the ads, the number 97005 constantly appears, and Reidy
notes that 97005 is the zip code for Beaverton, OR, where
Nike is based. Reebok Dir of Global Advertising John
Wardley: "We've really decided to take the gloves off with
this one." The tagline for the ads, from Berlin Cameron &
Partners, NY, is still being "tweaked," with one top
candidate being, "Creating possibilities. One athlete at a
time" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/12). USA TODAY's Melanie Wells calls
the ads reminiscent of the film "Invasion of the Body
Snatchers." Reebok VP/Marketing Brenda Goodell: "There are
moments you wait for and this was one of them; the market is
in disarray and there's a window of opportunity." Reebok is
"expected to spend about" $15M on "its first ad effort" from
Berlin Cameron & Partners (Melanie Wells, USA TODAY, 5/12).
As the athletic shoe industry "is squeezed by a glut of
product," some of its largest retailers "are fighting back
with private labels," according to BRANDWEEK's Terry Lefton.
This year, FootAction will introduce a line of hiking, trail
and outdoors shoes via a license from Land Rove; The Sports
Authority will roll-out a similar line under license from
Tyrolia; and Foot Locker and Champs will market a line of
Champion-branded footwear for back-to-school. In addition,
NY-based Muller Sports Group is developing branded footwear
for JCPenney, one of which will use the company's rights to
the U.S. Olympic Team marks. Lefton reports that selling a
private label allows shoe retailers to improve margins by a
"minimum" of 10%, "a big attraction at a time when the
athletic shoe business is suffering and both consumers and
retailers are seeing too many me-too product in too many me-
too stores." Smith Barney analyst Faye Landes: "It will
take a lot of marketing muscle if they really want to grow
private label as a business, but most of them are investing
a lot there anyway, so why not throw that money toward
something where they can get better margins and build
something they can keep?" (BRANDWEEK, 5/11 issue).
NOT YOUR SAME OLD TIRE-D SHOE: In N.Y., James Sterngold
examines Oakley's introduction in the sneaker market, "an
unusual black and yellow woven shoe with a motorcycle racing
tire for a sole." Oakley will focus its shoe sale on 200 or
so sporting goods stores which also carry its sunglasses and
it will retail for $125. Sterngold adds that the new shoe
"is an attempt to do in the shoe market what Oakley's
sunglasses did in that market: create a niche by using high
technology and a high-technology look" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/12).
Tosco Marketing Co. will tout its designation as
NASCAR's Official Pit-Stop as it pushes an alliance of its
Circle K and 76 brand with NASCAR via an ad campaign
breaking next week, according to Cuneo & Halliday of AD AGE.
The campaign, from CA-based Dailey & Associates, will
include spending in the $14M range. Dailey Chair & Creative
Dir Cliff Einstein said that Tosco is trying to use its
NASCAR tie "much as Nike uses Michael Jordan for its
endorsements." Einstein: "The only athletes in the auto
industry are the automobile racers" (AD AGE, 5/11 issue).
COMING ATTRACTIONS: AD AGE's Jeff Jensen reports that
more and more feature films are sponsoring sporting events,
"arguably the most effective vehicle to reach young adult
males -- the primary consumer of summer flicks." Last
month, MGM used track signage at CART's Toyota Grand Prix to
promote "Species 2." This summer, Dreamworks Pictures will
team with Joe Gibbs' Interstate Batteries Racing to sponsor
three different cars, each promoting the July release of
"Small Soldiers." And Walt Disney's Touchstone Pictures has
linked with the '98 X Games, where "Armageddon" will become
an associate sponsor (Jeff Jensen, AD AGE, 5/11).
Nike Chair Phil Knight will address the National Press
Club in Washington today and USA TODAY reports that he will
"unveil a series of initiatives" aimed at improving the
company's working conditions. The steps would include
expanding its independent monitoring system to include non-
governmental organizations and adopting U.S. federal air
quality standards worldwide (USA TODAY, 5/12). Look for
details of his remarks in tomorrow's issue of THE DAILY.