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Volume 24 No. 159

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

          Callaway Golf said that it would join others in the
     industry in opposing any changes implemented by the USGA
     banning modern golf clubs.  While the USGA is looking at re-
     interpreting existing rules or adapting new rules in an
     effort to outlaw modern metal woods, Callaway said that any
     such action by the USGA would hurt the game of golf, the
     USGA, and would be unfair.  Callaway President & CEO Donald
     Dye: "There is absolutely no good reason why millions of
     golfers should ever be required to give up their Big Bertha
     or comparable brand of metal woods" (Callaway).  USGA Exec
     Dir David Fay said that the organization has not concluded
     its research on club technology, "but we are looking at
     everything" (Clifton Brown, N.Y. TIMES, 5/23).  Callaway
     took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal urging
     consumers to send comments to the USGA (THE DAILY).

          Jeff Gordon's victory at the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday
     "certainly wasn't the most popular of all possible outcomes
     for Coca-Cola," according to David Poole of the CHARLOTTE
     OBSERVER.  Gordon, who once endorsed Coke but went to Pepsi
     before last season, "was careful to have" a Pepsi in-hand
     when he climbed from his car in Victory Lane, which was
     adorned with Coke bottles (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/25). 
     Around 175,000 people attended the Coca-Cola 600 Sunday at
     Charlotte Motor Speedway (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 5/26).
          REAL-TIME: For this weekend's races, Goodyear launched
     a new ad campaign as it videotaped two demos of a Chevrolet
     Corvette pace car with Goodyear Eagle tires running over
     nails at the IMS and the Charlotte Motor Speedway, before
     completing a full lap around the tracks without air in the
     tires.  The videotape was taken before the Indy 500 and
     Coca-Cola 600, then edited and shown during the respective
     broadcasts.  Goodyear called the spots the "nearest thing to
     real-time, you-are-there productions that it has ever done
     to promote a new product" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 5/23).
          RACING NOTES: Best Western was named the official hotel
     of the IRL Pep Boys Series.  As part of the deal, the IRL
     Gold Crown Club will award frequent traveler points to IRL
     fans for every lodging dollar spent at any Best Western.
     Accumulated points may be redeemed for a variety of awards,
     including retail gift certificates, travel vouchers and IRL
     merchandise (Best Western)....The Indy 500 was won by Eddie
     Cheever, who recently signed a team sponsorship deal with
     MN-based Rachel's Potato Chips.  The company will pay about
     40% of the $1.5M it cost to run in the Indy 500 (Tarik El-
     Bashir, N.Y. TIMES, 5/27).....IRL sponsor Reebok made a
     "quick and temporary move" to appear at this weekend's Indy
     500, after driver Eliseo Salazar was bumped from the field. 
     Reebok's logo instead appeared on the side of Davey
     Hamilton's car (Holly Cain, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/24).
     

          NAMES: Cubs P Kerry Wood says he soon should have an
     equipment contract with adidas, but "has no plans to be in
     TV commercials for the company" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 5/26).
     ...Pharmacia's Rogaine, which signed Karl Malone as part of
     its $80M ad campaign, is currently testing other balding
     sports figures to see if Rogaine restores their hair
     (BLOOMBERG NEWS/Newark STAR-LEDGER, 5/26)....John Elway's
     marketing agent Jeff Sperbeck said that requests for
     endorsements have increased following the Super Bowl, but
     that Elway has "turned down most ... because they're short
     term.  He's looking for something beyond a year."  Sperbeck
     said that a couple of "big deals" are in the works (ROCKY
     MOUNTAIN NEWS, 5/24)....Boris Becker has established Boris-
     BeckerMarketing and AD AGE reports that the company may take
     over the marketing activities for the Davis Cup in Germany
     (AD AGE, 5/26)....NHL Wild Owner and in-line skate
     developer, Bob Naegele is developing a "high-end skate for
     elite hockey players" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 5/24).  
          NOTES: In-arena sports advertising was examined by
     Chris Zelkovich of the TORONTO STAR.  For the season, the
     Maple Leafs will sell "most" of their 36 rink-board ads for
     $225,000 each, while a pair of on-ice ads will go for
     $350,000 -- an annual income for the team of $8.7M.  The
     Blue Jays receive $150,000 a season for half-inning ads on
     the rotating sign behind home plate at SkyDome, a potential
     $2.5M "windfall," while ads on the foul poles bring in
     another $570,000 a year (TORONTO STAR, 5/23).....USA TODAY's
     Melanie Wells profiled Grey Advertising's Jon Mandel as part
     of a special look at the "up-front" selling period.  Mandel
     said he "expects to see" the purchase of about $1B in
     advertising this year.  In a sidebar, Wells also took an
     "inside look at TV ad buying," by asking five "prominent
     players" about ad trends for next season (USA TODAY, 5/27). 
     

          The decline in footwear sales among sports companies
     and its impact on those companies' endorsement rosters was
     examined in "The Endorsement Game," a four-story feature
     over two-issues by Jeff Manning of the Portland OREGONIAN. 
     In a front-page, above-the-fold piece on Monday, entitled
     "Slump Speeds Slowdown of Spending On Athletes," Manning
     reported that at Nike's quarterly meeting in January,
     sources said that company Chair Phil Knight said he would
     rather cut athletes than lay off a single Nike employee. 
     But, Manning added, while companies debate whether they can
     afford the luxury of paying athletes to hawk their products,
     Nike "is the most reluctant to cut back."  Nike has been
     "particularly tough on track and field athletes, in part
     because there are no Olympics or other" major events this
     year, and is also "cutting many of its ties to bicycling,
     particularly road racing."  Other shoe companies "are
     pulling out of some sports nearly entirely," including Fila
     which is getting out of the football shoe business.  Fila
     VP/Advertising Howe Burch: "Kids just aren't as inspired by
     athletes because a) there are too many of them, and b)
     because of their behavior."  Reebok VP/Sports Marketing John
     Frascotti: "[W]e've hit a salary cap.  We sort of lost track
     of the reason for doing these deals" (OREGONIAN, 5/25).
          NIKE CHANGES? Nike critics argue that the company needs
     to take a "more selective approach to sports marketing," a
     department that some insiders "long had argued needed
     overhauling."  Manning reported that a "vocal faction within
     Nike is dissatisfied with Nike's mass-endorsement approach,
     which they said is 'see 'em, sign 'em.'"  A former Nike
     insider: "Phil [Knight] agrees this needs to be more
     strategic.  But Phil's the one who throws a fit if they let
     an athlete go" (Jeff Manning, Portland OREGONIAN, 5/25).
          THE DEBATE GOES ON: Among other aspects of Manning's
     report: Sunday's front-page feature ran under the header, "A
     Sports Marketing Juggernaut At The Crossroads: Nike and its
     competitors built their empires in an unprecedented
     partnership with athletes, but now the wildly successful
     strategy is in doubt."  In a sidebar on Sunday under the
     header, "Forget Research: Endorsements Just A Lot Of Fancy
     Footwork," Manning wrote that Nike spent $300M last year
     "largely on gut instinct."  While Nike and other companies
     know what they want from an endorser, they're finding it
     "more difficult to determine whether they're getting their
     money's worth" (OREGONIAN, 5/24).  On Monday, Manning wrote
     a sidebar under the header, "Scandals Don't Keep A Shoe Firm
     From Celebrating Its Superstars" (Portland OREGONIAN, 5/25).

          NASCAR will stage 15-25 branded concerts from May-
     August next year in partnership with CBS and TNN, according
     to Terry Lefton of BRANDWEEK.  Tentatively called "The
     Nascar Summer Music Festival," the tour will bring
     "mainstream acts to locales that typically do not host
     races," in an attempt to "reach outside" NASCAR's
     southeastern core markets.  NASCAR sponsors and licensees
     are being offered sponsorship packages that include signage,
     hospitality and media by way of NASCAR's TV partners.  TNN
     and CBS will produce prime time specials showcasing concert
     highlights and will also tie in local radio and TV affils 
     and cable operators.  Neither talent nor specific sites have
     yet to be booked, but Denver, Chicago and N.Y. will be
     venues for the outdoor concerts (BRANDWEEK, 5/25 issue).
          THE OTHER ONES: AD AGE's Jeff Jensen also reports on
     the concert tour and writes that NASCAR execs are
     undertaking initiatives to "craft branding strategies and
     integrated marketing programs" for its other properties,
     including the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and the NASCAR
     Busch Series.  Jensen writes that perhaps "most ambitious"
     is NASCAR's intention to develop a branded platform linking
     nine different regional touring series, representing more
     than 2,000 events each year (Jeff Jensen, AD AGE, 5/25).

          The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has been
     granted licensing and merchandising rights to Triple Crown
     contender Real Quiet from the horse's owner, Mike Pegram,
     according to Jenny Kellner of the N.Y. TIMES.  The rights
     "protected" under the agreement include the name, image and
     likeness of Real Quiet and his "distinctive" red and yellow
     silks.  While the current deal runs through the Belmont
     Stakes on June 6, Pegram said negotiations are "under way to
     extend the agreement" (Jenny Kellner, N.Y. TIMES, 5/27).