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Volume 24 No. 155

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

          This year's Red Wings slogan "Raise Your Hands!" which
     features Al the Octopus holding a hockey stick with one arm
     and a Stanley Cup with the other, is displayed throughout
     the Detroit area, including on five billboards along Detroit
     freeways, according to Carol Teegardin of the DETROIT FREE
     PRESS.  But Teegardin calls the slogan "ambiguous" and
     reports there is "apathy for the campaign," which has
     "spread to sports stores across Metro Detroit," where
     "everything featuring the Red Wings logo sells well ...
     except for stuff with the 'Raise Your Hands!' logo."  Sports
     Leader Store Manager Debbie Dieringer: "The 'Raise Your
     Hands!' items aren't selling.  I won't order more of them." 
     Red Wings Dir of Marketing Ted Speers said that the slogan,
     created by McCann Erickson and the team, is meant to be a
     rallying cry for fans (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 6/16).

          Israel-based SciDel Technologies, a developer of
     virtual signage, and IMG have entered into a worldwide
     marketing relationship.  IMG's Barry Frank: "This technology
     has been widely accepted already and after researching the
     virtual advertising industry, it was our judgement that
     SciDel has the most sophisticated technology."  SciDel Board
     of Directors member Neal Pilson said that SciDel's advanced
     technology combined with IMG's international reach "will
     accelerate the use" of virtual signage technology in
     worldwide sports telecasts (SciDel).

          PA-based AND 1 has signed former Univ. of KS F Raef
     LaFrentz and former St. Louis Univ. F Larry Hughes to
     endorsement agreements.  AND 1 Founder & President Seth
     Berger: "With other footwear companies cutting back on
     endorsers, we saw a great opportunity for AND 1 to be more
     aggressive in gaining greater on-court visibility in the
     NBA."  Both athletes are represented by FAME (AND 1). 
     BRANDWEEK's Terry Lefton reports that while Berger would not
     disclose terms of the deals, he said the company is paying
     them "well by this year's standards, but two or three years
     ago, this kind of money would get you a bottom five first-
     rounder."  Lefton adds that AND 1 is "close" to a deal with
     former Univ. of MI C Robert Traylor (BRANDWEEK, 6/22 issue).
          MAR-BURIED: Lefton also reports that T-Wolves G Stephon
     Marbury leaves AND 1 "after two years as its lead endorser." 
     Lefton: "Expect this thing to get legal soon.  Relations
     with agent Eric Fleisher became strained to the point where
     AND 1 terminated the deal."  AND 1's Berger, on Marbury: "To
     have so much of your brand wrapped up in something you can't
     depend on just puts your brand in a very precarious
     situation."  Lefton adds that Nike, which could "creatively
     pair" Marbury with T-Wolves teammate Kevin Garnett, is "long
     rumored to be waiting in the wings" for Marbury.  Puma "is
     another possibility" (BRANDWEEK, 6/22 issue).

          ELECTRONIC MEDIA's Diane Mermigas, on the ad market for
     the NFL's TV partners: "Some analysts predict a worst-case
     scenario of flat sports ad rates that would make Fox's past
     annual NFL losses of up to $110 million look like a picnic"
     (EM, 6/15 issue)....The Portland OREGONIAN's Richard Read
     continued his examination from Vietnam of the Asian economic
     crisis and its impact on employment at Nike-contracted
     factories.  The report's sub-head: "Falling Orders, Sliding
     Currencies Tempt Subcontractors For Nike To Cut Corners As
     Their Profit Margins Shrink" (OREGONIAN, 6/15)....IL-based
     One-on-One Sports hired PR firm Ruder Finn (BRANDWEEK, 6/15
     issue)....NJ-based racquetball manufacturer Ektelon signed
     an exclusive sponsorship contract with Tony Jelso, currently
     ranked No. 11 in the world's racquetball rankings (Ektelon).
          BAILEY NOTICED? In Toronto, Steve Buffery wrote that
     the controversial Donovan Bailey is "not the popular,
     respected, or even beloved" athlete of two years ago, and
     that his "public persona is waning."  Since the '96
     Olympics, Bailey has lost "four of five major sponsors" and
     Air Canada "even took his image off the 767 jet that once
     bore his name."  Bailey's agent, Mark Block, on the
     endorsements: "Every one of those deals (other than adidas,
     which is still on board) was done for a pre-Olympic or
     Olympic marketing push.  Donovan's doing well on that front. 
     In fact, we get calls all the time" (TORONTO SUN, 6/14).

          MLB will offer Beanie Babies as souvenirs to everyone
     attending the All-Star Game, July 7 at Coors Field.  MLBP
     President Bob Gamgort said that the non-sponsored giveaway
     is "really just a thank-you for fans" (BRANDWEEK, 6/15).
          IS FAD COOLING? In Phoenix, the D'Backs gave away 6,000
     Beanie Babies on Sunday, and "long lines" formed outside
     Bank One Ballpark before the gates opened in anticipation
     (AZ DAILY STAR, 6/15).  But in N.Y., Dave Saltonstall wrote
     that nearly two years after Beanie Babies "became a national
     craze," the toys "are suffering something of a backlash,
     with some stores refusing to sell them and many collectors
     predicting their imminent demise" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/14). 

          NBC WNBA announcer Ann Meyers said that the new WNBA-
     Nike spots, which feature little girls with "a smart mouth,"
     lack "respect," according to David Barron of the HOUSTON
     CHRONICLE.  Meyers: "As a woman, as a mother and as an
     athlete, I didn't appreciate it."  Meyers, on Nike's NBA
     "Fun Police" spots, in particular one that teaches young
     girls how to "talk trash": "I'm totally not for that.  I
     know that as advertisers that they are looking for something
     that will catch the eye of young people, but to continue to
     show disrespect is wrong."  Meyers said her concerns "are
     not limited to advertisers," and include NBA players and her
     own network.  Meyers: "Scottie Pippen's comment that 'Oh,
     Utah ought to wait for the WNBA to start' -- I would like to
     see more respect.  I would like to see ESPN highlights. 
     They're one of the networks doing the games.  Did you see
     any highlights the other night?  ... I'd like to see NBC
     show more highlights" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/15).