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).