The NBA said yesterday that it "has stopped Kellogg from issuing" a Corn Flakes box featuring the NBA champion Bulls on its front because Michael Jordan is a spokesperson for General Mills' Wheaties, according to Lee Egerstrom of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. Earlier this month, the NBA and Kellogg announced an agreement naming Kellogg the NBA's breakfast-food sponsor and the "plan" was for Kellogg to manufacture a Corn Flakes box featuring the NBA champs, whoever it happened to be. But Egerstrom reports that the NBA decided against the Corn Flakes box, "apparently to avoid possible legal battles" with General Mills. General Mills spokesperson David Dix said the company has not had contact with either Kellogg or the league. Egerstrom adds that the loss of a Bulls' Corn Flakes box could cost Kellogg "as much as" $6.25M in lost sales (PIONEER PRESS, 6/18). THE BASS MAN: General Mills will manufacture more than two million Wheaties boxes featuring the winner of the Bass fishing Forrest L. Wood Tour, ending today in CT. The boxes will be available in stores in October (USA TODAY, 6/18). AIR QUALITY: CA-based ad agency Spencer Communications will pay an unspecified amount to settle a lawsuit over a magazine ad for NC-based Fountain Powerboats, which mentions Michael Jordan, according to a court document. Agents for Jordan "demanded" $1M, saying the advertisement "constituted trademark infringement and diluted the value of Jordan's name" (AP/Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 6/18)....Larry Miller, the newly named President of Nike's Jordan Brand division, will oversee the transition of the brand into a separate unit by August 1. The line projects $350M in gross revenue in '98. Miller said that he did not have specifics of new product development, the orientation of the new company or any additional hiring (Portland OREGONIAN, 6/18).
Sponsorships Advertising Marketing
The Eagles have signed a deal with CT-based Imadgine Video Systems to handle virtual advertising for the team's pre-season games this year. The team said it will also use Imadgine's virtual replay system to analyze game action (Eagles). In Philadelphia, Leslie Nicholson reports the specifics of the Eagles/Imadgine deal, and writes that while the team could place ads on the playing surface, it isn't "looking into it at this point" (PHILA. INQUIRER, 6/18). TOBACCO: Senate Republicans yesterday killed a national tobacco bill, "ending a grueling, four-week debate on the ambitious but ultimately unwieldy measure" that sought to curb tobacco usage, and tobacco companies advertising and marketing. In DC, Torry & Dewar report that Democrats "warned" that they will "attempt to attach the tobacco measure to virtually every bill that comes to the floor this year" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/18). But NBC's Tom Brokaw said the fight for the bill is "effectively over" (NBC, 6/17). OTHER NOTES: MA-based Woolf Associates has finalized a one-year deal with B&J Collectibles on behalf of its client, Yankees P David Wells. Wells will autograph items and make appearances on behalf of B&J (Woolf)....The NTRA took out a six-page, four-color ad in USA TODAY titled, "A What's-Up Guide To Thoroughbred Horseracing" (THE DAILY).
With the U.S. Open beginning today at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, THE DAILY charts the equipment deals for some of the world's most successful and popular golfers. Players include those in the top 20 in the '97 year-end World Rankings, leaders on the '98 PGA Tour money list and other selected pros. Players are listed alphabetically, followed by their agency of record (THE DAILY):
|D. CLARKE||Conte of Florence||MacGregor||Footjoy||MacGregor||Titleist|
|B. ESTES||B. Jones||^||Footjoy||Cleveland||Titleist|
|B. FAXON||D. Jewell||Titleist||Footjoy||Titleist||Titleist|
|H. FRAZAR||E McGrath||Cleveland||Footjoy||Cleveland||Titleist|
|S. HOCH||Tabasco Brand||Yonex||Footjoy||Yonex||Titleist|
|S. JONES||Columbia||K. Cobra||Footjoy||K. Cobra||Titleist|
|Walter Crutchfield - Jonesport|
|Signature Sports Group|
|D. LOVE III||Polo||Titleist||Footjoy||Titleist||Titleist|
|Signature Sports Group|
|J. PARNEVIK||Lindeberg||SAP Amer.||Footjoy||Callaway||Titleist|
|N. Price Group|
|L. WESTWOOD||Lyle & Scott||Ping||Footjoy||Ping||Titleist|
NOTES: ^ = player does not have an endorsement deal in place in that category. Craig Stadler wears the Ganter USA logo on his shirt, but is not affiliated with a clothing company....Bob Estes is currently playing Cleveland irons, but has no deal in place for irons or woods (THE DAILY). ...Tom Watson's club contract with RAM expired. SI's "Golf Plus" reported that Watson is currently "shopping for a new deal, with RAM among his suitors" (SI, 6/15 issue).
The USGA "eased fears" yesterday by announcing that "virtually all" clubs now in use or on the market should conform to a proposed new testing procedure that will measure the "spring-like" effect in club heads, according to Leonard Shapiro of the WASHINGTON POST. At a press conference at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, the USGA said that it will release to manufacturers over the next two weeks the specifics of its new procedures, based on the "rebound velocity" of a golf ball off a club face. It will convene a meeting this fall to get further input from the industry on testing protocol, "then hold a final meeting of its Exec Committee to approve a specific set of standards." USGA Exec Dir David Fay said that the organization "was not influenced by the possibility of litigation from [golf] manufacturers," but Shapiro adds that public opinion, "may have played a role" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/18). In Dallas, Brad Townsend reports that instead of "attempting to scale back technology, the USGA in effect wants to cap it" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 6/18). In Chicago, Len Ziehm reports that the USGA considered more radical legislation, including limiting golf ball technology, reducing the number of clubs allowed in a player's bag and limiting the length of the club shafts and size of clubheads, "but instead attacked a poorly worded line in the Rules of Golf. The rule states that 'the material and construction of the club shall not have the effect at impact of a spring'" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 6/18). E-LYING LOW: Callaway Golf Chair Ely Callaway, a critic of any potential USGA ban, said yesterday's decision was "a welcome change in attitude from what we understood it to be in the middle of May. They felt they had a charter to roll the game back equipment-wise and ban certain clubs. That was not the impression we got today" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/18). Callaway stock climbed $1.25, or 6.7%, to close at $19.81 yesterday on the NYSE (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/18). BABY STEPS: In Atlanta, Glenn Sheeley said the USGA announced "a relatively conservative plan," although future standards "are expected to be tougher" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 6/18). In Akron, Micheal Weinreb calls the plan a "modest proposal. ... The question, however, is whether it will restrict future technology" (BEACON JOURNAL, 6/18). In N.Y., Luke Cyphers wrote that "doomsday seems to have been averted" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/18). Also in N.Y., Dave Anderson writes that "sanity, if not sympathy, has prevailed" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/18). CNN's Jim Huber called the move "much ado about very little" ("Sports Tonight," 6/17).