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Volume 24 No. 113

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

          ESPN Inc. has launched an Asia-Pacific ad sales
     initiative focusing on Japan, Australia and New Zealand,
     according to AD AGE.  The initiative will be run out of Hong
     Kong by newly appointed Pacific Rim Ad Sales Manager Sundip
     Agarwal, who will report to Michael Fox, ESPN VP/Worldwide
     Ad Sales.  The new strategy marks the "first time" ESPN has
     ventured into the region solo since forming a joint venture
     with News Corp.'s Star Sports Network in '96.  But ESPN's
     latest move "will have no impact" on the Star Sports joint
     venture.  ESPN Inc. Senior VP Willy Burkhardt said that the
     move to increase ad sales resources in Japan, Australia and
     New Zealand comes "as distribution in the three markets
     increases and regulations on pay-TV advertising carriage
     ease."  AD AGE reports that ESPN's ad sales in the markets
     have "been slow or non-existent, and revenue has been mostly
     from pay-TV subscription fees" (AD AGE, 8/13).

          Red Wings C Sergei Fedorov "fired" his agent, Mike
     Barnett of IMG, six months after he negotiated a contract
     that paid Fedorov $28M last season, according to Michael
     Buteau of BLOOMBERG.  The move came "on the same day" 17-
     year-old Russian tennis star Anna Kournikova "fired her
     agent," Tony Godsick, also of IMG.  While Fedorov and
     Kournikova "have often been seen together socially, both
     have said they are just friends" (BLOOMBERG 8/13).
          ANN-ITA: Under the header "Is Kournikova Too Hot To
     Handle?", TENNIS magazine's Andrea Leand writes that
     Kournikova's handlers "are afraid her 'Lolita' image is
     going to hurt her future endorsement deals."   Leand: "Word
     is that two potential sponsors told Kournikova she's too
     much of a sexpot for them to handle.  The fear is that
     Kournikova's current image is too risque for companies that
     market to teens and that she's too young to be a spokeswoman
     for adult products" (Andrea Leand, TENNIS, 9/98 issue).

          The "latest buzz" in athletic footwear stocks surrounds
     CA-based K-Swiss, according to Caroline Waxler of FORBES. 
     Keith Daly, who oversees buying at FootAction USA: "K-Swiss
     is the hot brand right now.  I'm doubling my orders for this
     spring."  Waxler writes that the current "rage" is over the
     brand's Altezo, a tennis shoe with a "rugged" sole.  Goldman
     Sachs analyst Margaret Mager says K-Swiss' shares are
     "cheap" at the recent $23 price, trading at 14 times its '98
     estimated earnings of $1.65 per share.  Mager believes K-
     Swiss shares will hit $38 "within 12 months" (FORBES, 8/24).

          LINKS: A 16-page supplement around the '98 PGA
     Championship, which begins today at the Sahalee Country Club
     in Redmond, WA, ran in the WALL STREET JOURNAL.  Advertisers
     include Chrysler, Adams Tight Lies, Bushnell, Danka and the
     USPS (THE DAILY)....John Daly has "decided to officially
     make the switch" from Callaway's titanium Big Bertha to its
     new Big Bertha Steelhead driver, right before the new club
     "hits the market" in October.  Daly will play with the club
     this week (Randall Mell, SUN-SENTINEL, 8/13). 
          NOTES: Broncos WR Ed McCaffrey, on his new line of Ed
     McCaffrey's Rocky Mountain Mustards: "I didn't help make the
     recipe, but I did sample a bunch of different products and
     chose the ones I like.  I know my mom can't believe I'm up
     on the same shelf with Paul Newman" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS,
     8/13)....FL-based Entry Media has contracted with the Rams
     to add their Turnstile AdSleeve Armcovers at the Trans World
     Dome.  The sponsor will be the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
     (Entry Media)....ANC Sports will provide signage for USA
     Swimming's corporate sponsors at the USA Swimming National
     Championships, August 11-15, in Clovis, CA.  The event will
     be delayed-broadcast by NBC Sports.  In other news, ANC
     Sports has launched its Web site at (ANC).

          Snickers kicks off the NFL season with a series of
     spots supporting its $2M under-the-wrap promo, its first
     major football on-pack promo.  The spots star Curtis Martin,
     Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Tony Siragusa and Jason Sehorn,
     who, along with other players, are competing for the MVP
     award of the "Snickers Shock Zone" game, an electronic
     football game.  The five spots from BBDO, NY -- two 30-
     second, two 15-second and one 15-/30-second ad -- will run
     nationally from August 17 to September 20 during primetime
     and NFL games.  The campaign culminates on September 20 with
     a new commercial announcing the MVP.  The ads back Snickers'
     on-pack promo which features the names of 22 NFL players
     hidden under the wrappers and a $2M grand prize.  Players
     featured on the Shock Zone wrappers are: Bettis, Brown,
     Siragusa, Sehorn, Brad Johnson, Mike Alstott, Joey Galloway,
     Herman Moore, Ben Coates, Nate Newton, Orlando Pace, Tony
     Boselli, Reggie White, Eric Swann, Bruce Smith, Ken Norton,
     Derrick Thomas, Zach Thomas, Lamar Lathon, Darrell Green,
     Deion Sanders and Napoleon Kaufman.  The $2M grand prize
     wrapper features the Shock Zone MVP (Snickers).

          The marketing campaign for NFL Xtreme, an officially-
     licensed NFL video game whose slogan is, "After the coin
     toss, anything goes," flies "in the face of good taste and
     good sense," according Peter King of SI.  Referring to
     "celebrated late hits," serious concussions that have forced
     players to retire and players being suspended for unruly
     behavior, King writes that NFL Xtreme "is selling trash
     talk.  It's shameful. How can the league come down on cheap-
     shot artists and hotheads while also endorsing this video?" 
     Cowboys QB Troy Aikman, on the NFL: "They want this stuff. 
     It sells."  NFL Dir of Corporate Communications Chris
     Widmaier: "It's more of a fantasy game. ... The marketing of
     this game is consistent with how to get the attention of the
     upper-teen and early-20s market" (SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, 8/17).