Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 155

Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

          UCLA "has emerged as the latest endorsement
     battleground" between Nike and adidas, who want to outfit
     all 21 of the school's intercollegiate athletic teams,
     according to Jeff Manning of the Portland OREGONIAN.  UCLA
     Assoc. AD Glenn Toth said that an agreement in principle "is
     imminent," and although he wouldn't comment on the talks,
     Manning reported that adidas "is cautiously optimistic." 
     Incumbent Reebok, which held UCLA rights since '93, but
     dropped out of the bidding last month, will still outfit
     UCLA teams throughout this school year.  Reebok VP/Sports
     Marketing John Frascotti: "The cost of these deals has
     gotten out of proportion to the value they convey."  Manning
     reported Nike is also reducing its endorsement spending,
     creating a $5.6M fund to "exit" endorsement contracts. But
     Nike has made it clear that its cuts will come in sports it
     considers "non core," and UCLA is "central to Nike's
     heritage."  Manning added that adidas "badly wants a West-
     Coast and Pac-10 presence," as its four major universities
     are all located west of the Rockies (OREGONIAN, 8/18).

          adidas Golf USA said it will move its business
     operations from Tualatin, OR, to the Carlsbad, CA,
     headquarters of Taylor Made Golf, which is also owned by
     adidas-Salomon, according to Bruce Bigelow of the SAN DIEGO
     UNION-TRIBUNE.  The two companies will continue to operate
     separately, but it was "unclear" whether the move was part
     of a reorganization announced by adidas on August 4.  adidas
     Golf USA, which has 30 employees, sells adidas-brand golf
     apparel, footwear and accessories in the U.S.  Most
     employees are expected to transfer to the new headquarters. 
     Taylor Made, which has "roughly" 300 full-time and 160 part-
     time employees, moved to the Carlsbad-based headquarters
     earlier this year (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 8/18).
          SUIT: adidas-Salomon AG was accused in a $1.2B lawsuit
     filed by Chinese political dissidents "of using slave labor
     in China to make World Cup 98 soccer balls."  The suit was
     filed on behalf of dissident Bao Ge and other current and
     former prisoners of Chinese work camps (BLOOMBERG, 8/19). 

          Michael Jordan "would consider additional endorsement
     opportunities," although his agent, David Falk, said that
     anything he would agree to would have to be "a perfect fit,"
     according to Pete Coates of BLOOMBERG NEWS.  Falk disputed a
     story in yesterday's Chicago Tribune that reported Jordan
     "had put a freeze on additional endorsement contracts."  The
     story quoted FAME's Estee Portnoy as saying they were "not
     actively pursuing" any new deals for Jordan.  Falk said that
     the quote was "taken out of context" and is "not accurate." 
     Falk: "I am continually searching for opportunities I think
     would be appropriate for Michael.  We certainly are going to
     be selective."  Falk said there are some areas that he has
     "been actively pursing" over the past two years, although he
     would not disclose further details (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 8/19).  

          NFL: The NFL announced its official postseason locker
     room licensees: Logo Athletic will supply the Super Bowl
     locker room coaches cap and Divisional Champions locker room
     hat and T-shirt; Starter the locker room T-shirt for both
     the Super Bowl and AFC/NFC Championship Games; and Sports
     Specialties the AFC/NFC Championship locker room coaches cap
     (NFL)....As part of Visa's NFL marketing partnership, 49ers
     QB Steve Young and WR Jerry Rice will be featured in two new
     30-second spots for Visa USA, which will debut nationally
     during Sunday's 49ers-Dolphins game on Fox (Visa USA). 
          NOTES: The average cost of making a national 30-second
     spot last year hit $308,000 -- more than $10,000 a second --
     compared with $278,000 in '96 (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/19).
     ...Puma officially announced the signing of Raptors rookie
     Vince Carter, the only NBA player currently endorsed by the
     company (Puma)....Callaway Golf introduced its new line of
     Little Bertha Golf Clubs for junior golfers. A set including
     a driver, 6-iron, 8-iron, wedge, putter and bag has a
     suggested retail price of $500 (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 8/18).
          MOTORSPORTS: Bayer reached a sponsorship deal for its
     Aspirin and Alka-Seltzer brands with BACE Motorsports for
     the '99 NASCAR Busch Grand National Season.  The sponsorship
     marks the seventh consecutive year the company has backed a
     Busch team (SPEEDNET, 8/18)....MI-based Fastlane Footwear
     acquired NC-based Jebco, which manufactures and sells a full
     line of NASCAR licensed products.  Fastlane has a NASCAR
     license for its line of footwear products.  Jack Stecher
     will remain Jebco President and will be elected to
     Fastlane's Board of Directors (Fastlane).

          The 93 McDonald's restaurants in Northeast FL and
     Southeast GA have begun selling the "Boselli Burger," named
     after Jaguars OL Tony Boselli, according to Earl Daniels of
     the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION.  The burger, which is the company's
     "largest sandwich" and sells for $1.99, marks the first food
     item named for a professional athlete in Jacksonville.  
     Local McDonald's franchise Owner Gary Grimes: "The burgers
     are already generating excitement in the stores.  We have
     hit a triple, if not a home run."  The "Boselli Burger" is
     made of three hamburger patties on "a big bun with American
     and Monterrey jack cheeses, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomatoes
     and onions."  Daniels reports that the burger will be sold
     through at least December.  If the team makes the playoffs,
     sales could extend into January (FL TIMES-UNION, 8/18).  In
     Chicago, Steve Rosenbloom writes that the burger also comes
     with a "defibrillator" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 8/19).

          Two years ago when Nike signed Tiger Woods to a
     reported five-year endorsement deal, it seemed "like another
     stroke of marketing acumen," but early returns suggest that
     Nike "made a vast miscalculation," according to SI's
     "Scorecard."  Mike Jaffey, manager of a Nevada Bob's in Las
     Vegas, said of Nike's Woods line: "None of it is selling
     very well."  Noting the cost of $225 shoes and $75 shirts,
     Matt Brown, of an OR-based golf shop, said, "Young kids like
     it, but young kids don't have the money to buy it."  SI
     reports that Brown's comments "speaks to what seems to be
     the main problem with the line: It appeals to the consumer
     who can't afford it."   Nike would not release sales figures
     but "suggested that while off-course sales have been
     disappointing, the Woods items are doing better in pro
     shops."  SI: "That doesn't appear to be the case.  Several
     pro shops with a high-end clientele ... don't even carry the
     Woods line."  SI adds that golfers "may have been turned
     off" by the "radical" design of Woods' shoes and the "in-
     your-face nature of his ad campaign."  Bill Grigsby,
     VP/Apparel & Merchandising at Edwin Watts Golf Shops: "Nike
     tries to use the different-is-cool theme that works well in
     sports.  But in golf that formula doesn't work" (SI, 8/24).

          There's "more than meets the eye" to the IOC's "failed
     talks" with IBM over a new eight-year sponsorship deal,
     according to Josh Rubin of the TORONTO STAR.  IBM, which has
     been a major Olympic sponsor since 1960, "figured being the
     technical supplier and a major sponsor" to the IOC, which
     would give it the rights to handle official Olympic Web
     sites.  But the IOC wanted to package out those rights
     separately, at the same time breaking up IBM's technological
     "hold" on the Olympics by "going with different suppliers
     for hardware and software."  The IOC "felt threatened," due
     to IBM's "natural instinct when it comes to Web design ...
     to push the envelope, taking advantage of any improvement in
     delivery of text, video and audio."  Rubin reports that
     "none of these Internet advances would be helpful to TV
     broadcasters" and that it would be "extraordinarily
     difficult for the IOC to slap [IBM] down if it pushed the
     envelope too hard for the broadcaster's liking.  A multi-
     billion-dollar gorilla can do what it wants to do with its
     Web site."  IOC VP Richard Pound said that with TV rights
     sold through 2008, "we've got to make sure we don't do
     anything which would harm the rightsholders."  Eventually,
     TV rightsholders could be licensed to run video and audio on
     their own, or, as Pound suggests, "pay a few extra dollars"
     to "produce the official Olympic site" (TORONTO STAR, 8/19).