ON A ROLL FULFILLING

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Mark Shevitz

ON A ROLL

Mark Shevitz in 1988 founded his own promotion agency, which continues to grow 25% annually. In 1990, he started a promotion fulfillment company that's still growing at triple digits.

Age: 39

Title: President, SJI Inc.,

A selection of upcoming events and properties seeking sponsors.

CyberEvent Group, Brooklyn, N.Y., seeks at least four major major sponsors for its first National CyberFootball League tournament, using virtual reality and targeted for the 1995-96 NFL season. A series of regional tournaments taking place in major cities will culminate in two winning two-player teams facing off in Phoenix this fall. Sponsorships cost $1 million and will include a variety of promotional components for advertisers. Contact: (718) 802-9415.

Alcone Motorsports, Alcone Motorsports, Irvine, Calif., 1994 national champion of offshore powerboat racing, seeks first-time sponsors at all levels for the 1995 season, which starts this month. Sponsorship includes adding corporate name and logo to the boat and equipment, backed by national and local media coverage. Alcone Sims O'Brien handles. Contact: (714) 770-1300.

Chicago Centennial Challenge seeks title and presenting sponsors for its first enduro race among classic sports cars set for Sept. 2 and 4 along Lake Michigan in Chicago. The event, sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America, will be held in conjunction with the Concours D'Elegance classic car event in Chicago, with sponsorships at various levels from $25,000 to $250,000 for this year. ProActive handles. Contact: (312) 654-8844.

National College Music Video Contest seeks a title and secondary sponsors for its first national contest this fall targeting film and video departments at 1,000 colleges. The contest, which challenges students to produce a music video for a major artist's new song, offers sponsorships for $175,000 (title) and $75,000 (secondary). Sponsorship includes co-promotion with a record label, plus on-campus media and marketing, and exposure at the national College TV Programming Awards Ceremony in 1996. Collegiate Advantage, Boston, handles. Contact: (617) 262-3734, ext. 314.

A Day at the Movies, New York, seeks sponsorships at various levels for its second annual event to be held June 4 in Manhattan on behalf of the Motion Picture Club of New York and the Mayor's Office of Film, Theater & Broadcasting. Sponsorships, available for $5,000 and up, include signage and other product marketing opportunities. MBI handles. Contact: (212) 262-0400.

Generation Xpo, an entertainment and consumer marketing program targeting young adults 18 to 29 years old, seeks sponsors at various levels for its premiere event in Chicago July 29 and 30. Sponsorships of exhibits with category exclusivity cost $25,000 each; additional sponsorships as low as $1,000 are also available. Local newspaper and radio back the event.M

Kate Fitzgerald coordinates Events & Promotions. Reach us by fax at (312) 649-5331 or e-mail address K8FITZ@aol.com.

By Alan Salomon

So what happens to all those thousands of magnetic baseball schedules now that the season has been changed?

That's just one concern for Major League Baseball teams, with Opening Day for a strike-snipped season set for late April.

Every day is Opening Day for promos

Some club officials believe that promotion-wise, every day will be Opening Day this season.

"We are seeing some renewed interest [from fans], but we aren't assuming anything," said Mario Alioto, director of marketing and sales for the San Francisco Giants.

Teams say a late Opening Day isn't a reason to scrap a planned promotion. Some say they may reprint pocket schedules but not the magnet schedules. It's believed revisions will be minimal with only about four dates out of 144 changed.

Here's a sampling of teams' promotional plans:

The San Francisco Giants' Mr. Alioto asserted, "The emphasis is on our fans, and the first week of the season will be Welcome Back Week with a lot of giveaways." Some of the planned events sound more like the razzle-dazzle typically associated with minor league teams. "We will let fans sit in the radio announcers booth, kids will run the bases after a game, fans will have the chance to hit off our batting practice pitcher and we will give tours of the clubhouses," Mr. Alioto said. The Giants will have Cap Day and Gym Bag Day plus American Express Co. and Hitachi America will sponsor a calendar schedule promotion on Opening Day.

Boston Red Sox fans are responding to the "Friendly Fenway" theme, with the team reporting 94% renewal rate among season ticketholders. Kids Opening Day plans have been firmed up for April 29 and 30, said Rob Capilli, manager-corporate sales. Kids will receive Red Sox T-shirt, sponsored by Coca-Cola Co.'s PowerAde, on the 29th and a Red Sox battling helmet on the 30th, sponsored by Kahn's hot dogs. "We are working on some type of welcome back event that will occur shortly after Opening Day," Mr. Capilli said.

The St. Louis Cardinals are doing more new promotions with their own money and not sponsorship dollars even though there were no sponsor casualties due to the strike. Fans at Busch Stadium will see clowns, face painters, mimes and girls doing back-flips between innings a la Ozzie Smith. The Cards have a 90% renewal of season tickets, but VP-Marketing Marty Hendin predicted Opening Day won't sell out. "We have a lot of free tickets already out," he said.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are looking at an Opening Day weekend April 28, 29 and 30. Season ticketholders, of which 91% have renewed, will be guests of the club the first night, said Paul Kalil, director of advertising and special events. Ticket prices at the gate will be rolled back to $3.50, $2.50 and $1.50, the cost in 1958 when the Brooklyn Dodgers went west. Cap Night, sponsored by Unocal, is planned for the second game. Sunday will be Fan Appreciation Day-a promotion that teams typically roll out at the end of the season-when the club will give away 130 prizes. The Dodgers will reprint their pocket schedules, but Mr. Kalil said the team pulled the plug on the Unocal magnet schedules before they were produced.M

n*Council of Sales Promotion Agencies last week announced 10 category winners of its annual international promotion competition. They are: Mike DaSilva & Associates, Australia, "The Ultimate Nintendo Challenge" promotion for Pacific Brands Food Group's Edgell Birds Eye (trial); Option One, England, "Smart From Shell," for Shell UK (continuity/loyalty); Block & Nardizzi/Scaros & Casselman, U.S., "Cutty Sark-The Real McCoy," for Hiram Walker & Sons (image awareness/enhancement); Promo Marketing Canada, Canada, "Black Label/Black Ice Black List," for Black Label (display); The Marketing Store, England, "McDonald's Lucky Golden Straw," for McDonald's Corp. (traffic); Maynard Promotions & Advertising, Australia, "WIN Jeanne Little Commonwealth Games Competition," for National Pak Australia (usage); Gaylord Group, Canada, "The NyQuil Cough & Cold Survival Kit," for Procter & Gamble, Canada (trade); Marketing Perspectives, England, "Berol Autoseal Ink Launch," for Berol (direct); Dryden & Petisi LLC, U.S., "The Avis Club Red Campaign," for Avis (incentive); and Clarke Hooper Communications, England, "Nintendo Challenger Roadshow," for Nintendo (interactive).

n*Hearst Magazines' Popular Mechanics last week announced it has returned to motorsports sponsorship after a one-year hiatus. The magazine will be an associate sponsor of the Western Auto/Darwal Inc./Chevrolet 1995 Winston Cup Racing Team, which begins the Nascar racing circuit next month. Popular Mechanics, which last sponsored Indy cars in 1993, hopes to sponsor a different motorsport race circuit each year in the future.M

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