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Indian Cricket League in the works

[bombay] U.S. sports marketer API Sponsorship has linked with Modi Entertainment Network here to launch the Indian Cricket League. Teams will sport U.S.-style names like the Bangalore Braves and the Calcutta Tigers. The league will bank heavily on sponsorships, in-stadium advertising, merchandising, licensing and TV rights sales. API's expertise in sports marketing, TV production and organizing sports events will complement Modi's local contacts.

Visa changes Sydney Olympics slogan

[sydney] Visa International scrapped a planned worldwide ad slogan of "Sydney prefers Visa," centered on the 2000 Olympics, following the threat of legal action from the City Council. A Visa spokeswoman said the slogan will be replaced by "Visa -- the preferred card in Sydney." The council alleged the first slogan was misleading and deceptive. Visa, an official sponsor of the Games, will retain the slogan "Australia prefers Visa," though that also has been condemned as misleading by several credit card companies.

Nintendo's Pocket Monster eyes U.S.

[tokyo] Nintendo Co. plans to take its Pocket Monster game for the Gameboy computer to the U.S. next year. Company President Hiroshi Yamauchi announced plans for a "modified" version for the U.S. market. Pocket Monster has sold about 7 million units since it was launched in Japan in February 1996. It also has sparked a multimillion-dollar spinoff market in Japan that includes trading cards, action figures and even food products.

Philip Morris to open plant in Romania

[bucharest, romania] Philip Morris Cos. says it will build a tobacco plant near Bucharest with plans to start production next year. The company's first Romanian plant will produce Marlboro, L&M and Bond Street. Philip Morris follows B.A.T Industries and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. into Romania. In Poland, B.A.T will spend another $49 million following last year's initial $39 million investment in the Augustow tobacco plant.

Turner cable net to enter Hong Kong

[hong kong] Turner Broadcasting System's TNT & Cartoon Network enters Hong Kong Jan. 18 via a deal with monopoly pay-TV platform Wharf Cable TV. The cartoons and classic movies satellite service will carry 10 minutes of ad time per hour; Wharf will sell 2 minutes to local advertisers, and Turner will sell 8 to regional clients. TNT & Cartoon Network is the first of a new bouquet of services Wharf will carry on its fiber optic network, which reaches about

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