KERRIGAN WANTS TO BUILD ENDURANCE IN ENDORSER WORLD

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Nancy Kerrigan has been a lot of things in the past five months, from internationally known victim of violent ambition to Winter Olympics silver medalist to the seemingly unappreciative pal of one Mickey Mouse.

Now her marketing agents and corporate sponsors are trying to craft an image for the figure skater that will endure for years to come: Nancy Kerrigan the megabrand.

"We want to take her from being purely an endorser and turn her into a brand that helps her sponsors increase sales," said Jerry Solomon, president of Washington-based ProServ.

Work toward that end began last week in New York at the first Kerrigan marketing summit, organized by Ms. Kerrigan's off-the-ice business handlers, ProServ, and attended by the top names on her sponsor roster, including Mattel, Reebok International and Walt Disney Co.

The powwow yielded little as far as definitive agreements, yet it did lay the groundwork for what could be a unique annual synchronized cross-marketing program involving many of Ms. Kerrigan's biggest sponsors.

"We would like it if the fall and winter seasons could become Nancy's time," Mr. Solomon said, noting that sponsors like Campbell Soup Co., Mattel and Seiko Corp. of America do 80% of their business during that time.

The program would launch this fall with the rollout of Mattel's Nancy Kerrigan doll. The toy marketer's agency, Ogilvy & Mather, New York, is creating a national TV campaign that will break in September and run through January.

In addition, Mattel is discussing cross-promotions with ABC Video (it will market a Nancy Kerrigan video this winter); Disney (which will produce a movie and book on the figure skater for fall release); and Topps Co., (just now getting its first line of Nancy Kerrigan trading cards into stores).

Through such deals, Ms. Kerrigan now collects an estimated $6 million annually in endorsements.

Ms. Kerrigan's sponsors will also team up to back a winter figure skating tour and a number of figure skating TV specials featuring her.

ProServ has sifted through the 25,000 fan letters so far written to Ms. Kerrigan and created a direct marketing database that sponsors can access.

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