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NFL `THROWBACKS' LAND ON 75

By Published on .

The National Football League is warming up for this year's 75th anniversary celebration.

Starting Sept. 18, all 28 NFL teams will host "Throwbacks" games where players will wear uniforms featuring the style of an important year in that team's history.

For the rest of the season, the 75th anniversary logo will appear on players' jerseys. The logo will also be embossed on all game balls and painted on both 30-yard lines on all fields. Commemorative coins will be used for the coin toss.

With 25 licensees producing everything from jerseys to key rings to watches, fans can get in on the "Throwbacks" action, too.

NFL Properties, New York, which is handling marketing and advertising, anticipates $40 million in retail sales.

"The league wants us to take the game to the fans," said Jeff Sofka, senior director-licensing. "They wanted something that would take the fans by storm."

A 320-page hardcover book, 2-hour documentary on TNT and TV special commemorating the league's "all-time team" airing in January on an unnamed network are among the planned national and local marketing efforts.

Special sections about the anniversary will be featured in Sport and GQ.

An outdoor campaign titled "Your Favorite Oldies. Celebrate 75 Years in Throwbacks" will run in September.

In national magazines, a series of ads will appear in early September, themed "He never ..." and featuring Ray Nitschke, Gayle Sayers and Dick Butkus.

American Express Co. is the official sponsor; Foot Locker is the official retail headquarters. They're cooperating in a cross-promotion consisting of in-store posters pushing use of AmEx charge cards in Foot Locker stores. Both are also participating in promotional sweepstakes.

In addition, AmEx will run ads from Ogilvy & Mather in Foot Locker will run ads from AC&R in SI, USA Today and Boys' Life.

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