VIACOM, SONY ENLIST LICENSEES IN NEW PROGRAMS 'STAR TREK: DS9,' ROCK BAND KISS, WORLD CUP '98 WILL BENEFIT

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Viacom Consumer Products' "Star Trek" franchise and Sony Signatures clients Kiss and World Cup '98 will benefit this fall from programs involving several marketing partners including licensees.

Viacom has lined up International Dairy Queen, Pioneer Electronics and Playmates Toys for a promotion tied to sister Paramount Television's syndicated "Star Trek: Deep Space 9."

The "Triple Tribbles Promo" is linked to a popular episode from last season. That episode will be repeated Sept. 15, concurrent with the launch of new "Deep Space 9" products from Playmates and other licensees.

BOOSTING SEASON PREMIERE

The promotion involves a sweepstakes designed to drive viewership of the series' Sept. 29 season premiere. Game pieces will distributed in the packaging of the Playmates product and at Dairy Queen locations. Playmates will support with TV ads, via the Sachs Group, Los Angeles, and Dairy Queen with point of purchase.

Sony Signatures, backing the licensed products of Sony music artists, has inked a deal with Spencer Gifts to establish in-store boutiques devoted to the rock group Kiss.

The 90 products the 525 stores will carry, beginning July 31, range from actions figures marketed by Todd McFarlane Toys to Spencer-produced snow globes.

The Sony unit will back the creation of these boutiques with a trade promotion and will drive consumer traffic with a holiday promotion still in development.

Sony Signatures, licensing agent for World Cup '98, also is developing marketing programs to support its licensees and retailers. Sony Signatures is bringing sponsors for the soccer tournament into its efforts, as well.

RESEMBLING 'RED ZONE'

One program the unit has conceived for mass merchants is similar to last year's successful Coca-Cola/Wal-Mart Stores/National Football League "Red Zone" promotion, where sponsor and licensee merchandise was grouped together in a branded in-store section.

World Cut '98 sponsors include Adidas, Coca-Cola Co. and MasterCard International. Lead licensees are Mattel, Electronic Arts and Fila USA. An as-yet unannounced licensee will sell apparel at mass merchants.

"We've become the gatekeeper, where sponsors, licensees and retailers are coming together," said Mark Coopersmith, Sony Signatures' exec VP-marketing, adding that impactful programs are necessary especially in the U.S., where mass-market

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