Dr Pepper/Seven Up renewed the sponsorship agreement between Sunkist and the Association of Volleyball Professionals, now under new leadership. Sunkist is the beach volleyball organization's official soft drink, and it also will be title sponsor of four competitions on the AVP's 12-city circuit; each Sunkist event will be themed "Back to the beach!" The AVP, which ended last year in bankruptcy, recently emerged from financial difficulties led by new CEO Bill Berger. The tour begins May 1 in Clearwater, Fla.
Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. this month kicked off a new Championship Auto Racing Teams open-wheel racing program with a $50 million, three-year sponsorship deal. The effort backs Team Kool Green, a racing team owned by Barry Green with drivers Paul Tracy and Dario Franchitti. Team Kool Green will promote its international racing activities through a Web site (www.koolracing.com).
Starbucks Coffee Co. inked a deal with Major League Baseball home-run king Mark McGwire. Titled "Out of the Park-Into the Books," the effort aims at supporting literacy and children in the 1999 baseball season. For each homer Mr. McGwire hits, Starbucks will contribute $5,000 to a children's charity in the city where that game was played, with a commitment to donate at least $250,000 for the season. Mr. McGwire developed and executed the deal.
K2 Snowboards will be title sponsor of the "K2 Snow Job," a daylong sports and music festival April 24 at Oregon's Mount Hood Meadows Ski Resort. The event includes several of the U.S.' top bands, a consumer trade show with free product sampling and demonstration, and it is a stop for the OBE Big Air Series snowboarding competition. The OBE series, for which K2 is a sponsor, also is backed by Anheuser-Busch's Bud Light, Clicker, Lycos and Snowboarding Online. On