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Contest #427: Half empty or half full? Gauging the success of World Cup '94 depends on one's world view. The facts: 3.4 million tickets sold, a 32 billion global TV audience for all 52 games ... and a host country whose populace for the most part could care less. Maybe soccer fever would ignite if sponsors' World Cup advertising was more exciting. Let's give 'em a kick in the pants, T.N.T.ers: come up with the next ad campaign that can stir up U.S. enthusiasm for World Cup '94.

And now the results of Contest #423: T.N.T.ers were asked to come up with the next company to sponsor a professional sports teamand its marketing concept. You pitched these name brand strikes:

The Sprint Pindrops bowling team. Mascot Candice Bergen cheers on participants at the Tele-Bowl, making wry comments about spares, strikes and gutter balls thrown by participants: "There's a chip off the old block" or "Now that's a connection!" The team has its own cheerleading dance squad-The Touch Tones. Sprint will also sponsor a special promotion: Bowling shirt night. Phil Frankenfeld, writer, Milwaukee.

Second Prize: AT&T acquires the rights to all of Major League Baseball. It realigns the American League and National League into seven separate regional operating areas, with names like Ball Atlantic, Southwest Ball, Pacific Ball, etc. AT&T stocks each "Baby Ball" with players from its AT&T Ball Labs talent development program. Henry Lenard, owner, In Other Words, Pittsburgh.

Third Prize: Calvin Klein broadens its market by sponsoring the Calvin Klein Kowboys, a full frontal attack on the beer-drinking image of professional football. From the gorgeousness of Kowboy uniforms to the tantalizing omnipresent scents that fill the air to televised dressing room interviews with soft-spoken, hard-bodied players in the buff, football has never been as stimulating. Darl Fondren, writer, DBF & Associates, Carolina Beach, N.C.

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