Marketers unfazed by talk of Jordan exit from endorsements

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Many of the marketers that have signed sponsorship deals with Michael Jordan said his reported decision to scale back on endorsements won't have a large-scale impact on business, at least for the near future. "It really won't affect us through the terms of the contract," said John Daggett, director of marketing services at Rayovac Corp. "It will still be business as usual. We will continue to use Michael." Mr. Daggett wouldn't disclose terms of the contract, other than to say Mr. Jordan is still obligated for "multiple years." MCI WorldCom will likely see few changes in its relationship with Mr. Jordan, who's midway through his 10-year contractual deal with the telco. In a statement, Nike said Mr. Jordan "continues to be directly involved in product design, development and creation." Industry observers say what Mr. Jordan's reported decision will affect, and possibly eliminate, is his selection of possible future endorsements. Sports marketing experts estimate Mr. Jordan makes more than $40 million annually from his endorsement deals, which also include Quaker Oats Co.'s Gatorade and Sara Lee Corp.'s Hanes.

Copyright March 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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