CBS getting ‘aggressive’ for Olympic promotion

NEW YORK — CBS Sports laid out its promotional campaign for the 1998 Winter Olympics and announced a promotional partnership with Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid division at a press briefing Wednesday.

The Eye web will broadcast some 40-50 individual spots between now and February promoting the Nagano, Japan, games, which will be broadcast Feb. 6-22. The spots will comprise the bulk of the network’s promotional time, with ads also running on CBS radio and the Internet site CBS SportsLine.

“We have a very aggressive plan and we do not take the Olympics for granted,” said George F. Schweitzer, executive VP of marketing and communications for CBS.

CBS execs stressed the potential of the Winter Olympics to boost the network’s ratings and serve as a promotional platform for its midseason shows. CBS paid $375 million in rights fees to broadcast the games.

CBS Sports has sold 97% of available ad inventory for the Olympic broadcast, which is scheduled for 128 hours.

The total number of advertisers is expected to be about 35 — down from 80 for the 1994 Winter Olympics — with a smaller group of advertisers buying large ad packages, according to Joanne Ross, head of Olympic sales for CBS Sports. Some advertisers have purchased ad categories exclusively, including AT&T, Visa, Coca-Cola, Xerox and IBM.

CBS Sports also announced a partnership with Minute Maid in a sweepstakes promotion that will see 16 families win a lifetime of trips to the Olympics.

The juice giant will invest $60 million in the sweepstakes, which will be promoted during CBS’ Olympic coverage as well as via national print ads, newspaper inserts and packages of Minute Maid products.

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