REEBOK EYEING SPONSORSHIP OF WOMEN’S EVENT

NEW YORK — Reebok is in talks with the Women’s Sports Foundation to become the exclusive activewear sponsor of the first Women’s Global Challenge, a biennial international sports competition for women only.
Becoming one of eight founding partners of the WGC is “a fundamental part” of Reebok’s contract negotiations with the WSF, said Jo Harlow, Reebok’s vice president of U.S. marketing, who attended a press event here Tuesday for the WGC. Reebok’s five-year sponsorship of the WSF expires in September.
Each of the eight partners will represent a separate category of merchandise or service. None has been named yet.
The WGC, planned for non-Olympic years, is scheduled to be held April 28-May 2, 1999, at various sites in Washington. Professional and elite amateur athletes in eight sports will compete at the invitational event.
Participants will donate prize money to a girls’ sports program of their choice in their country, said Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, president of the WSF. More than $2.3 million is expected to be raised for girls’ sports programs at the first WGC, she added.
“We’ve been speaking with Reebok extensively. We’re focusing on them,” said Stephanie Tolleson, senior vice president of IMG, the Cleveland sports management and marketing firm that is handling sponsorship sales and managing the first WGC. Several other apparel companies, including denim and casual sportswear makers as well as designers, have inquired about sponsoring the event, she said.
There will be no title sponsor for the WGC.

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