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Safari Soccer Launches New Relationship With GMC Safari; Unveiling Logo, Team Colors CISL Season to Begin June 13 at The Palace

28 May 1997

Safari Soccer Launches New Relationship With GMC Safari; Unveiling Logo, Team Colors CISL Season to Begin June 13 at The Palace

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich., May 28 -- Palace Sports and
Entertainment's entry in the Continental Indoor Soccer League, the Detroit
Safari, formalized its relationship with the Pontiac-GMC Division of General
Motors this morning, with the release of the team's new logo and colors.  The
GMC Safari brand becomes the title sponsor of the Safari, with the soccer team
adopting the division's brandname for its nickname.  The alliance creates
unique marketing opportunities for two different companies that target similar
audiences in their sales strategies.
    "We could not have found a better partner and sponsor for our soccer team
anywhere," said Tom Wilson, President of Palace Sports and Entertainment, as
well as the Safari.  "We feel the new marriage between ourselves and
Pontiac-GMC is perfect in all regards for both companies.  Even though the two
entities are marketing different products, we are reaching out to the same
people."
    GMC is equally excited with the new partnership.  "We are pleased to be a
member of the Detroit Safari team," said Cheryl Catton, brand manager for GMC
Safari vans.  "This sponsorship provides a significant opportunity to support
professional and youth soccer locally and communicate the power and appeal of
GMC Safari vans."
    "I am delighted to introduce the new union, especially because of the good
things that GMC and Palace Sports and Entertainment will be able to do with
Safari Soccer for the vast numbers of kids playing soccer throughout Detroit
and the entire metropolitan area," Wilson added.
    The soccer team, entering its fourth season of play in the CISL this
summer, focuses its marketing and sales efforts on young, active families with
school-age children, a group similar to that which GMC markets the Safari van.
As part of the three-year agreement, GMC Safari receives prime advertising
spots on each of the Safari soccer radio and television broadcasts, along with
in-arena signage, including dasherboard and on-field placements.  PASS Sports
will broadcast 13 Safari soccer games this summer alone.
    GMC Safari will also be the title sponsor of several Safari soccer camps
and clinics for youth to be held this summer in and around Detroit as well as
the "Rumble in the Jungle" 3-on-3 Soccer Tournament to be held for 200 youth
teams at the Pontiac Silverdome June 28 and 29.
    The new logo, created by McCann-Erickson, GMC's ad agency, depicts an
animal claw scratching over an indoor soccer ball.  The words "Detroit Safari
Soccer" are scripted under the ball with a multicolored "SAFARI" dominating
the lower portion of the design.  The aggressive image offers purple, red,
orange, yellow and teal as potential team colors while symbolizing the highly
active, fast-paced game of indoor soccer.
    Before adopting the Safari nickname, the team competed as the Detroit Neon
for three seasons, establishing itself as a community leader and a favorite
among young children throughout southeastern Michigan using the "grass-roots"
marketing approach.  Safari players and coaches are recognized for being
fan-friendly; team members sign autographs on the field for fans after every
game and all players make unpaid promotional appearances through the course of
the season.
    Home games are played at The Palace of Auburn Hills and the team averaged
upwards of 10,000 fans per game over its first three seasons.  The upcoming
season promises to be the franchise's best yet as the Palace sales staff has
already sold more than 5,000 season tickets.  The Safari begin the 1997 CISL
regular season on Friday, June 13 at The Palace with a game against the
Indiana Twisters in the first of 14 scheduled home contests.

SOURCE  Arena Associates, Inc.