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'MAGIC'S ATHLETES AGAINST AIDS' PSA TO AIR JAN. 2, 1992; CONVERSE ENDORSERS LARRY JOHNSON, KEVIN JOHNSON AND RICK PITINO FEATURED

 'MAGIC'S ATHLETES AGAINST AIDS' PSA TO AIR JAN. 2, 1992; CONVERSE ENDORSERS LARRY JOHNSON, KEVIN JOHNSON AND RICK PITINO FEATURED
 NORTH READING, Mass., Dec. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Converse today released its first "Magic's Athletes Against AIDS" public service announcement (PSA) for television that will air for the first time on Thursday, Jan. 2, 1992. The 30-second PSA supports AIDS education and research and features Kevin "KJ" Johnson of the Phoenix Suns, Larry Johnson of the Charlotte Hornets and Rick Pitino, head basketball coach for the University of Kentucky. The three Converse endorsers all speak to the personal impact Magic Johnson's HIV positive test results had on them, as well as communicating that "anyone can get the AIDS virus."
 Converse worked closely with the Centers For Disease Control's (CDC) National AIDS Information and Education Program in Atlanta, to produce the PSA. The CDC's national AIDS hotline 1-800-342-AIDS number is featured at the end of the "Magic's Athletes Against AIDS" PSA to call for more information.
 To ensure its broadcast during prime viewing periods, Converse purchased $1 million worth of network time to air the "Magic's Athletes Against AIDS" 30-second PSA. The PSA will air for three weeks beginning Jan. 2, 1992, on network television and MTV. The PSA's first network primetime appearance will be this Thusday, Jan. 2, on NBC's "Different World" and FOX's "Beverly Hills, 90210," and will continue with spots on "Saturday Night Live," "Arsenio Hall," "In Living Color," "Fresh Prince," "Friday Night Videos" and "Married...With Children."
 "The Converse public service announcement carries a strong and effective message," Lon Rosen, Johnson's agent said. "Earvin endorses the messages from Kevin, Larry and Rick and supports their call to action in the fight against the HIV virus and AIDS."
 The PSA will also be distributed through the CDC's nationwide network, as well as over the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) satellite.
 Converse intends to expand its support of the "Magic's Athletes Against AIDS" PSA program in 1992 with additional 30- and 15-second spots being taped with Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics and North Carolina Basketball Coach Dean Smith. Paid print advertising and support materials regarding AIDS education and research are also planned for 1992.
 "Converse made a commitment to Magic when we announced our support of his AIDS education and awareness efforts," Converse President Gib Ford said. "We developed the public service campaign and believe the powerful messages from Kevin Johnson, Larry Johnson and Rick Pitino will have an important impact on young people. Magic's courage in publicly announcing his test results has provided a dramatic increase in their awareness of the HIV virus and AIDS. The Converse PSA program is our contribution to this important education effort and
Magic's new endeavor." The "Magic's Athletes Against AIDS" PSA campaign was announced by Converse on Nov. 13, 1991. Johnson has been with Converse since 1979, the same year Bird joined the company. Johnson and Bird will appear in a Converse commercial next summer supporting the U.S. Olympic basketball team. Johnson's contract with Converse currently runs through 1995.
 Converse is the largest U.S. manufacturer of athletic shoes and is the official shoe of the NBA and USA Basketball.
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 NOTE TO EDITORS: VHS and 3/4-inch copies of the PSA are available by contacting Helene Fletcher at Converse, 508-664-7509. The PSA is also being transmitted by satellite through MediaLink at the following times and coordinates:
 Tuesday, 12/31/91 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. EST
 Westar 5 Channel 6
 Audio on 6.2 and 6.8
 Wednesday, 1/1/92 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. EST
 Telstar 301
 Transponder 10-V
 Audio on 6.2 and 6.8
 Thursday 1/2/92 1 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. EST
 Telstar 301, Transponder 10-V
 Audio on 6.2 and 6.8
 -0- 12/31/91
 /CONTACT: Jennifer Murray, 508-664-7521 or Helene Fletcher, 508-664-7509 both of Converse/ CO: Converse, Inc. ST: Massachusetts IN: LEI ADV SU:


DD-SD -- NE006 -- 5931 12/31/91 15:25 EST
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Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Dec 31, 1991
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