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IMPEL CHANGES NAME TO SKYBOX; SIGNS MAGIC JOHNSON AS COMPANY SPOKESPERSON

 IMPEL CHANGES NAME TO SKYBOX;
 SIGNS MAGIC JOHNSON AS COMPANY SPOKESPERSON
 PHOENIX, Ariz., April 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Impel Marketing Inc., a unit of Brooke Group Ltd. (NYSE: BGL), one of the country's fastest growing sports and entertainment trading card companies, is changing its name to SkyBox International Inc., it was announced today by Frank O'Connell, president and chief executive officer. In addition, O'Connell announced that SkyBox has signed basketball great Earvin "Magic" Johnson as its corporate spokesperson. The multi-year agreement represents the first time a trading card company has used a superstar in a comprehensive program to promote its products and corporate image.
 SkyBox basketball cards, which had formerly been marketed in partnership with the National Basketball Association, will continue to be produced and marketed, along with NBA HOOPS basketball cards, by SkyBox International. Both lines are produced under a license from the NBA.
 O'Connell said the name change is consistent with the company's strategy to establish a more recognizable brand name for its products. SkyBox will be the brand name for all company sports product lines and corporate identity on entertainment products.
 "The word 'skybox' instantly conveys the best seats in the house, whether for sports or entertainment -- a special, unique, high quality, fun experience. And that's exactly what the new SkyBox company brand will bring to kids and fans of all ages," said O'Connell at a meeting of the company's national sales force in Phoenix, Ariz.
 "We've been working for some time to develop a new name that reflects the quality cards we produce, and with the arrival of Magic, it was the appropriate time to announce it. Magic also stands for innovation, quality, and excellence. Magic Johnson is a dramatic symbol of the progress we've made and the high profile and popularity our products will have in the future," O'Connell said.
 Magic will make personal appearances for the company and be featured in the advertising and marketing of SkyBox products. He will also help promote the USA Basketball Team, competing in Barcelona, Spain, this summer, of which he is a member and for which there will be a card set released exclusively by SkyBox.
 SkyBox, founded as Impel in 1989, is headquartered in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. It is the largest producer and distributor of entertainment trading cards in the $1 billion plus trading card industry. The company has announced 20 product lines for 1992 including U.S. OLYMPICARDS and cards licensed by the NBA and NFL along with AA and AAA baseball cards under license from MLB. The entertainment lines have included Marvel Universe(TM), STAR TREK(R), and Disney Collector Cards.
 -0- 4/15/92
 /CONTACT: Catherine R. Rieger, Rockett, Burkhead, Lewis & Winslow, 919-848-2600 (on 4-15-92 phone number is 602-935-3811, or Michael Thomas, HWH Public Relations, 212-355-5049/
 (BGL) CO: Impel Marketing Inc.; SkyBox International Inc.; Brooke Group Ltd. ST: Arizona, North Carolina IN: REA ENT SU: PDT


JZ -- CH002 -- 8675 04/15/92 12:03 EDT
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 15, 1992
Words:491
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