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THE STRATEGIC GROUP GATHERS OLYMPIC GOLD, SIGNS ON WITH SARA LEE CORPORATION

Atlanta-based Sports & Event Marketing Agency Joins Sara Lee's Olympic Team, Helps Ready the Company for '94 in Lillehammer and Atlanta in '96
 ATLANTA, Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Recognized as the largest corporate sponsor in the history of the Olympic Games, Sara Lee Corporation (NYSE: SLE) has set yet another precedent, this time signing on The Strategic Group, the only Atlanta-based sports marketing firm to be retained by an Olympic sponsor.
 Responsibilities for the 5-year-old sports and event marketing agency are to help create a corporate-wide integrated system for Sara Lee, and develop programs in areas of trade and employee relations for the 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer and the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta.
 Sara Lee Corporation has committed $40 million as an ACOG (Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games) and USOC (United States Olympic Committee) Olympic Partner and recently secured the exclusive right to produce shirts, socks and sweats that bear the 1994 and 1996 Olympics logos through the company's Hanes and Champion divisions. The licensing deal is worth an additional $20 million at least in royalties to ACOG and the USOC.
 Commenting on the newly formed relationship with The Strategic Group, Ronald Culp, executive director of corporate relations for Sara Lee Corporation, said: "Sara Lee's role as a top U.S. Olympic sponsor is key for our customers, employees and the communities in which we work. We are pleased to enlist the experience of a highly creative agency headquartered in the hometown of the 1996 Games." He added, "Rick Jones and his team of experts displayed a great level of enthusiasm, and a strong degree of strategic and promotional thinking which was truly impressive."
 For Rick Jones, president of The Strategic Group, the Sara Lee assignment marks a milestone for his company, whose current clients include MasterCard International's 1994 World Cup Soccer sponsorship; The 1994 Goodwill Games; USA Wrestling (the Olympic Sports Governing Body); Digital Communications Associates, and several PGA Tour events, to name a few. Said Jones, "Nabisco Brand, The Goodwill Games, MasterCard International and others certainly helped put us on the global playing field, and now with Sara Lee, we're delighted to be involved in the most revered sporting arena, the Olympics." He noted, "We always perceived ourselves as an expansion team, building player by player, and the relationship we've forged with Sara Lee is the culmination of several years of strategic corporate growth."
 Immediate tasks for The Strategic Group include the development and implementation of continuity programs for Sara Lee brands for the first Olympic Festival to be staged in San Antonio, Texas, in July, and then coordinate marketing programs for the 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway.
 Jones began his company in 1987, developing promotions for The Nabisco Golf Championships, and grew proficient in radio merchandising, national media, international public relations and corporate international hospitality -- all areas in which The Strategic Group now offers in-house specialists.
 Each of Sara Lee Corporation's brand groups retain advertising agencies which will maintain autonomy and continue to oversee consumer programs for the Olympic Games. Jones said The Strategic Group's primary objective is to work in conjunction with the advertising agencies and blend these individual programs to create an integrated, company-wide Olympic marketing effort over the next four years. "Our goal is to make sure that each of Sara Lee's 125,000 employees worldwide feel they've had an opportunity to participate in the '94 and '96 Olympics, and we'll do just that," he said.
 Sara Lee Corporation is a global food and consumer products company with annual sales of more than $13 billion.
 -0- 2/26/93
 /CONTACT: Lesley Gamwell of Custer Gamwell Communications, 404-432-2700, for The Strategic Group/
 (SLE)


CO: The Strategic Group; Sara Lee Corporation ST: Georgia IN: SU:

BN-JB -- AT001 -- 0732 02/26/93 09:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 26, 1993
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