"The exhausting 55-kilometer cross-country ski race from Hayward to Cable, Wis., is now known officially as the 1988 Curel American Birkebeiner," observes contributing writer Laurie Freeman. The arrangement is emblematic of a nascent trend, she explains: Fortune 500 companies are buying rights to attach their names to events ranging from marathons to concerts and state fairs. "For an undisclosed five-figure fee, Racine-based S.C. Johnson & Son, purveyors of Johnson Wax and Curel moisturizing lotion, purchased the title sponsorship rights to the Feb. 20 event.... 'The Birkebeiner now has a $500,000 budget,' says Lea Justice, American Birkebeiner special projects coordinator. 'To put on a first-class race takes a lot of money. If we don't get it from sponsors, it would have to come from race participants.'" Now known as the Subaru American Birkebeiner, this year's event is scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 23 and is supported by more than 50 other sponsors.