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SBD/12/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing
MCI'S ARENA DEAL SEEN AS BOOST TO ENTIRE DC AREA
Published June 12, 1995
MCI's investment to secure naming rights to the proposed new arena in DC "could be a bargain," according to the WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL. Although MCI CEO Bert Roberts refused to reveal what they are paying, sources close to negotiations said it was "more than the $10 million up-front payment" Bullets/Caps Owner Abe Pollin was seeking. April Young, a sports marketing professor at George Mason Univ., called arena naming rights a "very important symbol in MCI's desire to be seen as more user- friendly." Young: "The hardest marketing problem of all is breaking through the clutter and this gives MCI a chance to do that." More from Young: "This is a really diffentent direction for MCI -- sports facilities have a unifying effect across a region." An editorial in the BUSINESS JOURNAL calls MCI's investment "a singular act of courage and solidifies the telecommunications company's presence in Washington (WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/15 issue). FRIENDS AND FAMILY AD RANK: MCI's "Friends and Family" ads are surveyed in USA TODAY'S Ad Track. 32% of those surveyed dislike the MCI ads, and only 42% have seen the ad (USA TODAY, 6/12).