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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).