SBD/12/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

MCI'S ARENA DEAL SEEN AS BOOST TO ENTIRE DC AREA

     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).
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