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DS SEVERAL NEW ADVERTISERS TO SPORTSZONE
Published September 27, 1995
ESPNET's SportsZone has added Levi's 501 Jeans, Pizza Hut, New Balance, Lincoln-Mercury, Microsoft and Worlds Inc. as new advertisers on the Web service, according to an announcement by ESPNET GM Tom Hagopian and Starwave Dir of Advertising Rich LeFurgy. Advertisers in SportsZone get interactive banners placed both in "franchise positions" and in rotational spots. For example, Pizza Hut is sole sponsor of Fantasy Football '95 in addition to having banners throughout the service. Hagopian: "SportsZone offers advertisers an excellent opportunity to reach a prized demographic -- young males -- in an interactive and personalized fashion. Our current sponsors are getting in on the ground floor and gaining enormous exposure; they will be able to continue to reap the benefits as we grow" (ESPN). AD AGE reports the deals are worth in excess of $1M. While the advertising community has criticized SportsZone's ad rates -- $100,000 per quarter and $300,000 per year -- that criticism now "seems unwarranted." LeFurgy: "These guys (the new advertisers) are all paying the rate that everybody thinks is too high." Hagopian said that Levi's sponsorship is for more than one year (AD AGE ONLINE, 9/27). MORE WORDS FROM BRISTOL: Sports ESPN and Sports Australia, two 24-hour sports networks in which ESPN has an equity interest, were launched in Australia last week by Sports Vision, a division of Optus Vision. Sports ESPN features the U.S. and global sports properties carried on ESPN, while Sports Australia features ESPN2 programming as well as sports of interest to Australians. ... Designed to increase awareness of the ESPN's Sunday Night NFL coverage and to leverage the current Art Donovan ad campaign, ESPN will launch the "Football Phone-atic Sweepstakes" sponsored by Visa. ESPN Senior VP/Consumer Marketing Judy Fearing calls it their "most ambitious NFL effort to date." Fans answering questions during the November 5, 12 and 19 games become eligible to win ESPN merchandise and will be entered in a drawing for a trip to Super Bowl XXX. Local affiliates can also customize their own promotions (ESPN). WORDS ABOUT BRISTOL: In the current issue of ELECTRONIC MEDIA, Publisher Ron Aldridge congratulates ESPN on reaching 70% penetration of the U.S. TV audience. Aldridge: "By any yardstick, ESPN is second to none and ahead of most when it comes to covering and televising sports." ESPN's lesson, according to Aldridge: "Do something that needs to be done and that you know how to do, do it well, and stick to it" (ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 9/25 issue).