SBD/14/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

SPRINT-ING AHEAD IN THE NFL TELECOM BATTLE?

     Sprint is offering the NFL a deal worth $100M annually over
the next five years as part of its bid to become the league's
official telecom provider, according to the current ADVERTISING
AGE.  Sprint's offer "looks to be the leading draft choice" for
the league, according to Jensen & Cleland, but AT&T, MCI and GTE
should not be counted out "just yet."  Sprint's deal is said to
include an "unprecedented rights fee" of $29M a year -- a portion
of which would be directed to teams for individual marketing --
plus up to $70M annually in promotions and advertising.  AD AGE
adds Sprint "may have an added 'in'" with the NFL as both the
company and NFL Properties are clients of Clarion Performance
Properties.  AD AGE notes GTE officials have met with the league
to discuss a counteroffer, and that AT&T's offer "has been
getting more serious consideration in recent weeks" due to that
company's investment with NFL partner, DirecTV.  NFL Properties
has been told by team owners that unless it can get more than
$24M for the telcom deal, the category will go back to the clubs
-- a prospect lobbied for by Cowboys owner Jerry Jones
(ADVERTISING AGE, 3/11 issue).
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Related Topics:

ATT, Dallas Cowboys, DirecTV, GTE, NFL, Sprint

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