SBJ/June 19 - 25, 2000/This Weeks Issue

Schwab buys into Games coverage

Charles Schwab & Co. will have both a significant national and local advertising presence on the U.S. television coverage of the 2000 Summer Games.

Not only has San Francisco-based Schwab bought national ad time on NBC's broadcasts of the Sydney Games, but the company also has supplemented its purchase by securing local Olympics ad inventory on NBC affiliates in 11 markets across the country.

All are key markets for the financial services company: New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Washington, D.C.; San Diego; San Francisco; Boston; Atlanta; Seattle; Phoenix; and Sacramento.

Schwab executives declined to divulge the value of the company's Olympics outlay, but industry sources said the national buy is certainly a multimillion-dollar expenditure.

A major reason for Schwab's Olympics ad buys? "It's a great way to pick up people who tend to be light TV viewers, who check in for big events," said Peter DeLuca, the company's vice president, advertising brand management.

Currently, Schwab is developing the ads that it will run on NBC's Olympics coverage, scheduled for Sept. 15 to Oct. 1.

"We're in creative development right now," DeLuca said. "We will definitely have some new [spots], in keeping with our tradition of launching new creative for big events."

Ad agency BBDO handles Schwab's creative work, and its national media buyer is Rubin Postaer & Associates.

It's likely that the new ads will be tied to Schwab's current "smarter investor" TV campaign, which uses sports figures such as Anna Kournikova, Picabo Street and Dikembe Mutombo as endorsers. Schwab's primary consumer targets typically are baby boomers.

For Schwab, the 2000 Summer Games will mark the second consecutive Olympics in which it has had a significant national ad presence. The company bought commercial time on CBS' coverage of the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan.

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